How to clean stains on light colored leather boots

If you have invested in a good pair of leather boots, you will want to keep them looking their best. Stains on dark leather are not always noticeable, but stains on light coloured leather can be a real eyesore, especially if the stain causes severe discolouration. The key to removing stains on light coloured leather is to remove the stain before it sets. Different types of stains require varying methods of cleaning that can help keep your light coloured leather boots looking as good as new.

Remove grease stains from light coloured leather boots by blotting up as much of the grease as you can with a clean cloth. Sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder over the stain and allow it to sit overnight. The talcum powder should absorb the stain. In the morning, wipe away the talcum powder with a cloth.

Clean mildew stains from light coloured leather boots using a one-to-one ratio of water and rubbing alcohol. Apply the solution to a clean cloth and gently rub away the mildew stains. Allow the leather to air-dry afterward.

Clean dust or dirt stains by applying an oil soap or saddle soap to a damp cloth, gently rubbing the cloth over the boots. The soap will break up and dissolve the dirt. Allow the boots to air-dry after cleaning.

Brush road salt stains from light coloured leather boots with a boot brush. Brush the salt off the boots as they dry. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 cup of water in a small bowl and apply the solution with a soft cloth. The vinegar solution will remove any leftover salt residue and restore shine.

Spray light coloured leather boots with hairspray to remove ink. Spray the hairspray onto the ink and wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove the ink. Continue the process until all traces of ink disappear.


Protecting your leather boots with a stain and water repellent will help to prevent deep-set staining.


Do not use harsh cleaners on light coloured leather. Cleaners that contain acid or detergents can actually make the stains worse, and can also ruin the leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloths
  • Talcum powder
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Oil soap
  • Saddle soap
  • Boot brush
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Small bowl
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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.