How to Care for Leather Work Boots – A Simple Guide To Clean Boots

It’s extremely important that you know how to care for leather work boots as due to the organic material they’re made from, they will break down and begin to fall apart if you don’t care for them correctly.

And that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide – so you’ll be able to wear and enjoy your boots for years to come.

Let’s get into it!

Side Note: If you’re looking for a quick & easy way to remove your boots, you should consider getting a boot jack. They make taking off your boots much easier, and there are custom options available that can add a personalized or artistic flair to your home decor – in addition to being functional. If that interests you, we recommend checking out Cowboy Customs and what they can offer here.

How to care for new leather work boots

When it comes to caring for your leather boots, there are a few simple steps that you need to take.

Essentially the steps involve:

  • cleaning them with a damp cloth.
  • applying a leather conditioner to keep them soft and shiny.
  • using a boot polish to protect the leather from water and dirt.

Let’s look into these steps a little further.

How to clean leather work bootsclean leather boots

To clean leather work boots, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the laces if they’re all dirty and crusty.
  2. Gently use a brush or cloth to remove crusted on dirt from the outside of your boots.
  3. Wash the outside of the boots with warm, soapy water. Use a clean rag & dish soap.
  4. Rinse your boots off with clean water & use a clean rag to remove any remaining mud or debris from your boots.
  5. Dry your boots off with a clean rag or towel. Allow them to dry, but do not put them in direct sunlight, or you risk having the leather crack

How to polish leather work boots

Once you’ve cleaned your boots, you’re ready to polish your leather work boots.

To start, it’s best to heat up your boots a little.

You can do this by placing them in INDIRECT (NOT direct) sunlight or using a hair dryer to slowly warm them up.

Once you’ve done that, you can start by applying your polish, conditioner, wax, oil or sealant (depending on what’s best for your leather) with a cloth.

Follow the directions on your leather product for application.

Generally speaking, most applications involve lightly applying the product with a rag in a circular motion.

Once you’ve done that, you let your boots sit for a certain amount of time before finally buffing your boots with another clean rag.

leather cleanerHow to condition leather work boots

After you’ve cleaned and polished your boots, you can apply a conditioner.

To do this, just apply a dime sized amount of leather conditioner to another sponge or rag. Work into the leather until it’s completely saturated.

Once you’ve done that, wipe off the excess conditioner with a piece of towel and then polish the boots using suggested polish and a soft brush.

If you want to use a waterproof sprayer, carefully apply it to your boots.

How to waterproof leather work boots

If you’re tough on your boots, or notice that water is no longer beading up on the surface, it’s probably time to reapply some waterproofing agent.

You can do this by using a wax product or silicone spray.

The best course of action is to regularly clean and condition your leather boots with a wax or leather conditioning product as it will hydrate the leather and keep it supple and waterproof.

A conditioner helps extend the leather’s waterproofing, but if you’re tough on your boots, or notice that water is no longer beading up on the surface, you might have to apply a silicone spray.

Many people feel that using a silicone spray should be a last resort as it coats and fills the pores of the leather and won’t come off.

A conditioner helps extend the leather’s waterproofing, but if you’re tough on your boots, or notice that water is no longer beading up on the surface, you might have to apply a silicone spray.

How to store leather work bootsboot brush

Cleaning and maintaining your boots is important, but how you store them can also have a big impact on how long they last

It’s best to store boots in a cool, dry place – never store them in direct sunlight or you risk cracking and discoloring.

Try to avoid saturating the leather with water or other liquids and never use harsh chemicals to clean the boots.

Whenever you’re cleaning them, be sure to use a soft brush to clean the boots’ surface.

And try to condition them or apply a protective coating once a month if the boots in order to keep the leather hydrated and in good condition.

How to break in new leather work boots

Always remember to wear your new boots around the house for at least a couple of hours. This will help them stretch and conform to your feet.

Break in new leather work boots by wearing them around the house for a few days or even up to a week. This will help them adjust to your feet and make them more comfortable.

Use a conditioner during breaks in period to keep boots functioning smoothly. Conditioning keeps leather supple and helps it resist water damage.

What to do if leather work boots get wetleather boot care

If your leather work boots get wet, allow them to dry completely.

Once they have dried, you can clean them with a soft cloth and brush as we’ve outlined above.

Also be sure to clean the outsole of your boots as well, in addition to the leather uppers.

How often to care for leather work boots

You should apply leather condition every month to maintain the boots looking fresh and new.

When you notice your boots getting dirty, you should clean them properly right away. If you leave them dirty, mud can pull the moisture out of the leather as it dries.

Properly cleaning your work boots will help them last longer and protect their finish.

Tips for caring for leather work bootshow to care for leather work boots

  • Clean your boots regularly with a soft cloth and a leather cleaner or conditioner.
  • Apply a waterproofing agent to your boots before wearing them in wet weather.
  • Stuff your boots with newspaper or a boot shaper to help them keep their shape when not being worn.
  • Be careful not to wear your boots in extremely hot or cold weather, as this can damage the leather.

Of course, you want to make sure that you’re also removing your boots properly using a custom boot jack, or something like the blundstone boot jack. Of course, if you don’t know how to use one, you can read our guide on how to use a boot jack.

When people were searching for how to care for leather work boots they often had these related questions

Do I need leather conditioner?

Do I need leather conditioner?

Leather conditioner is not necessary, but it can help keep your leather looking new. It will also help to protect the leather from moisture and dirt. If you do choose to use a conditioner, make sure to read the instructions & follow the directions carefully so that you don't end up with a sticky mess.

Should work boots be treated?

Yes, work boots should be treated to keep them in good shape. In order to protect them from water and other liquids, a treatment such as beeswax or a waterproofing agent should be applied.

Can you over oil your boots?

Yes, you can over oil your boots. If you apply too much oil, the boots will become heavy and greasy. The excess oil will also attract dirt and dust, which will make the boots difficult to clean. That's why when you add oil, you let it sit and then wipe off the excess.

What do you put on leather boots to condition them?

What do you put on leather boots to condition them?

There are many different things that people use to condition their leather boots. Some of the most popular are mink oil, leather conditioner, and beeswax. Some even use Vaseline. Each of these has its own benefits (and there are a whole host of leather care products out there), and it's up to the individual to decide which one works best for them.

How do I keep my leather boots from cracking?

There are a few things you can do to help keep your leather boots from cracking. First, make sure you condition & polish them regularly. Second, when you're not wearing them, make sure they're stored in a cool, dry place. And finally, if they do start to crack, you can use a leather conditioner to help soften them up and prevent further cracking.

Is leather balm the same as leather conditioner?

Leather balm and leather conditioner are not the same. Leather balm is a wax-based product that is used to add shine to leather and to protect it from water and other elements. Leather conditioner, on the other hand, is a liquid product that is used to soften and moisturize leather.

How often should leather boots be conditioned?

Leather boots should be conditioned every few months, or as needed. If you live in a hot or really dry area, you may need to do this every month. Conditioning helps to keep the leather soft and supple, and prevents it from drying out and cracking. There are many different types of leather conditioners available, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your boots.