We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to remove water stains on leather boots

Updated February 21, 2017

Leather boots are a universal staple in the wardrobe of most fashion-conscious men and women. Because they can be expensive to replace, it's understandably frustrating when a drop of water splashing from the bathroom sink leaves a discoloured dribble stain on the side. Not to worry, most water stains are removable and can be treated with a little water (gasp!).

Loading ...
  1. Inspect the stain or stains thoroughly. Count the stains to ensure that you clean them all at the same time, as this will help prevent your leather boots from drying or cracking.

  2. After you have evaluated your stains to be removed, dip a washcloth into a bowl of clean, lukewarm water.

  3. Wring out the washcloth as much as you can to remove all the excess water from the cloth. This step is important because you do not want to get your boots thoroughly wet with the washcloth.

  4. Using a sweeping motion, cover your entire boot with the damp washcloth, getting the top layer of the leather wet. This works because the water stain set in, but by wetting the entire area you are causing the stain to disappear (imagine a drop of water disappearing into the ocean). By allowing the entire boot to be covered by water, you are releasing any single stain from the discolouration. Note: Do not dip the entire boot in water, just cover the surface so as not to damage the leather.

  5. Let the boots air dry. If your boot feels drier than usual, then apply a small amount of leather conditioner (available at shoe or department stores).

  6. Tip

    Don't wet the leather by adding too much water; just a light brushing of the exterior so that the stain is absorbed by the water.


    Leather that gets too wet becomes dry and cracked and needs conditioning. Talk with a leather repair or shoe repair shop if you are concerned about damaging your boots before cleaning.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Washcloth
  • Clean water
  • Leather conditioner (optional)

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

Loading ...