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You will have to learn how to clean leather work boots, especially when working outdoors. All it takes is for you to have the necessary cleaning tools at hand instead of spending money to have an expert do it for you every other time.
It’s easy, especially if you can follow this guide that thoroughly explains the process of cleaning your leather work boots. The methods and materials you apply should meet the goal of protecting the integrity of the materials besides getting them tidy. Cleaning leather work boots take various directions regarding the materials available and the parts that need cleaning.
Types of Stains on Leather Works Boots
The kind of stains you get on your leather work boots depends on the work environment. The leather work boots often have dirt on them that only takes a brush and a damp cloth to get rid of.
On the other hand, if you work in a greasy or oily environment, your boots are bound to have grease and oil stains. It takes special cleaning agents to get rid of these. Salt stains are also common, but a simple water and vinegar solution should do the trick when you want to eliminate them.
How to Clean Leather Work Boots: Step by Step Process
Cleaning leather work boots can happen in various ways. You can choose to clean the entire boots, including the inside or just the top. Here are the steps to follow if you decide to start with the inside of the shoes.
- Start by taking out the insoles to machine wash them gently using mild detergent to remove the odor.
- Make solutions that are part water and part mild shampoo and a soft cloth to clean the inside of the boots.
- Rinse the inside of the boots using a cloth soaked in clean water
- Again with the soapy solution, clean the outside of the shoes. You can use just your hands too
- Dry the shoes with a towel
- Apply leather conditioner
- Place the boots in open sun to dry them
- You can do some baking in a porous pouch and place it inside the boots to extract any odor inside the boot.
The inside of your leather boots is quite sensitive, which means you have to be watchful about the amount of water you use. It’s essential to stay clear of soaking the inside of the boots with water which would otherwise destroy the lining.
You might have to take a different approach to clean boots that have grease on them. Getting rid of greasy stains from your shoes requires that you use a baking soda and water solution.
All you have to do is ensure that you run the paste evenly on the surface of the leather boots. It’s also essential to give the shoes enough time to allow the paste to bind with the grease stains well.
Cleaning Smelly Leather Work Boots
For smelly leather work boots, you wipe the inside using vinegar and water to wipe the inside. You can finish up by placing baking soda in a pouch inside the shoes as they dry up to keep the smell off, an activity that you make an everyday afar work routine. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to go about it.
- Pour saddle soap on a cloth to rub inside the boots until its foamy
- Wipe the inside with another piece of fabric to get rid of the foam
- Dry the shoes in the open air
- Wipe the inside of the boots with a water and vinegar solution
- Sprinkle or place sealed baking soda in the shoes to get rid of the odor
The lining inside your boots should be the principal guiding factor on how you schedule to clean them. A leather lining may require you to follow a more rigid routine to protect it from damage, say from cleaning agents. If the inside of your boots is any other materials besides leather, you have more flexibility with the cleaning materials and cleaning process.
Cleaning Salt Stains From Leather Work Boots
The good thing about leather boots is that you can wear them anywhere. If you work in an environment with a lot of salt, your boots likely get salt stains.
Salt can easily damage leather. Getting rid of salt on leather boots requires precision, especially with the solutions you want to use. Vinegar, water, and cloth are the main items you will need to clean.
- Mix the vinegar and water in half and half proportion
- Soak a piece of cloth in the solution and wipe the salt stains away
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the leather dry
- Dry the boots further in the open air but not in direct heat
Materials used to Clean Leather Work Boots
After breaking in your leather work boots and applying a waterproofing agent on them, the other part that comes is that you get to wear them to work. If you have a pair that you would like to last a long time, it would be wise to get all the materials you need to clean them.
For instance, you would need a nylon brush which applies to get rid of dirt. Another item that you should have is a cloth and leather cleaner. Saddle soap should also come in handy when the mess gets too much for leather cleaning.
It helps protect the quality of leather while clearing off the mess. These are some of the essential items that you would need.
After using leather clean on a cloth to wipe off your boots, it’s essential to leave them to air dry rather than apply heat from a blow dryer, for instance. Cleaning the inside of the shoes is better off using a mild shampoo and hand washed which needs doing every few months.
If you can’t access products meant explicitly for cleaning leather boots, you can use products available at home and still get good results where leather quality remains intact. For instance, the hair conditioner is gentle on leather and smooths it.
Other products like baking soda can be helpful when it comes to getting rid of stains. When you can’t get saddle soap, dishwashing soap can also work.
How Often Should You Clean Leather Work Boots
When it comes to how often you schedule to clean your boots, it’s best to do it every time they get dirty. You can use a nylon brush to wipe off dirt every day and a damp cloth to clean.
The best bet you have to keep the quality of your leather boots is drying them in open-air afterward but not under direct heat. As for the insoles, it’s enough to clean them every two to three months.
It’s enough to clean them in the washing machine or hand wash them. Also, make a point of cleaning inside the boots every few months using a damp cloth while being careful about the amount of soap you use.
What to do After Cleaning and Drying Leather Work Boots
Once your boots are clean and dry, your work does not end there. The final thing to prepare your shoes for wearing contributes to how long your shoes last.
The most important thing is polishing the leather boots to get rid of scratches and scuff marks. Here is how you go about polishing leather boots.
- Apply shoe polish on a clean cloth
- Dab the cloth with polish gently around each boot. You can also use a small brush to reach between threads.
- Proceed to spread the polish evenly on each boot
- Finally, buff the boots with a different rag until you get to the shiny levels of your choice
Maintenance is also essential after cleaning your leather work boots. Storing your shoes in a dry environment with good temperature levels is a good start. Ensure that you moisturize the boots often as well to prevent cracking.
Conditioning leather work best follows cleaning and should happen every month. This frequency is sensible, especially if you wear your boots often. Otherwise, conditioning every three months is also practical.
Given how often leather work boots get exposed to moisture, it may also be necessary to consider applying a barrier to protect them from moisture attacks.
Wax-based polish is the best product to use to waterproof your boots further. Do that as often as possible to keep your shoes in top condition.
Knowing how to clean leather work boots ensures that you have an opportunity to wear your shoes for a long time. Keep in mind that you can use household cleaning products to clean leather boots.
After cleaning and drying your leather work boots, the things you do play an essential part in maintaining their integrity. Once you start a cleaning routine, ensure that you keep up with it for the best results. Also, wear leather work boots as intended.