How do you clean cowboy boots?

How do you clean cowboy boots featured

Why Clean Cowboy Boots?

Whether you ride horses or simply love the western style, cowboy boots are an investment that deserves proper care. Regular cleaning and conditioning not only keep them looking good but also prolong their lifespan. To properly maintain your cowboy boots, you need to know how to clean them.

Cleaning Techniques for Cowboy Boots

Cowboy boots are made of various materials such as leather, suede, and exotic skins like alligator, snake or ostrich. The cleaning technique you use will depend on the type of material your boots are made of. Here are some general cleaning tips:

  • Remove any dust or dirt from your boots using a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth.
  • If your boots are made of leather, apply a leather cleaner or saddle soap with a damp sponge or cloth, avoiding the stitching and embossing. Wipe off the excess and let them dry. Avoid using too much water or harsh chemicals as they can damage the leather.
  • If your boots are made of suede, use a suede brush to gently remove any stains or marks. Avoid using water or soap on suede as it can discolor or damage the material. Instead, use a specialized suede cleaner or talc powder to absorb any oil or grease stains.
  • If your boots have exotic skins, use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. Apply a specialized conditioner or cream that is suitable for the specific skin type, such as snake or alligator.
  • Once your boots are cleaned, condition them with a leather conditioner or oil to keep them soft and supple. Apply a thin layer and buff with a soft cloth. This will also protect the boots from drying out or cracking.

Tips for Maintaining Cowboy Boots

Cleaning is just the first step in maintaining your cowboy boots. Here are some additional tips to keep them looking and feeling good:

  • Store your boots in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • Use boot trees or stuff them with newspaper to retain their shape and prevent creasing.
  • Avoid wearing your boots on rainy or snowy days, as water can damage the leather or cause stains on suede.
  • Protect your boots from scuffs and scratches by avoiding rough surfaces and protecting the toes with toe caps.
  • Periodically apply a water-repellent spray to protect your boots from stains, spills, and weather damage.

Professional Cleaning and Repair

If your cowboy boots are heavily soiled, or you notice any damage such as scuffs or tears, it might be time to take them to a professional cleaner or repair shop. They have specialized tools and knowledge to properly clean and repair your boots.

Moreover, if your boots are old, a professional could re-sole them or restore their original shine and condition. It’s worth investing in professional cleaning and repair rather than risking damage by attempting to do it yourself.


Cowboy boots are a statement piece and an investment in style and function. Proper cleaning and maintenance are key to extend their lifespan and keep them looking great. Follow these cleaning tips, maintain your boots, and consider professional cleaning and repair when needed to ensure they last for years to come.

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