How to

How To Clean Leather Shoes and How to clean boots: Easy and Cheap Ways5 min read

cleaning leather boots

Whatever you do to keep them clean and safe, your shoes will get dirty at a certain point. People tend to be overprotective when they buy new shoes and enjoy wearing their new pair, but when it loses its cleanliness and brightness, they just throw it in the closet.

If your shoes are made of canvas or a similar material, you can easily clean them. However, the problem lies with leather shoes which we have at least one pair of, and cleaning them is not that easy. Absolutely, you can’t handle throwing your leather shoes whenever they get dirty. Let alone, using the proper tools is so complicated and expensive as well.

So how to clean leather shoes?

how to clean leather shoes

The experts would suggest using a special cleaner and a special conditioning product to clean your leather shoes. Yet, there are few home remedies to be used as cheaper alternatives with guaranteed results.

What problems may you face when cleaning leather shoes? Can we apply these ways on cleaning leather boots too?

There are so many problems which make cleaning your leather shoes a hard job. The following are some of them:
Using a durable material which is used with other kind of shoes might not fit your leather shoes.
You can’t make the material too wet, nor can you use anything that dries it out.
Overusing the wrong stuff causes fading and cracking.
Leather is pretty absorbent, because it is a natural material.
Overcleaning typically results in changing the color and brightness of the dark leather shoes.
Using soaps that result in drying, must be followed by using a conditioner to avoid dryness.
Using a bad quality oil may cause a permanent damage.

Eventually, it is better to use proven techniques for cleaning your leather shoes to get good and safe results.

Traditional Way to Clean Leather Shoes

how to clean boots

Whether your old pair of leather shoes is still wearable or not, we all like to get a new one. Nevertheless, sometimes, we just can’t buy a new one for a certain reason, so we have to clean the one we already have without damaging it.
In this article, we will offer you some natural ways to clean your leather shoes without putting the material at risk. Let’s start with the traditional way to clean your leather shoes:


  • Shoe specific cleaner or a comparable soap
  • Pieces of clean cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Shoe polish
  • Eraser (gray gum type)
  • Leather conditioner

Instructions to clean the leather shoes:

  • Use a piece of cloth to wipe away any loose dirt.
  • Remove anything which can be cleaned easily without scraping or rubbing.
  • Damp another piece of cloth with some water and put some soap or shoe cleaner.
  • Rub in a circular motion all the dirty areas and scuff marks.
  • Use the vinegar to clean the salt stained shoes. Mix some white vinegar with the same amount of water.
  • Rub gently.
  • Allow it to dry away through exposing it to direct sunlight.

Instructions to polish your leather shoes:

how to clean leather shoes

  • Take another clean, dry piece of cloth.
  • Apply a small amount of the polish on the piece of cloth. Rub the shoes with circular motions, then wipe away with another one.
  • Avoid applying the polish to non-leather material.
  • Leave it to dry, then apply a conditioning product and rub it gently with a piece of cloth. After being dried, take another piece of cloth to lock in oils and moisture and prevent the stiffness and dryness of leather.
  • Leave it again to dry then wipe it gently to shine.

Furthermore, there are other ways to clean your leather shoes with ingredients and tools which are already found in your kitchen, and they will save you a lot of money, so let’s check these ways:

Homemade Cleaners for Leather Shoes

Instead of using the traditional way for cleaning leather boots and shoes, you can use some of the ingredients in your kitchen to provide a home remedy and finish this job. Sometimes, this would be a good option for someone who can’t afford buying the abovementioned materials or those who prefer natural products. You will have to create a mixture then use it to clean your leather shoes.
Sounds good, right? Check the following techniques.

1- Ingredients: Toothpaste

cleaning leather shoes

Choose a toothpaste of a good quality.
Get an old tooth brush and apply a small amount of the paste on it.
Clean your leather shoes or boots gently, then rub it off with a clean piece of cloth.
Use a conditioner to avoid long term problems with the material.

2- Ingredients: Lemon Juice + Cream of Tartar

These stuff are already found in your kitchen, so just mix equal amounts of both, and put the paste on all the small marks on your shoes.
Put the shoe aside for sometime.
Clean the paste with a clean piece of cloth.
Don’t forget to use a conditioner for brightness.

3- Ingredients: Vinegar + Water

This mixture is a very effective one to clean your shoes without paying a cent. It is amazing to clean dirt, stains, water spots and salt stains on boots and other leather shoes.
Mix equal amounts of water and vinegar.
Apply the mixture on a clean piece of cloth.
Repeat the cleaning process many times on the same area to finish the job.
Use the conditioner when you finish to prevent drying.

4- Ingredients: Soap + Water

cleaning your leather shoes

Another superb way is using a mild soap like castile or saddle soap for cleaning leather products, but you will have to make sure that the material does not get too wet.
Apply soap directly to a damp piece of cloth.
Rub the shoes with a circular motion.
Continue working till the dirt starts to disappear.
Clean it again with another dry towel and wipe the area clean to finish.
Use the conditioner to prevent drying.

5- Ingredients: Cornstarch

Rub the cornstarch directly against the spot to free the bond and clean the area.
Clean it again with a wet piece of cloth, and then use a conditioner.
Instead of cornstarch, you can use any other absorbent powder.

An important tip: Homemade Conditioners

Most of the above home remedies are amazing mixtures for cleaning your leather shoes or boots, but they may cause dryness to the shoes.
To solve this problem, you have to use a conditioner after every cleaning process.


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