How to Clean Leather Work Boots?

Leather work boots are a must-have for anyone who wants to protect their feet while working. They are also a fashion statement and can add an element of style to any outfit. However, they need to be cleaned and maintained regularly in order to keep them looking good and performing well. In this article, we will discuss how to clean leather work boots using various methods. We will also answer some common questions about leather care. Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need to Clean Leather Boots

Before cleaning your leather boots, you will need to gather some supplies. The items you will need for this task include:

  • A soft brush
  • Leather cleaner or saddle soap
  • Waterproofer or conditioner
  • Soft cloths
  • Sponge and/or paper towel (optional)

Once you have gathered these items, you can begin the process of cleaning your leather work boots. [1]

What You’ll Need to Clean Leather Boots

The Best Way to Clean Leather Boots: 4 Simple Steps

Step 1: Remove the laces and knock off the dirt

The first step in cleaning your leather boots is to remove the laces and knock off any dirt or debris that has accumulated on them. To do this, use a soft brush to gently brush away any loose particles or dirt. Then, you can use the sponge (or paper towel) to wipe down the boot exterior and remove any remaining dirt.

Step 2: Use Saddle Soap

Once the dirt has been removed, use a leather cleaner or saddle soap to clean the boot. Work up a lather with a damp cloth and apply it to the boot using circular motions. This will help break down any stubborn dirt and remove any residue left behind from the brushing process.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

Once you have applied the saddle soap, rinse it off with a damp cloth. Then, allow the boots to air dry in a warm area. Avoid direct sunlight during this process as it can cause discoloration and damage to the leather.

Step 4: Condition the Leather

Condition the Leather

The last step in cleaning leather boots is to condition the leather. This will help keep them from becoming dry and brittle, as well as restore their natural oils. Apply a waterproofer or conditioner to clean cloths and gently massage it into the leather, taking care not to saturate the material. Allow the boots to air dry once again before wearing them. [2]

How to Remove Stains from Leather Boots

If you have stains or scuffs on your leather boots, you can try using a leather cleaner or saddle soap to remove them. Apply the cleaner in the same manner as described above and allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. If this does not work, try using an oil-based product such as petroleum jelly or mink oil.

Water Stains

If you have water stains on your leather boots, try using a soft cloth to gently buff away the marks. If that does not work, you can also use a leather conditioner or waterproofer to help restore the color and texture of the material.

Grease or Oil

If your leather boots have been stained with grease or oil, try using a mixture of white vinegar and water to remove the marks. Apply the mixture to a soft cloth and gently buff away the stains. You can also use saddle soap as an alternative method to help break down and lift off any stubborn stains.


Ink stains can be difficult to remove from leather boots. If you have ink marks, try using a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to gently dab away the stain. You may need to repeat this process several times before the mark is completely removed.

Scuff Marks

Scuff marks can often be removed with a soft brush and leather cleaner. Work up a lather with the cleaner and gently scrub away any scuffs or scratches. You may also want to use a leather conditioner afterward to help restore the boot’s natural oils.

Salt Stains

Salt stains can be difficult to remove from leather boots. Try using a mixture of white vinegar and water, or saddle soap to help break down the stain. Apply the solution to a soft cloth and gently dab away any remaining residue before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Why Should You Keep Your Boots Clean?

Keeping your leather boots clean can help to maintain their appearance as well as extend their lifespan. Regularly cleaning them will prevent dirt and debris from accumulating and causing discoloration or damage to the material.

Why Should You Keep Your Boots Clean

Additionally, conditioning the leather regularly with a waterproofer or conditioner will help keep it soft and supple while restoring natural oils that are lost over time.

A Return to Form for Your Boots

Leather boots can look great for years if cared for properly. With regular cleaning and conditioning, you can keep your leather boots in prime condition. Follow the methods outlined above to help maintain their beauty and extend their life. With a simple routine of brushing, cleaning, rinsing, drying, and conditioning, you’ll have your leather boots back to looking like new! [3]


What household items can I use to clean leather boots?

You can use a mixture of white vinegar and water, saddle soap, petroleum jelly, or mink oil to clean leather boots. Additionally, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains and a soft brush to remove scuffs or scratches.

Is Vaseline good for leather boots?

You can use Vaseline to condition your leather boots and bring back their natural oils. However, please be sure not to apply an excessive amount of petroleum jelly onto the material as this could cause it to become saturated. Instead, always spread a thin layer over the entire surface using a suitable cloth or rag. [4]

What is the best thing to clean leather with?

Saddle soap is one of the best products for cleaning leather. It can help to break down dirt and oil without damaging the material. Additionally, it can be used in conjunction with a soft cloth or brush to gently lift away any remaining marks.

How do professionals clean leather shoes?

Professional leather shoe cleaners typically use a combination of products such as saddle soap, leather cleaner and conditioner, and specialized brushes to clean leather shoes. This method helps to preserve the material while removing dirt, grease, and other marks. Additionally, they may also use steam or special polishing techniques to restore any lost shine.

How do you clean leather without damaging it?

The best way to clean leather without damaging it is to use a gentle cleanser, such as saddle soap. Additionally, you should avoid using any abrasive cloths or brushes that could scratch or tear the material. If necessary, warm water can be used in combination with the cleaner to help break down stubborn stains. Finally, make sure to condition and waterproof the leather regularly to keep it soft and supple. [5]

Is Vaseline good for cleaning leather?

Yes, Vaseline (petroleum jelly) can be used to help condition leather boots and restore their natural oils. It should be applied in a light layer with a cloth, taking care not to saturate the material. Additionally, it can also help to protect the leather from water damage.

What is the best natural oil for leather?

The best natural oil for leather is mink oil. It helps to condition and waterproof the material, as well as restore its natural oils. Additionally, it can help protect against water damage and salt stains. It should be applied in a thin layer with a soft cloth or brush to ensure even coverage across the entire surface of the boots.

Useful Video: How to Use SADDLE SOAP on Boots | CLEANING Leather Boots


You’re now empowered to keep your leather work boots clean and good. Regular cleaning is the key to keeping them looking and smelling great, while also extending their life. With dedication and care, we can ensure that our leather shoes stand the test of time. Remember, when it comes to cleaning your leather boots, don’t be afraid to try out a homemade cleaner, such as baking soda or white vinegar. Spot-testing any shoe cleaner on an inconspicuous part of your boot first will help ensure you don’t damage the material. Finally, make sure to take it slow and not over-clean or scrub too hard when brushing away dry dirt; you could permanently scratch the material of your boots if you’re too vigorous in cleaning them. So now that you know everything about cleaning leather work boots hopefully it won’t be long before yours are back in pristine condition! Take action now and begin caring for your leather shoes today to enjoy many years of service from your favorite pair of work boots!