How to Clean Leather Cowboy Boots?

Cleaning Cowboy Boots

Cowboys have a reputation for riding a horse all day in the desert. While that might not be entirely true in the present times, cowboy boots are used by farmers, cattle herders, etc. Moreover, they are considered to be a fashion statement, worn by men on regular days.

Irrespective of the purpose, cowboy boots tend to get dirty. As these are not your regular shoes, specific steps need to be taken to get them cleaned thoroughly. If you wish to get yours bright, shiny, and tidy, read along and follow the steps intricately.



Steps to Clean Cowboy Boots

Cowboy Boots

Generally, cowboy boots have a cowhide leather construction. Such a fabric needs a special kind of treatment. The following steps can help you clean your shoes in the best possible manner:

Before that, there are a few things that you will need to clean your shoes, like:

  • Brush
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean cloth

After having gathered all the basic assortments, you can get started with the cleaning process.


Gently Brush Your Boots

Gently Brush Your Boots

Irrespective of the frequency of usage, your cowboy boots are bound to get dirty. There can be an accumulation of dirt and debris on the outsoles and the side.

Take a soft-bristled boot brush and mildly clean the boots. Make sure you brush in a common direction. Do not change the angle or course to maintain the integrity of the material.

If there is a heavy grime growth, you can use a spoon to eliminate the dirt particles.


Use a Damp Sponge for a Thorough Cleaning

Use a Damp Sponge for a Thorough Cleaning

After eliminating traces of dirt, dampen a sponge and clean the shoes. This step is crucial as it will eradicate dust and other superficial stains.

If you are dealing with stubborn scuffs, you can use a toothbrush. Moreover, a whiteboard eraser will go a long way in getting the work done.

Note: In case your cowboy boots have a suede material, avoid using a damp cloth or sponge. Instead, use a dry toothbrush or sponge and scrub the dirt away.


Wipe it Down

Even after cleaning the shoes and getting rid of dust and dirt, your boots might look dirty. This can be treated with some soap and water.

Ensure you use a gentle soap that will not have any negative repercussions on your boots’ fabric.

Damp a sponge in the soap water and wipe down the boot. Once you see the foam formation, rub and dab over the stained areas.

Scrub gently for a few seconds and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.


Clean the Seams

Despite cleaning the entire boot, the seams might seem to be dirty. This can be wiped clean with a toothbrush.

Scrub the corners of the seams with it. If required, you can spray some water to fasten the process.


Stain Care

Some stains are too stubborn, and it can be a hassle to clear that out. Here is how you can keep your cowboy boots spotless:

Salt Stains

Salt Stains

Salt staining is a common phenomenon when it comes to leather boots, especially in winters. When the shoes get wet due to the snow, it leaves behind such stubborn stains.

However, you can combat such stains with a mixture of vinegar and water. Use a clean cloth and dab and blot it on the stains. This should remove the salt particles and make them spotless.


Grease Stains

Grease stains are caused by sauces, butter, oil, bacon fat, etc. These are known for their long-lasting nature. However, cornstarch or baking soda can effectively remove them.

Sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch over the stained portion and leave it for a few hours or overnight. Then clean the boots with a cloth. You can also use soap water to get rid of the smell.


Ink Stains

Ink stains are vulnerable; one wrong move and you could stain your entire shoe. Put some rubbing alcohol, or nail polish remove on a cotton ball and gently bolt the stain. Avoid rubbing it. After the color lightens, clean it with a damp cloth.


Other Minor Stains

Other stains can be treated with some soap and water. Rub the solution on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Clean it with a cloth and flaunt your stainless boots!

You can also use a mixture of lemon juice and cream of tartar in a 1:1 proportion. Apply the paste and let it sit for half an hour or so. Wipe it clean with a cloth.


How to Prevent Stains on Cowboy Boots?

Cleaning cowboy boots requires a lot of elbow grease. You can avoid this by maintaining them in the following manner:

Waterproof your Boots


As soon as you get your new cowboy boots, invest in a waterproofing spray. Ensure that it is safe for the said material.

Apply two coats of it at an interval of thirty minutes (or follow the instructions mentioned on the spray).


Condition your Boots

Utilize a leather conditioner on your cowboy boots to avoid any discoloration. This can also help in keeping them spot-free.

Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner all over your boots. Let it sit for two-three days and clean it with a cloth.

This will go a long way in keeping the material intact.


Polish your Boots

Polish your Boots

Polishing your cowboy boots regularly can help in keeping the stains away. Not only does it keeps the shine intact, but it also makes them look as good as new.


Other Boot Care Tips

Besides the tips mentioned above, there are few other crucial tips that every cowboy boot lover swears by!

What To Do If Your Boots Get Wet

As leather can withstand some moisture amount, you can let the shoes dry in the sunlight if they get wet. If they are soaking, you must stuff some newspaper. It will absorb the moisture away from the leather material, fasten the drying process.


Boot Storage

Boot Storage

Always store your cowboy boots in an upright position. Do not stow them away under a heavy box. You can stuff them with some crumbled pieces of newspaper to help maintain their shape if you have to.

Keep them away from moisture and direct sunlight.


How To Clean Suede Boots

Suede Boots

Water can compromise the quality of suede boots. Instead of that, use some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the stained area. Let it dry and brush it for a finishing touch and get rid of all the accumulated dust and dirt.


Care For Boot Soles

Boot Soles

As soles are more exposed to the road’s dirt, they tend to get dirtier quickly. This can be cleared by applying polish to the sole. If the soles are filled with dirt, you can even use a toothbrush to wipe it off.



Oil application can darken the leather. Avoid keeping them in direct sunlight as it might damage the material in the long run.


The bottom line

It can be challenging to clean your cowboy boots, but the methods mentioned above can put you at ease. Always remember to keep them away from direct moisture and heat sources, and you will be good to go!


Also Read:

Proper way to Clean Toms Shoes

Right Methods to Clean Velvet Shoes

How to Disinfect Used Shoes

How to Soften Leather Shoes

Way to Pack Shoes For Moving

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