Cleaning leather boots is a straightforward process; just wipe the boots with a solution of a gentle cleanser and water and buff clean. Scuff marks and other stains can be more difficult to remove. The type of mark and the kind of leather determine what method you use to get rid of them. Suede requires its own technique. None of these methods use any special supplies, and they work equally well on leather shoes.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Baking soda
- Small bowl
- Spoon or whisk
- Clean cloths
- White vinegar
- Glass measuring cup or bowl
- Emery board
Make a solution of 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water to remove most marks from non-suede brown leather boots. Mix well in a small bowl with a spoon or whisk.
Dip a clean, soft cloth into the solution. Gently rub the marks.
Dampen another clean cloth with clean water, and wipe the boots. Remove any residue from the baking soda and water mixture. Use another clean, dry cloth to buff the boots.
Use a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar for marks caused by salt used on sidewalks and streets in the wintertime. Mix the water and vinegar together in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Dampen a clean cloth, and dab the boots with the solution. Rinse with a clean, damp cloth, and buff them dry with another clean cloth.
Use an emery board to gently sand stains on suede boots. Scrub the spot you sanded with a toothbrush to raise the nap.
Tips and warnings
- Clean marks on boots when they happen.
- Kneadable art erasers work to remove some marks.
- Prevent many of the marks and stains on boots by spraying them with a water repellent coating made especially for leather.
- Use a leather conditioner on your boots once or twice a year, depending on how often you wear them, to keep them in good shape.
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