How To Lighten Leather Boots : 4 Easiest Methods [Explained]

Written By Mahia

Are you searching for the most successful ways to lighten your leather boots?

Congratulations! You have come to the right place.

There are hundreds of ways to lighten leather boots on the Internet, but most of them are clickbait.


But don’t you worry, spending a huge time researching, and based on my first-hand experience, I am here to disclose the most efficient ways to lighten leather boots.

So, if you want to know all the solutions, please continue reading till the end.

How To Lighten Leather Boots?| Answered

Before I address how to lighten leather boots, let me clarify a few points.

You won’t be able to alter your leather boots’ color drastically. To lighten it, you must be patient and put up a lot of effort.

You can’t even expect to receive positive results all of the time. Some leather can be lightened fast, while others may take time and may not change color at all.

To get a visible result in lightening the leather boots, you must attentively follow the instructions. So, without further ado, let’s get into the procedure.

Follow our guide on how to Get Creases Out Of Leather Boots.

Here are the methods to lighten leather boots:

Prepare the boots

Before you start any method to lighten leather boots, it’s important to prepare them first.

Prepping includes cleaning. You can’t apply any products on a dirty pair of leather boots, so cleaning is a must.

Start the cleaning by taking out the shoelaces.

Brush the whole boot with a soft-bristled toothbrush to release the dirt particles.

Apply a few drops of leather cleaner on a wet rag and rub on the dirty areas.

Wipe the boots clean with a damp towel and dry them in a ventilated area.

Now, your leather boots are ready to undergo any lighting method.

Method 1: Use Acetone

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from irritation, and lay a newspaper on the work surface to prevent a mess.
  • Wring out a clean towel that has been soaked in acetone.
  • Divide the leather boots into a few areas and use the acetone to massage each section in a small circular motion gently.
  • As you rub, you’ll see that the acetone removes the top layer of the leather.
  • Because acetone removes a layer of leather, the cloth will get dirty quickly. Keep a spare cloth on hand to replace the dirty ones.
  • Allow time for the leather to dry when you are happy with the lightening of the leather.


Method 2: Use Oxalic Acid (Most successful)

  • Make sure to wear gloves before you handle the chemicals.
  • Soak a clean cloth in acetone and wring it out.
  • Divide the leather boots into a few sections and gently rub each area with the acetone in a small circular motion.
  • Let the boots sit for a couple of minutes to dry.
  • In a bowl, mix equal parts of oxalic acid and water. If you want to make your boots way lighter, increase the ratio of oxalic acid.

Although oxalic acid is an excellent cleaner for leather boots, it also contains chemicals that lighten the leather.

  • Dip a cloth in the oxalic acid solution and massage it over the boots’ surface with a bit of pressure. Ensure your boots are thoroughly covered in the solution, or else certain areas will be light and others will be dark.

The top layer of the leather starts to peel away as you rub the acid on the boots, and the leather gets lighter.

  • Allow the solution to dry on the boots.
  • Once the boots are dried, clean them with a damp cloth and finish off with a leather conditioner.

Also read, Can I Dye Nubuck Leather.

Method 3: Use Saddle Soap

  • Pour a few drops of water on the saddle soap and create lather with a brush.
  • Take some lather and rub it on the boots. Apply pressure to work the soap well on the boots. Make sure the soap reaches the corners of the boots too.
  • Set the boots aside to dry after wiping off the soap with a damp rag.


PS: Saddle soap does help to lighten leather boots, but just a little. To see a visible result, you must continue to use this procedure once or twice a week.

Method 4: Re-Dye The Leather

All of the procedures listed above necessitate brushing and take a great deal of work to achieve a good outcome. If you don’t want to go through all of this trouble, you may re-dye your leather boots instead.

However, this is a difficult task since you must select a certain hue of leather dye to get a lighter look. If you go wrong with the color, you can ruin the appearance of the boots.

  • Before dying the boots, properly clean them.
  • Apply some dye to the boots using a microfiber cloth and rub it evenly. Don’t overdye; instead, start with a small amount of product and gradually build up the layer.
  • The dark hue fades and lightens as you massage the dye into the leather.
  • Wipe away excess dye from the leather using a damp towel.
  • Allow the boots to dry in a well-ventilated area for a day.
  • Apply a coating of leather conditioner to the boots to finish the lightning process. Leather conditioner aids in the restoration of the boots’ natural oils.

Follow our other guide to know Can You Use Leather Shoe Polish On Black Suede Shoes.

Some Useful Tips To Lighten Leather Boots

If you have come this far, I assume you already know the methods to lighten leather boots.

Bear me with a little more, as I have listed some tips that will help you greatly to lighten your beloved leather boots.

Along with these tips, the four methods will surely achieve lighter leather boots without damaging them.

Here are some useful tips to lighten leather boot

  • Before using any chemical or dye all over the boots, do a patch test first.

Apply little product on the unnoticeable place of the boots and check whether it discolors the leather or not. If the product doesn’t alter the color, then you may apply it to the entire boots.

  • After re-dying or applying any sort of chemicals on the boots, make sure to finish off with a leather conditioner. Leather conditioner prevents the leather from drying and cracking.
  • Do not dry the boots with heating tools or under direct sunlight. Instead, dry them in an open and airy place.
  • Do not apply too much product on the first go on the leather; rather, start with a little and then gradually apply more if your boots need it.
  • Do not go for lightening your black leather boots as this will be of no use. Instead, lighten the brown leather boots for the best outcome.

You may also like Leather Vs. Rubber Sole,


A pair of dark leather boots don’t compliment all types of outfits all the time. For a change, you can lighten your leather boots and that too without breaking your wallet.

To lighten leather boots, you need to invest your time, and energy and know the correct procedure for doing it. If you don’t have any of these, professionals are there to help you, so go to them.

It’s a wrap-up for today. If you have any questions regarding this topic, do let me know in the comment section below.

Best of luck!

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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