As winter winds down, it’s just about time to store your favorite winter boots. From shearling to leather to faux fur, we’re breaking down how to clean your boots up before stuffing them back in your closet. After all, when you pull them out again next year you’ll want them to be spick and span and ready to wear!
1. Leather boots
Kiss those pesky salt stains goodbye! Just brush your leather boots with a shoe brush, put body soap and water on a towel and clean the leather gently. Then, create an equal parts mixture of vinegar and water to spray on the boots, wiping them down with a wet rag. To renew the moisture taken out of the leather by the vinegar, lightly spread your favorite hair conditioner over the leather. Lastly, make sure your boots are protected in the future by applying a waterproof spray.
2. Suede boots
If you own anything suede, you know what a sensitive material it is, so approach this project with caution. Begin by lightly brushing any dirt or dust off the surface with a suede brush. Then, swipe away any scuff marks by brushing vigorously. Fun trick: use an eraser or nail file for any marks that just don’t want to budge. Again, it is best to spray a layer of suede protector over them to prevent any more stains.
3. Shearling boots
For collegiettes, Uggs are a necessity! But they don’t exactly hold up that well in rough winter weather. To clean them, moisten the outside of the boots slightly with cold water. Dilute a leather cleaner to create a one part water, one part cleaner solution. Put the solution on a wet sponge and gently clean the outer surface of the boots. Gently rinse the area with a sponge dipped in cold water. To maintain the structure of your boots, fill them with paper towels and keep them out of the sunlight or heat. Use a suede brush to restore the texture once the shearling is dry. Finally, use a mixture of 2 tsp. baking soda and 2 tsp. corn flour to make the inside of your boots smell fresh and feel soft again. Let the mixture stand in the boots overnight and shake the rest out the next day.
4. Faux boots
Most faux boots can be cleaned in the same way as the materials they imitate, but what about faux fur? Surprisingly, you can use cornmeal to absorb the gunk that has collected in the fur. Fill a plastic bag with one to two cups of cornmeal, put your boots in fur-side down, and shake it all up. Let the boots sit for a few hours before wiping the excess cornmeal off with a dry cloth. If needed, brush through and fluff the fur after.
5. Fabric boots
Your canvas boots need the laces and inserts removed before you can clean them. Rinse them inside and out with warm water. Then, create a paste with warm water and baking soda. Put the paste on a toothbrush to tackle any problem areas. Afterwards, rinse them again with warm water and fill them with paper towels just as you did the shearling boots. Leave them to dry.
6. Rain boots
We know you won’t exactly be storing your year-round wellies, but it’s a good idea to wipe them clean of salt stains before April showers start popping up. First, clean with a damp, soapy rag. Pour a small amount of olive oil onto a dry rag and rub all over the surface of the boots until they shine again. Then, you can wipe off the additional oil and let them dry. Voilà!
Do you know any other tricks for cleaning your winter boots, collegiettes?