How To Care For Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boots can last for years with the right care and treatment!  Let’s talk about how to care for your cowboy boots so that you can enjoy them for decades.

To properly care for your cowboy boots you need to keep them clean by regularly removing dust and dirt. Condition and polish to keep them in a good state. Maintain the shape of the boots by placing them in a boot tree. These processes are essential in preserving the boots and avoiding boot crack.

When you are taking care of your boots, you are not only keeping them clean. You are also preserving an investment that could last for many years. Whether you are a veteran or not, these steps are easy to follow and will surely help you take care of your cowboy boots.

How to Clean Cowboy Boots Inside

Cleaning the inside of the cowboy boots is often taken for granted. However, it plays a vital role in preserving them. The interior of the boot is where your feet have direct contact. That is why it is essential to be cleaned for sanitation.

To begin with, you will need a vacuum, a soft bristle brush, fabric cleaner, water spray bottle, and a clean rag. After gathering all the required materials, you can now follow the guide below.

Step 1: Dry-Clean Your Cowboy Boots

Clean the inside of the boots using a soft bristle brush of a clean rag. To make sure that it is well cleaned, vacuum it to get dust and remaining dirt.

Step 2: Damp Sponge Your Cowboy Boots

Get a clean rag, dampen the rag with alcohol and water. Ensure that it's not dripping to avoid damage because water causes the leather to stretch a little bit. You also spray a little bit of water in the short bristle brush to scrub the inside of the boots.

Step 3: Clean The Inside of Your Cowboy Boots

Grab another clean rag to wipe the inside of the boots.  Make sure that it is well cleaned.

Step 4: Use A Boot-tree

Put your cowboy boots on the boot trees and let them dry overnight. Boot trees will absorb the moisture inside the boots. You can also use a boot drier to absorb the moisture.

How to Clean Cowboy Boots Outside

Boot care is needed to maintain the maximum performance and the use of your cowboy boots. Boot care helps to maintain and preserve the boot quality. Below is the step-by-step guide in cleaning the outside of your boots.

Step 1: Gather the Materials for Cleaning

Gather all the materials like a clean rag, soft bristle brush, leather conditioner, and leather polish.

Lexol Conditioner Cleaner Kit, Use on Car Leather, Furniture, Shoes, Bags, and Accessories, Quick & Easy Step Regimen, 8 oz Bottles, Includes Two Application Sponges

The Lexol Conditioner Cleaner Kit includes a couple of cleaning sponges, a leather cleaner and leather conditioner. Check availability here.

Chemical Guys HOL303 Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Care Kit

Another option is the Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioning kit, This kit includes a cleaner, conditioner, leather detailer, 3 towels, 2 sponges and a horse hair brush. Not only can you use this kit to clean your cowboy boots, but you can use it for any leather items you have... Leather sofa, leather car seats.

Step 2: Use a Dampened Rag to Clean the Cowboy Boots

Clean the outer part of the boots using a dampened rag. Make a soft swipe to clean the mud and dirt. To get rid of the stubborn dirt or mud, you can brush it off using an old toothbrush.

Step 3: Dry your Cowboy Boots

Dry your boots using a white rag.  Remember not to use heat when drying your boots because the leather will crack.

Step 4: Condition the Cowboy Boots

Dab a dry rag on the leather conditioner and start conditioning the boots. The best and recommended product to condition the boots is saddle soap. This soap is suitable for cleaning, conditioning, and as well as protecting the leather from damage.

Another leather conditioner is the mink oil. This conditioner came from increases the water-resistance of the boots while giving them a dark and more decadent color.

You can start at the bottom of the boots by conditioning them in a circular motion. Make sure that the leather well absorbs the conditioner. If there is a need to add more conditioner, then you may add more.  Make sure that after conditioning the boots, it will have a moisturized look.

Step 5: Polish the Cowboy Boots

The last part is polishing. Apply the leather polish by starting at the bottom. Start by polishing it in a circular motion. Make sure that the leather absorbed the polish.

If you don't already have polish for your cowboy boots... Stone and Clark offers a Shoe Shine kit, pictured below. Note, this kit includes black, brown and neutral polish. If your boot color isn't black or brown, then the neutral polish can provide you protection without changing your boot color. (Click here to check availability & pricing)

Stone & Clark 12PC Shoe Polish & Care Kit, Leather Shoe Shine Kit with Brown Wax, Shoe Brushes for Polishing, Compact Shoe Cleaning Kit with Horse Hair Brushes & PU

How to Clean Leather Cowboy Boots?

Boot care is essential, just like skincare. It would help if you cleaned it to remove the dirt and moisturize it.  There are only three easy steps for proper boot care. These are cleaning, conditioning and polishing.


Cleaning your boots is necessary to prevent dirt and dust from making your boots dry and dirty. Dirt and dust may dry out the microscopic fibers that make the boots durable. Make sure to clean it well to avoid it from cutting away the leather.

Use a damp cloth to clean off the dirt, dust, or mud. If there are stubborn spots, you can use saddle soap.


Conditioning the leather is also essential to make it soft and flexible. Make sure to condition your boots when it is dry and clean. You can use lanolin oil f you want to maintain the color of your boots. However, if you're going to use an oil-based conditioner, it will slowly darken the color of your boots. An oil-based conditioner is only advisable to be used for dark color boots.

You can put a conditioner in your boots. Use a soft cloth, lather, and gently apply it. Make sure to apply conditioner to the entire boots.


Polishing the boots will rejuvenate its leather while giving it a natural finish. Polishing will cover the scratches while giving it a glossy finish. Remember that polishing is optional, but it is best if you can do that with your cowboy boots.

Apply a leather polish to the entire boots. Remember not to apply colored polish to snakeskin boots; it will react to the chemical turning the skin green.

How to Clean Suede Cowboy Boots?

Seude cowboy boots are different from leather cowboy boots. Aside from their differences in texture, the cleaning process is also different. The difference between sued boots is that you do not need water to clean them. When you clean it with water, it will change its color darker, making it look stained.

This Suede cleaning kit (available on Amazon), includes everything you need to clean you suede boots (and shoes). Check current price here.

To clean a speck of lighter dirt on the suede cowboy boots, you need to brush it lightly to remove the dirt. For heavier dirt, you need to wet a clean rag with vinegar. Dampen it in a circular motion and let it try. Once dry, brush it slowly using a soft brush to remove the loosened dirt.

For a step-by-step guide in cleaning sued cowboy boots, you can follow the guide below.

Step 1: Brush Affected Area

Slowly and lightly brush the areas with stains and make sure to brush in one direction only.

Step 2: Stain Eraser

You can also use a stain eraser. Removing the dirt will not be done in a snap; it might take minutes, so patience is essential.  Rub the eraser to the stained part,

Step 3: Rubbing Alcohol For Heavy Stained Areas

You can use vinegar or rubbing alcohol to remove heavy dirt.  Pour some vinegar or rubbing alcohol into the heavily stained part of the shoes.  Rub it and let it dry after that, brush it to remove the remaining dirt.

Step 4: Use Protectant

You can also use a razor to restore the texture of your suede. After that, brush it off to brush the string away. You can also use suede protectant spray to keep it clean and easier to clean in the future.


When you take care of your cowboy boots, you are not only keeping them clean; you are also preserving them. There are factors to consider before cleaning them. It is best to have the proper knowledge on how to care for your boots to avoid damage.

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