How To Clean Cowboy Boots: The Step by Step Guide

Written By Mahia

Your cowboy boots will always be at the center of attention as long as they remain spotless and clean.

But once they get dirty or muddy, people are going to have a negative impression of you.

So, It’s time to say bye-bye to unclean cowboy boots by learning the easiest cleaning methods.


Yes, in this writing, I have disclosed the most effective and effortless ways of cleaning cowboy boots.

So if you want to make your cowboy boots go from zero to hero, don’t forget to read the entire writing.

How To Clean Leather Cowboy Boots?

If you think that cleaning cowboy boots only enhance their appearance and make them dirt-free, you should also know that cleaning boosts the life span of your boots.

Suppose an unclean pair of cowboy boots’ lifespan is approximately five years whereas, regular cleaning and proper maintenance can stretch the life of cowboy boots up to ten years. So when you already invested a handsome amount on cowboy boots, why not invest a few minutes in cleaning them and making them long-lasting.

Here is the step-by-step guide following which you can clean your cowboy boots within minutes:

Things you’ll need:

  • Boot brush or soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Towel
  • Cloth
  • Leather conditioner

Before you start the cleaning procedure, you need to know what material your boot is made of. If your boots are made of leather, follow this method, but if they are made of suede, don’t even think of following this particular method.

Follow our guide on how to Walk In Cowboy Boots: Like A Pro.

Step 1: Brush the boots


It is very important to make your boots free of dirt and mud before applying any sort of conditioner or polish. So firstly, take a boot brush or an old toothbrush and gently brush the boots to remove the dirt. You can also use a damp cloth to make your boots dirt-free.

Usually, the boot’s sole picks most of the dirt. While brushing, focus on the sole more.

Step 2: Condition the boots

Once you are satisfied with cleaning the boots, now condition them. Take a good-quality leather conditioner and apply some on a dry cloth. Now start from the boot area of the boots; then rub the conditioner onto the boots in a small circular motion.

Make sure you cover the entire boot with conditioner but don’t overdo it. Conditioning the boots retains the moisture and prevents them from drying.

Step 3: Polish the boots(optional)

If you want to make your boots look shiny and brand new, you can use leather polish.

Apply the polish on your boots the same way you applied the conditioner. Once the boot absorbs all the conditioner, your dirt-free cowboy boots are ready to wear.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots With Household Items?

Are you on a tight budget? Don’t want to spend money on boot brush and conditioner? Want to clean cowboy boots with household items? Worry not!

Below I have discussed the most proven method of cleaning cowboy boots and that too with the ingredients present in your kitchen.

Use water and vinegar

Vinegar is not only beneficial for cooking, but it is also a cleaning agent that helps to clean the cowboy boots. Take vinegar of your choice and mix it with water. The proportions should be 1:1.

Now take a clean cloth and damp it in the water and vinegar mixture. Wipe over the stains on your boots with the damp cloth.

Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, leave the boots for air-drying.

A plus point of using vinegar is that it kills all the bacterias in your boots as it has disinfecting properties.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots With Saddle Soap?

Saddle soap is a magical product for your leather cowboy boots. It not only cleans the boots but also helps in conditioning the boots. The beeswax and lanolin in saddle soap help to keep the boots moisturized and prevent them from drying.

Here is how you can use saddle soap to clean cowboy boots:


Also related to this guide Pack Cowboy Boots In A Suitcase: Easiest Ways.

Things you’ll need:

  • Saddle soap
  • Cloth
  • Brush

It is very important to remove the excess dirt and mud from the boots before applying saddle soap.

Take a brush and softly brush off the boots to loosen the dirt particles.

Now wrap a clean cloth around your finger and pick some saddle soap in it.

Gently rub the saddle soap on the areas where your boots are heavily stained or dirt.

After you cover the boots with saddle soap, leave it in the boots for 1 hour so that leather can absorb all the goodness of the soap.

Once the leather soaked all the saddle soap, take a cloth and wipe the boots.

How To Clean Suede Cowboy Boots?

Unlike leather cowboy boots, cleaning suede cowboy boots is a challenging task indeed. You can’t just use any cleaning methods on suede boots; you need to know the correct way of cleaning them, or else you can ruin your cowboy boots.

So let’s see how you can clean suede cowboy boots:

Things you’ll need:

  • Suede cleaning brush
  • Suede eraser
  • Suede cleaner
  • Suede conditioner
  • Cloth

Step 1: Remove dirt


Remove the excess dirt from the boots by brushing the surface of the boots with a suede brush.

You can also sprinkle some warm water over the boots and scrub them.

If your boots are stained with mud, then don’t jump into cleaning them immediately. Let the soil dry and then clean them; this will avoid any mess.

Follow our epic guide on how to Stretch Cowboy Boots.

Step 2: Use suede erases

A suede brush cannot remove dirt from the nook of the boots; this is when a suede eraser comes in handy. With the suede eraser, gently scrub the corners of the boot to remove the small dirt particles.

Step 3: Use suede cleaner

Once you remove the extra dirt and mud, take a suede cleaner and apply it all over the surface of the suede cowboy boots.

Now with a suede brush, brush the entire boots.

Once there is no dirt left, wipe the boots with a dry cloth.

Step 4: Use suede conditioner

Your suede cowboy boots will be cleaned at this step, but it is important to condition them. Apply suede conditioner on your boots and brush the surface with a boot brush.

Conditioning the boots will help them become durable and soft.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots Without Ruining Them?

Cleaning cowboy boots is pretty straightforward. But if you don’t follow the proper technique and correct product rather than making the boots clean, you will ruin them. And who wants to waste their $500-$1000 cowboy boots!

So let’s talk about how you can clean cowboy boots without ruining them:

  1. While drying your boots, don’t use any heating source like a hairdryer; this makes the boots too dry and sometimes even crack or burn them. So if you want to clean your boots without destroying them, always dry them in sunlight or the air.
  2. When using a leather conditioner, don’t overuse it. If you apply an excessive amount of conditioner on the boots, it will cause discoloration to the boots, so start using it little by little.
  3. When you brush the root’s surface with a boot brush, don’t brush them vigorously, or else it can ruin the nap of the leather. It’s better to be gentle while brushing the boots.

Follow our epic guide to know What to Do with Old Cowboy Boots.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots Without Polish?

You can use vinegar and water mixture to clean cowboy boots, which don’t even need polishing. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water and a damp cloth in it. Rub the surface of the boots with this water solution to remove dirt and stains. Now leave the boots drying, and there you go with clean cowboy boots.

How To Clean The Inside Of Cowboy Boots?

Usually, we give all our effort to clean the outside of the cowboy boots and make them look brand new. Whereas the inside of the boots equally gets dirty and due to lack of cleaning your boots starts to have a reeking smell.

Let’s discuss how you can clean the inside of the cowboy boots:

Things you’ll need:

  • Mild detergent powder
  • Cloth
  • Leather cleaner
  • Brush

Step 1: Clean the insole

First thing first, check if your boot’s insoles are removable. If the insole is removable, then take them out and wash them with mild detergent powder.

If the insoles are made of leather, you can use a leather cleaner to wash them. Slightly damp the insole with water, apply the leather cleaner, and gently scrub the insole with a brush.

Once there are no stains left in the insoles, wipe them with a clean cloth and dry them.

Step 2: Clean the inside of the boots

With a clean rag or soft-bristled toothbrush, clean the inside of the boots.

Sprinkle some water to the inside of the boots, apply the leather cleaner and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Now with a clean cloth, wipe off the excess leather cleaner from the boots.

For drying the boots, you can either use a boot dryer or leave them in natural air.

How To Clean Cowboy Boots That Got Wet?

If your cowboy boots got wet and you are thinking of cleaning them while they are still wet. Then hold on!

Cleaning a pair of wet cowboy boots can end you up in a big mess. While the boots are wet, the dirt and mud also get wet; working with wet, muddy boots will surely ruin them, and your working station will be dirty.

So if you want to clean your wet cowboy boots, firstly dry them. You air-dry them, use a boot dryer or even pack some newspapers inside the boots to speed up the drying.

Once the boots get dry, now you can use any cleaning method to make the boots dirt-free.

Follow our guide to know Are Boot Trees Necessary For Cowboy Boots.

How To Clean Dry Mud Off Cowboy Boots?

Cleaning dry mud off the cowboy boots can be a pain in the back if you don’t know the correct procedure for cleaning them. Additionally, cleaning dry soil is a challenging task; if not done right, you have to say goodbye to your cowboy boots.

So let’s learn how to clean dry mud from cowboy boots:

Things you’ll need:

  • Soft cloth
  • Brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Leather cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Leather conditioner

Step 1: Spray some warm water over the mud on your cowboy boots.

Step 2: Damp a clean rag and wipe the mud off the boots.

Step 3: Apply leather conditioner or saddle soap on the boots and give them a good scrub with a brush. Let the soap or conditioner sit on the boots for a few minutes.

Step 4: Now wipe off the residues of the soap and let the boots sit for drying.

How To Polish Cowboy Boots With Stitching?

Polishing is a great technique to get a mirror shine to your cowboy boots and bring them back to life. But polishing cowboy boots with stitching can be a bit tricky. It happens that you polished the entire boots, but the seam remains dirty.

To help you with the problem, below, I have discussed the easy ways of polishing cowboy boots with stitching:

Step 1: Apply polish

Wrap a clean cloth around your finger and pick up some cream or wax polish.

Now rub the cream all over the boots. Be very careful while applying the polish because the nicer you work the cream on the boots, the more it will soak the cream.

Step 2: Brush the boots

It’s time to work the cream onto your boots. With a horsehair brush, brush the entire boots. The nicer you brush the boots, the deeper polish will penetrate the boots. Not to mention, brushing the boots also gives a nice sheen to them.

Step 3: Wipe off the boots

With a clean cloth, wipe off the excess polish from the boots.

And finally, you can buff the boots to give them an extra shine.


Cowboy boots are a lifetime investment only if you clean them properly and take proper care of them. Cleaning cowboy boots is not a tough nut to crack if you follow the proper techniques.

Now that you know all the cleaning methods of cowboy boots so get to work and make your filthy and dirty cowboy boots into a masterpiece.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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