How to Clean Cowboy Boots With Household Items – 3 Best Ways

Do you love to show off your cowboy boots but struggle to keep them spotless and shiny? Learn How to Clean Cowboy Boots like a pro below!

How to Clean Cowboy Boots 1
shutterstock/Sergii Gnatiuk

Has your favorite pair of cowboy boots lost their luster? Are they covered in grime from countless rodeos and dancehalls? Worry not! Read this article on How to Clean Cowboy Boots to bring back their former glory days easily.

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How to Clean Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boots are a timeless fashion staple that never goes out of style. But with time, they become dirty and scuffed, losing their luster. However, with a few cleaning hacks, you can bring back their old glory days. The below methods are ideal for all types of cowboy boots.

1. White Vinegar

How to Clean Cowboy Boots 2

White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning agent. It removes dirt, grime, and stains, thereby leaving your boots shiny and clean. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water in a bowl and dip a clean cloth into this mix. After that, wring out the excess liquid and gently wipe down the boots. Once it’s done, clean the boots with a damp cloth.

2. Remove Stubborn Stains with Dish Soap

How to Clean Cowboy Boots 3
shutterstock/Logan Bush

To remove stubborn stains from cowboy boots, use dish soap and warm water. Begin this cleaning hack by combining 5-10 drops of Dawn dish soap and a cup of tepid water in a bowl. Next, saturate a clean rag into the solution and gently scrub the stained area. Rinse with water and let the boots air dry.

3. Toothpaste

How to Clean Cowboy Boots 4
shutterstock/Tasha Cherkasova

Toothpaste is a cheap and cost-effective cleaning hack to remove scuff marks and stains from cowboy boots. For this method, choose a non-gel version. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto a damp cloth and rub it gently on the boots in a circular motion. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes. After that, use a wet cloth to wipe off the toothpaste, and then dry the boots with a clean cloth. Make sure to use this hack on leather cowboy boots and not on suede or other delicate materials.


  • Before cleaning your cowboy boots, use a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the surface of the boots.
  • This will prevent any dirt from getting deeper into the leather while cleaning.
  • After using any of the above cleaning hacks, make sure to dry your cowboy boots properly.

How to Condition Cowboy Boots?

After cleaning your cowboy boots, condition them to maintain their shine, softness, and durability. While there are many commercial conditioners available in the market, you can make your own using natural ingredients. Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts linseed oil in a bowl. Apply this mix all over the boots with a soft rag. Wait for 10-15 minutes, and then buff them with a clean cloth.

Note- This conditioner recipe is ideal for leather and suede boots.

How to Store Cowboy Boots?

How to Store Boots?
shutterstock/Wirestock Creators

Proper storage of cowboy boots is crucial to keep them in good condition and extend their lifespan. Here are some tips on how to store cowboy boots:

  • Before stowing the boots, remove dirt and debris with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Ensure your cowboy boots are completely dry before their storage.
  • Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can damage the leather.
  • To maintain the shape of your cowboy boots, insert boot trees or stuff them with clean, dry rags or newspaper.

How to Clean Cowboy Boots: Precautions to Consider

Cleaning boots with household items is a cost-effective solution, but there are certain precautions you should take to avoid damaging the material or causing unintentional discoloration.

  • Test a Small Area First: Before cleaning the entire boot, test your cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first. This is to ensure that the solution doesn’t cause discoloration or other adverse effects.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Household cleaners with harsh chemicals can strip the color and damage the material of your cowboy boots. That’s why use gentle ingredients like mild soap or vinegar.
  • Don’t Soak the Boots: Do not fully immerse your boots in water, as this can warp their shape and cause the leather to crack as it dries.
  • Don’t Rush the Process: Hastily cleaning your boots can lead to mistakes, such as applying too much pressure when scrubbing, which can damage the material. It’s always best to take your time during the cleaning process.
  • Use Soft Brushes or Cloths: Especially when dealing with delicate materials like suede or soft leather, using a stiff brush can cause damage. Instead, opt for a soft brush, cloth, or sponge.
  • Avoid Bleach: Bleach is a common household item, but it can be very damaging to leather boots. Thus avoid bleach at all costs.
  • Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: If your cowboy boots come with specific cleaning instructions, always follow those. Manufacturers know the best methods for maintaining their products.

Remember, even when using household items, always use the right techniques for the type of boot you’re cleaning. When in doubt, check with a professional shoe cleaner or the boot manufacturer’s care instructions.

How to Clean Cowboy Boots: Conclusion

With everyday items like white vinegar, dish soap, and toothpaste, you can restore the shine of your beloved cowboy boots. Just remember to be gentle, avoid soaking the boots, and test your cleaning solution on a small area first. Once cleaned, condition your boots to maintain their luster, and remember, proper storage is crucial.

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