How to Properly Clean Leather Cowboy Boots
Leather cowboy boots are a timeless fashion statement.
During the golden cowboy era, from 1866 to 1886, leather boots became insanely popular. While the boots were a practical solution to riding horseback on thorny, muddy trails, they were also a way for cowboys to show off their sense of style.
All sorts of fashionable leather boots hit the market during the late 1800s, with a variety of patterns, and decorative stitching. Fast forward to today, and men and women’s cowboy boots are making a big comeback!
If you want to look your best in your favorite pair of leather boots, you have to know how to properly care for them. That’s why we created this article, all about cleaning cowboy boots.
So take a look. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know how to care for your boots like a pro!
Cleaning Cowboy Boots That Are Muddy
Is there mud or dirt on your leather cowboy boots? Before you start conditioning or polishing them, you’ll need to get all of the dirt and debris off. We suggest using a damp cloth to gently wipe off excess mud and dirt.
If any mud spots aren’t coming clean, it’s okay to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to break things up. Be sure to fully clean the welt and sole of the boot. Once all of the mud, dirt, and debris is gone, you can start the conditioning process.
Materials for Conditioning Leather Boots
What type of materials will you need to keep your boots looking spiffy?
Here’s a shortlist of the best boot cleaning supplies:
- Microfiber cloth
- Shoe brush
- Leather cleaner
- Leather conditioner
- Waterproofing cleaning agent
When you’re choosing a cloth and shoe brush, make sure they’re soft. The last thing you want to do is scrape or scratch your boots with a rough material. Next, choose a well-ventilated area where you can begin working on your boots.
Certain leather cleaning agents create intense smells and fumes that can be toxic if inhaled. By staying in a well-ventilated area, you’ll be protecting your health, while also making it easier for you to focus on getting the job done right.
Similar to leather boots, you should also keep snakeskin boots clean and conditioned. Take a moment to discover more about the different types of snakeskin boots on the market today. Without the proper conditioning and care, the snakeskin will dry out before its time. Dry snakeskin is more prone to cracking, plus the dry material won’t look flattering.
Unlike leather boots, snakeskin boots will require more gentle cleaning so you don’t lift the scales. We suggest using a soft cloth, and a soft make-up brush to carefully clean between the scales.
Test Out Products
Play it safe by testing out the conditioner and polish on a small area of the boots. Preferably, you’ll want to test the cleaning agents out on a less visible area of the boots. Why? In some cases, conditioners, polishes, or waterproofing agents can cause a slight discoloration.
For instance, if you have a particularly delicate pair of leather boots, it’s more likely a cleaning agent could cause discoloration. However, by testing out a tiny area, you’ll be able to avoid ruining the boots altogether. You can also do a quick online search for the specific make of boots you’re looking to clean.
Find out what other boot enthusiasts are saying about the products they use to clean their exotic dress boots. Once you have a product you can trust, and you’ve tested it out, you can let the cleaning begin!
Using Leather Boot Conditioner
Moving on, let’s look at how to condition your boots. Simply start applying small amounts of the conditioner to the leather. You’ll want to keep applying the conditioner until the boots are completely covered. Next, follow the directions on the conditioner to see how long you need to let the boots for.
It’s most likely the conditioner will instruct you to wait about 10-15 minutes. However, since different conditioners use different chemicals, you must follow the label’s directions to a tee. After waiting the right amount of time for the boots to absorb the conditioner, you can start polishing them.
Polishing Your Leather Boots
When it comes to polishing your boots, you’ll want to get a cream or polish made especially for leather. We find that the paste polish has a longer-lasting effect than the creams do. However, paste polishes are messier, so be prepared to get your hands dirty. On the other hand, the less messy cream polishes tend to come in a wider variety of colors.
You must pick the perfect polish color so that it blends in well with the boot’s skin. As the polish begins to dry, sweep over it with a soft brush. Finally, wipe the boots off with a soft, microfiber cloth.
Water Proofing Agent
Once your cowboy boots are conditioned and polished, you can apply the water-proofing agent. Water-proofing your boots will help keep them safe from all of the different weather elements such as mud, snow, and of course, rain. Are you cleaning a pair of cowboy boots that you wear to look fashionable?
If yes, we suggest using a high-end water-proofing spray that’s made specifically for leather. Whereas, if you’re cleaning an older pair of work boots, simple beeswax will work just fine for water-proofing.
Clean Your Leather Cowboy Boots
Now you know the best way to clean your leather cowboy boots. Remember, if you want to avoid discoloring or ruining your boots, it’s always best to opt for higher-end cleaning products.
Lastly, be sure to test out the products, even if they have a good reputation. Testing the products on a small area of the leather will let you know how the leather on your men’s cowboy boots or women’s cowboy boots will react. After finding a cleaning agent that doesn’t discolor your boots, you’ll be good to go!
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