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How to Clean Cowboy Boots

How to Clean Cowboy Boots

Cleaning your cowboy boots extends their life. A clean pair of boots goes a long way in enhancing your appearance. It makes you look attractive and classy.

How to clean leather cowboy boots

For proper leather cowboy boots care, follow these three steps:

Step 1: Cleaning

Dust and dirt are your leather cowboy boots biggest enemy. Regular care prevents the dust and dirt from damaging your boots by cutting away and drying out the fibers that make your boots durable and strong.

How to clean

  • Use a soft brush or damp cloth to wipe off dirt and dust from the boots. Use a toothbrush to remove stubborn mud from the welt and sole of the boot.
  • You can also use a shoe cleaner or saddle soap to remove more stubborn spots.

Step 2: Conditioning

Conditioning is done on clean and dry boots to enable the conditioner to penetrate through the pores of the leather.

This keeps the leather pliable and soft. Use a lanolin- based conditioner to prevent the change of color and finish on your leather boots.

It is advisable to use oil- based conditioners for dark boots only or boots with an oil finish as they gradually darken the boot every time they are applied.

How to condition

Use a small amount of a shoe conditioner dispensed onto a clean and soft cloth. Massage it into the boot and apply more conditioner if your cowboy boots are too dry.

Ensure you condition every part of your leather cowboy boots.

Step 3: Polish

Polish,though optional for some leathers, rejuvenates your boots and revives their natural finish.

It covers any scratches on your cowboy boots and gives you a glossy finish.

How to polish

If you prefer a shiny boot, apply matching leather shoe polish. Apply it in light layers and ensure you buff between each application until you reach your desired finish.

You can also do this to hide the scuffs and scratches on your boots.

Note that:

  • You can only polish cowboy boots with a finish.
  • Do not apply a colored polish on snakeskin boots.
  • For snakeskin boots,wipe with the grain of the scales, not against it.

How to clean leather cowboy boots using home solutions

Use spoiled milk

Spoiled milk prevents the leather surface from cracking.

  • With a damp cloth wipe off all the dirt from your cowboy boots.
  • Dip a  clean towel in the spoiled milk.
  • Then gently scrub the surface of the boots.
  • Use a banana peel

The inside of a banana peel is able to clean stains on your leather boots surface.

  • Rub the leather surface of your boots with the inside surface of a banana peel.
  • Then scrub with a dry towel
  • Use vinegar and water

Mix vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.

Dip a dry cloth into the mixture

Scrub the leather surface of your cowboy boots.

Use lemon juice

Lemon juice is used to remove stains on cowboy boots.

  • Onto the leather surface of your boots,squeeze a little lemon juice.
  • Use a clean towel to clean the boots.
  • Use soap and water

Dilute the soap with water.

Dip a towel into the soapy water and rub the surface of your cowboy boots.

Use a dry towel to wipe off the boots and dry them.

Use baking soda

Baking soda helps to remove stains, especially stains from grease.

  • Sprinkle a little baking soda on the dirty patch of the cowboy boots and leave it for about four hours.
  • Wipe off the surface with a damp cloth

Baking soda also helps to remove bad odor from your cowboy boots.

  • Sprinkle a little baking soda inside the boots and leave it overnight.

How to clean suede cowboy boots

Suede boots require suede cleaning supplies specifically formulated for their effective cleaning and polishing.

  • Remove stains and restore the nap by using a suede brush or stone.
  • Use suede spray sealer to get an extra protection layer against the elements that harm your suede boots.

How to clean suede cowboy boots with household items

  1. Use cornstarch

Cornstarch is used to remove liquid stains. Because of its hygroscopic effect, it helps your suede cowboy boots dry quickly.

  • Sprinkle the stain with cornstarch, cover with a dry towel and leave it overnight.
  • Stuff the suede cowboy boots with toilet paper to keep them in shape.
  • Brush off the cornstarch and stains from your cowboy boots leaving them dry and clean.
  • Use vinegar and water

Mix water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio

Use a little amount of the mixture to soak the stained area

  • Use a pencil eraser

To remove stains without using water, use a pencil eraser to rub over the stain until it disappears.

  • Use a nail file

File slightly on the stained surface of your suede cowboy boots using a nail file until the stains are gone.

  • Use a dry scouring pad

Using this pad to buff the surface of your suede cowboy boots helps remove stubborn stains. Make sure you buff gently.

How to take care of your cowboy boots

  • Store them in a place where they can breathe. Use a cedar boot tree when storing your boots because
    • it helps in the absorption of moisture
    • helps in retaining the original shape of your boots
    • Prevents curling at the toes.
  • Keep your boots away from direct light and damp places to keep the color and leather healthy for longer.
  • Use a clean towel to soak up excess moisture in case your boots get wet. Then let them dry naturally and condition them thoroughly.
  • Use edge dressing on your boots to re-stain the soles if they are discolored or scuffed.

How to sanitize cowboy boots

  • Spray inside the boots with a disinfecting spray. You can purchase one at a local pharmacy or look for the one that’s specifically for treating footwear.
  • You can also use a homemade disinfectant. Use vinegar and/ or rubbing alcohol and essential oils. Spray inside and outside the boot with vinegar. Then top it off by spritzing a few drops of essential oils or air freshener to offset the unpleasant vinegar smell.

How to clean the inside of cowboy boots

  • Take out the insoles and wash them with a mild shampoo. Rinse them off and air dry them.
  • Wash inside the boot with shampoo and a damp cloth.
  • Then use a damp cloth to rinse off any shampoo residue.
  • With a dry cloth,wipe off all excess moisture
  • Turn the boot upside down and air dry.
  • Use deodorant powders or sprays with your cowboy boots to help inhibit accumulation of acid and salts from sweat and dead skin.

Will water ruin cowboy boots

Leather cowboy boots

Rainwater doesn’t immediately destroy your leather cowboy boots. Damage occurs gradually if you don’t take proper care of your cowboy boots when they get wet.

Water can gradually seep into the leather and cause its degradation in the long run.

Discoloration also occurs gradually.

For proper care of your leather cowboy boots, dry them off immediately and ensure that they are completely dry before you wear them again.

Suede cowboy boots

Water is the biggest enemy of your suede cowboy boots. It easily penetrates the suede surface and destroys the cowboy boots. It also causes the cowboy boots to get mold and become damaged forever.

Condition your cowboy boots to make them waterproof. Also dry your suede boots as quickly as possible when they get wet.

How to restore damaged cowboy boots

  • Using a horsehair brush, clean the boot thoroughly. If needed,use a wet rag.
  • Use a boot conditioner to soften and restore the leather. Conditioning protects and repairs the cracked leather.
  • Buff the leather gently with your brush.
  • Add a boot cream on rough and scratched leather surfaces with a dry rag working it in circular motion into the leather.Make sure you match the right color cream to avoid discoloration.
  • Leave the boots for a while to let the cream absorb into the leather and then buff with your brush.

Best cowboy boots cleaning kit

You can try out these cowboy cleaning boots to help you condition, style and protect your cowboy boots.


Cowboy boots pristinely polished and buffed go a long way in making a great first impression,

People do notice the kind of shoes you’re wearing and how well maintained they are.

Take good care of your cowboy boots to extend their lifespan.