How To Clean Cowboy Boots

If you want to keep your cowboy boots looking clean and in great condition, then you should be cleaning them regularly. By cleaning the boots, not only will they last longer but they will look a lot better too.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots

Most boots are made with leather material, so if you are new to owning cowboy boots you may not know the correct way to clean them that wouldn’t cause any damage or harm to the fabric of the boot.

We have researched and found the best method to safely and effectively clean your cowboy boots so that they look brand new!

It is important to follow a guide when you go to clean your boots because you don’t want to cause any accidental damage to the leather. Before we begin with the step-by-step guide, you are going to need the following:

  • Your Dirty Boots (Of Course!)
  • Damp Towel
  • Soft Bristled Brush (For Scuff Marks), alternatively you could use a Dry Erase Marker
  • A Dry Cloth or Sponge
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Leather Polish (If you need to shine your boots)

It is also important that you use a leather conditioner that is specifically made for the type of leather your boot is made from. Different kinds of leathers will need different conditioners so be sure to research and check which will be the best for your boots in particular. 

Step-By-Step Cleaning Method

Step 1: Preparation

Before you begin to clean your boots, make sure you are well prepared in advance. It’s no use being in the middle of the cleaning process and then realizing you don’t have a utensil you desperately need!

Make sure you have ticked off every item from the checklist and have prepared some items in advance.

Dampen the towel you are going to use, gather the other supplies (brush, dry cloth/sponge, conditioner, etc) and set it out ready for you to use.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots

Step 2: Boot Cleaning

This is a very important step in the cleaning process for obvious reasons! To ensure you are cleaning the boots properly, first make sure to brush off any excess dirt such as dried mud with your hands.

Once you’ve done this, take your damp cloth and gently remove any mud or dirt from the bottom of the boot.

The dampness of the cloth will help the dirt to come off quicker. If you find there are still small parts of dirt and mud that are too stubborn to come off with just the damp cloth, try taking an old toothbrush and brushing in between all the nooks and crannies that the cloth may not be able to get to.

Once you have cleaned the bottom of the shoe, take a soft-bristled brush to remove any scuffs that may be on the leather. If you don’t have a soft-bristled brush you can also use a dry-eraser for the same effect!

 How To Clean Cowboy Boots

Step 3: Boot Drying

Never use heat to dry your boots. This is because heat may cause the leather of the boot to crack or to become discolored. Heat will damage the boots so it is best to simply leave them to dry in natural air. Although this may take longer, it is certainly better than having damaged boots.

You can also remove the insole of the boot and use a paper towel to gently pat the inside of the boot to remove any excess moisture.

This will help the boots to dry quicker and to avoid any water damage. Make sure that your boots are entirely dry before moving on to the next step.

 How To Clean Cowboy Boots

Step 4: Boot Conditioning

Once you have cleaned your boots from any mud or dirt, it is time to condition them. Conditioning leather is an incredibly important part of this process as without the leather it can become dry which can then lead to cracking and flaking.

Make sure that you are using a leather conditioner that is suitable for the type of leather your boots are made from and use a dry cloth or sponge. Dab the cloth or sponge into the conditioner and then, starting at the bottom section of the shoe, rub in the product in small circular motions.

Take your time doing this to ensure every inch of leather has been treated with the product. Make sure that the conditioner has been fully absorbed by the boot, and if it still feels dry, apply a second coat of the conditioner until they feel soft and moisturized.

 How To Clean Cowboy Boots

Step 5: Boot Polishing

The final step to cleaning your boots is to polish them up so they look shiny and brand new! Not all cowboy boots need polishing, again it depends on the kind of leather they are made from.

For some though, use a dry cloth and apply the polish to the boot in small circular motions, just like you did with the conditioner. Make sure the polish has been applied to every part of the boot and absorbed!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, after taking these steps, your boots look as new as the day they did when you first bought them! It is important to take good care of your cowboy boots if you want them to last a long time.

The more time, effort and care you put into preserving the boots, the longer you will be able to wear them.

Looking after your boots will help to protect the leather from any damage such as cracking, flaking, or discoloration.

You can also follow these same steps for boots made from most exotic materials such as ostrich skin – just be sure to make sure that your leather conditioner and polish are suitable for the fabric.

It is also recommended that the conditioner and polish that you use be non-oil-based. This is because non-oil-based products have a creamier texture and are easier to use and provide a better outcome for the boot.

Although by polishing your boots you are adding an extra layer of protection, you don’t need to polish them every time. Of course, if you do they will probably last you a lot longer!

Catherine McDowl
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