How to Clean Your Work Boots – Complete Guide

How to Clean Your Work BootsKeeping your work boots clean will help prolong the life of the footwear, allowing you to get the most out of your investment as it is kept protected from premature damage even with extensive use.

Using the proper cleaning methods will also be beneficial in ensuring that the boots will be able to maintain their good aesthetics so you can be proud to wear them in the workplace and maybe even to more social settings. When cleaning leather work boots, it is important to follow certain steps to ensure that the material both inside and outside the footwear will not be damaged in the process. With the proper cleaning procedures, you can extend the life of the work boots so you will be able to enjoy their premium qualities for a long time.

Steps for Cleaning Work Boots

Wipe off the dirt

The first step to cleaning your work boots involves wiping or brushing off as much of the dirt on the outside as possible. The upper leather material can be wiped with a soft piece of cloth to remove the dust and dirt that may have settled onto the surface while at the same time ensuring that the wiping process does not lead to the leather being scratched unnecessarily, so you can still preserve the aesthetics and overall quality of the material.

Remove debris from the soles

The soles of the work boots need as much attention as the other parts of the footwear. You can use a stiff-bristledHow to Clean Your Work Boots brush to dislodge the debris such as pebbles and dirt that may be stuck on the ridges of the soles, and on the outer edges of the boots so these can be removed before they have the chance to cause serious damage to the footwear. You can also pick the pebbles and other debris by hand if they are more stubbornly stuck to the boots, using the brush is not enough to dislodge them from the soles or sides of the footwear. It is a good idea to do this portion of the cleaning process outdoors, or near a receptacle where you can easily place the dirt that you remove so it does not spread inside your home.

Condition the leather

It is important to note that the work boots will need to be thoroughly dry before you can proceed with the conditioning process. With the help of a soft, dry cloth, rub shoe polish or leather conditioner on the surface of the leather boots, making sure that all areas are covered with the substance. For the best results, use circular movements to rub the conditioner into the leather. The conditioner works to maintain the excellent appearance of the leather work boots by getting rid of scuff marks and discoloration that may come from the regular use and abuse that the footwear is exposed to in the workplace.

Polish the boots

After applying the conditioner, you can use a clean piece of cloth to remove the excess shoe polish or conditioner that has not been absorbed by the leather. Use a microfiber cloth or any soft cloth to buff the leather to achieve the shiny finish that will instantly bring back the excellent appearance of your work boots. Polishing the leather will also work to get rid of any irritants that may not have been removed by the prior wiping, so these substances will not endanger the quality and aesthetics of the work boots in the long run.How to Clean Your Work Boots

Clean the interior

Cleaning the inside of the boots is just as important as maintaining the cleanliness of the exterior. One of the best ways to clean the interior is to spray vinegar directly into the inside of the boots. Leave the boots alone so the vinegar dries off completely without being wiped. Allowing the vinegar to evaporate completely from the interior of the boots may take several days to be finished. After the boots have dried off completely, pour a generous amount of baking soda inside the boots and allow the mixture to stay in the boots overnight. The next day, you can shake off the baking soda from the interior of the boots. This procedure helps in keeping the inside of the boots clean and effectively eliminates unwanted odors that can be the result of sweat accumulation, dirt, and bacterial growth.

Use cedar boot trees

Other than the vinegar and baking soda procedure, you can also use cedar boot trees to get rid of strange odors that may have settled into your boots with long-term use. The cedar boots trees are designed to be placed inside the boots where they will work to absorb the foul odors that may be caused by accumulated perspiration and dirt. These boot trees also come with a nice scent that fights the unpleasant odors while leaving a pleasant fragrance inside the boots to enhance the long-lasting freshness of the footwear. The cedar wood material also acts as a natural insect repellent so you can enjoy this additional benefit especially when you need to work in the woods or other areas where there are insects all around.

Allow the boots to dry naturally

It is important to let the boots dry naturally as drying them with the application of heat can cause serious damage to the leather material and to the insoles. You can hang them upside down and place them in an open-air area away from direct sunlight, so the boots can dry naturally while the air works to freshen the insides. The drying How to Clean Your Work Bootsprocess can also be completed with the use of a boot tree that will absorb the moisture from the interior while ensuring that the original structure of the boot is maintained during the drying process.

Protect by waterproofing

If you don’t have w it is a good idea to protect the exterior part of the leather work boots by applying a waterproofing product all around the material. This will ensure that your boots will not be damaged when the footwear is exposed to water and other liquids, especially if your work area has even the slightest exposure to liquids or water that has the potential to ruin a great pair of work boots if they are not waterproofed beforehand.

Dealing with salt stains

The salt that is crucial for melting snow can cause serious damage to the leather material of work boots. This is why it is important to deal with the salt stains in the earliest possible time before permanent damage sets in. You will need to combine equal parts of water and vinegar, which will then be applied to the stained parts of the work boots with the help of a piece of cloth. Afterwards, wipe off the excess solution with a piece of dry cloth. Allow the boots to be dried off completely and naturally without applying heat that can further damage the leather material. When the boots are thoroughly dry, you can again use a dry cloth to buff the leather exterior to maintain the footwear’s excellent sheen and appearance.

Cleaning scuffed areas

Scuffing may not be entirely avoided especially when you need to work in tough conditions where the footwear is constantly exposed to pressure and force in the surrounding area. However, there are ways to clean the scuffed areas of the work boots to keep them looking clean and well-maintained for a long time. Using a cloth dipped in How to Clean Your Work Bootswater and baking soda, rub the scuffed area of the boot in a gentle manner. After this, use a clean damp cloth to remove the baking soda and water mixture from the boot. You can then use a dry cloth to softly buff the treated area to remove the scuff’s traces and keep the boots looking new again.


Q: How often do work boots need to be cleaned?

A: Work boots need to be cleaned on a regular basis, but the frequency can be determined on a case-to-case basis. Depending on the amount of dirt that has accumulated and how often you want to maintain the cleanliness of the boots, you can give the footwear a thorough cleaning once every week or every two weeks. If the boots have been exposed to mud or a great deal of dirt, you can clean them more often.

Q: How can cedar boot trees help clean the inside of my boots?

A: Cedar boot trees work by absorbing the salt, acid, and excess moisture that may have accumulated inside the boots over time. By absorbing these unwanted materials, the boot can remain clean and smelling fresh for a long time.

Q: When should I waterproof my work boots?

A: It is a good idea to work on waterproofing your work boots regularly, such as once a month. This is to ensure How to Clean Your Work Bootsthat the leather material is protected from the serious damage that can be caused by exposure to water and other liquids in the workplace.

Q: Why is drying with heat not suitable for leather work boots?

A: Using dry heat, such as sunlight or a hairdryer, can cause the leather material to crack or warp. To avoid this, allow the boots to air dry naturally away from direct sunlight, or hang them upside down in an open-air area.


Your work boots will serve you for a longer period of time if you take the time and effort to keep them clean. By following the proper procedures for cleaning work boots, you will be able to enjoy their premium benefits for a long time without worrying about premature damage.