How to Clean Leather Work Boots?

By Sophie Williams
Updated: November 28, 2023

If you are searching the internet for answers to the issue “How to clean Leather Work Boots”, then this comprehensive tutorial is for you.

Leather boots are long-lasting, comfortable, and provide comprehensive foot protection. When it comes to choosing the best work boots, leather is the best option. Leather work boots provide heavy-duty support while still being comfortable and keeping your feet dry.

Isn’t purchasing leather work boots an investment? While you may reap the advantages of wearing it in the long term, keep in mind that they are more expensive. As a result, proper care and maintenance are essential for extending the life of your beloved boots. According to legend, “caring for your boots symbolizes caring for your feet.”

Before we get started, let’s get some ideas for work boots.

Work Boots are a type of foot protection for personal and occupational use in the most industrialized section typically involving plant manufacturing and construction.

Now, let’s dive in and discover how you can perfectly clean your favorite leather work boots.

Several Tips About how to clean your Leather Work Boots:

-Use a nylon brush to clean leather work boots as it clears dirt and dust from the boots effectively.

-Wipe with a damp cloth to clean and moisturize your leather boots.

-Always air-dry your leather boots; dry them naturally. Don’t blow dry as heat makes the leather desiccate and crack and reduces the lifetime.

-If the leather boots become much dirty and grimy, use saddle soap and a damp cloth to clean perfectly.

-To clean the inside and insole of your boots, give a hand wash with mild shampoo and a damp cloth.


1. Cleaning The Leather Work Boots, The Outside:

Cleaning the outside of the leatherwork boots may become a major concern for you as it is the only visible part of the boots. You need to be careful while cleaning the outside as it will impact the lifespan of the leather. As a consequence of wrong maintenance, your leather work boots won’t last long.

Light Clean:

If your leather work boots aren’t that dirty and soiled, you should give them a light clean. It is considered a good habit that give a light clean every day after coming back from work increases the lifetime of your leather boots.

For gentle cleaning, you should use a wet nylon brush or any moist cloth. Just simply wipe out the dust and dirt on the outside of the boots with the brush or cloth and dry them naturally in the air. You can also use an old toothbrush for cleaning your boots.

Heavy Clean:

If your work boots are exceedingly dirty and filthy, you may be wondering how to have all of them cleaned.


Initially, you should attempt to clean off as much sticky and other types of filth as possible using a brush or any cloth. Leather cleaning solutions, which are commonly accessible on the market, come in very helpful in severely dirty situations. When using a leather cleaning product, choose an oil-based or water-based one that is suitable for leather. Use caution while using any petroleum-based cleaning chemicals since petroleum may degrade the leather.

You may also use any liquid leather cleaners; just spritz them on and wipe them off. Saddle soap is an excellent choice for cleaning leather boots. It cleans, nourishes, and moistens the leather with ease.

It’s critical to remember to always let your boots dry naturally in the air. You should not use a blow dryer since the heat from the dryer fractures and dulls the leather.

Cleaning The Stains:

Cleaning the stains is kind of tricky as stains just can’t be simply wiped out. Moreover, there are different kinds of techniques to get rid of different types of stains.

  • Water spots:

To get rid of any water spots on the leather work boots, simply re-moisturize the spot with some water or use a wet cloth to wipe off the spot gently and dry them in the air naturally.

  • Unspecified Dark Spots:

For unspecified dark spots, take an equal amount of lemon juice and tartar cream, mix them properly into a paste and then apply to the dark spots. Use a soft cotton cloth to wipe and clean the spots perfectly. You can also apply alcohol to remove the dark spots. Just use a cotton cloth to polish the spot with alcohol smoothly.

  • Grease Stains:

Grease stains are difficult to get rid of from leather boots as they are kind of sticky. But a simple solution can solve all your problems. Wipe off the grease as much as possible with a soft cloth. Then put some talcum powder on the spot and leave it overnight. Talcum powder will soak and pull out the grease from the leather. Later, you just have to brush off the talcum powder and wipe it perfectly. Besides, you can use liquid detergent for major grease stains on your leather work boots.

  • Salt Stains:

Salt is referred to as an enemy of leather products as it is adversely dry and cracks leather. It is recommended to get rid of salt stains as early as possible. For the fresh salt stains, you can apply some water to the spots and rub them smoothly with a cloth. This will remove the salt from the leather. For older salt stains, white vinegar works perfectly to get rid of the spots. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe out the stains with white vinegar and air-dry them properly.

2.  Cleaning The Leather Work Boots, The Inside:

You must thoroughly clean the inside of your leather work boots if you don’t want anybody to be able to smell your feet. The inside of your boots will begin to stink as a result of the perspiration on your feet, which is embarrassing to have happen in public.

An easy way to keep your work boots from smelling musty is to air-dry them after each day of work. It’s best if you leave them overnight to dry.

Insoles should also be cleaned on a regular basis. Insoles may be washed in a washing machine or by hand with any mild detergent or low pH shampoo and air-dried before use.

The inside of the leatherwork boot should be cleaned with a moist cloth and a mild shampoo to avoid damaging the leather. Wipe the inside of the vehicle with a fresh, moist towel. Remove any remaining shampoo from the boots by rinsing them in warm water After washing, use a dry towel to remove as much moisture as possible from the interior of the boots. Allow the boots to air-dry for as long as possible.

You may also apply any form of deodorant spray or powder inside your boots to get rid of the musty smell.

3. Cleaning The Leather Work Boots, The Sole:


Maybe the less visible part of your boots is the sole. That’s why most of us don’t care about cleaning the sole. But you should take care of the sole frequently as lack of maintenance can break down the sole. A lot of soil, debris, dirt, and stones stick under the sole, and you should clean those junk appropriately.

Use a hard brush to get rid of solid debris, soil, and dirt from the sole. For any stones or hard debris which can’t be easily removed, use a spindle or a pair of tweezers to draw them out from the sole.

You should wash the sole with a brush and mild soap detergent for a perfect cleaning.

4. Conditioning The Leather Work Boots:

work boot conditioner

After cleaning the leather work boots entirely, it’s time to condition your leather work boot. Conditioning is very significant to the leather product, especially to the boots, since it helps to nourish and moisten the leather and also prevents the leather from drying and cracking. Conditioning basically helps to increase the lifetime of the leather. It also helps to resist the water and provides a shine.

For conditioning, you should use leather oil-based products or any natural leather conditioner. Don’t use any petroleum-based one since petroleum adversely affects the leather. You should continue with natural conditioning products.

Before applying the conditioner, dry your work boots perfectly. You can wipe with a dry cloth to remove any moisture on it. Then apply the conditioner on the outside of your boots and wipe it perfectly. You can use a brush to condition the unreachable edge of your boots. Make sure to give your boots a complete wiping. After conditioning, dry your boots in the air.

work boots cleaning

5. Tend to Your Boots:

The proper placement and storage of your leather work boots are important aspects of boot care and preservation. You may use cedar shoe trees, which are great for leather work boots since they absorb moisture and reduce undesirable odors. If you don’t have cedar shoe trees, you may put your boots on a regular shoe rack. You may also add baking soda inside your work boots before storing them to help neutralize the odor.

Hope our comprehensive step-by-step tutorial “how to clean leather work boots?” will enable you to learn about boot cleaning and make your boots endure longer than you had thought.

In the end, I have great news for you, We have a blog where we share How to Wash Work Boots in Washing Machine. Amazing right? Yeah! We always put our priorities for our readers.

You Can Also Read Our Other Boot Cleaning Blogs:

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Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams is popularly known as a dynamic and creative footwear specialist, and she sharpened her skills and developed a strong foundation at College for Creative Studies, especially in design principles, boot and shoe materials, and boot construction techniques.

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