Women’s Boots: Cleaning & Care

Women’s Boots: Cleaning & Care

Boots should be an investment, but they will be a poor one if you don’t take care of them. Our guide will show you how you can extend the lifespan of your boots by cleaning, storing and caring for them properly.

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How to Clean Women’s Boots

Wondering what to clean boots with and how to clean them? Unfortunately there is no one “best” way to clean boots. Leather boots need different care from suede boots, both of which require different care from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Using the right products and technique is essential if you want to clean your boots without ruining them, and keep them looking as good as possible, for as long as possible.

How to Clean Women’s Leather Boots

If you just need to remove a little dirt from your leather boots a wipe with a damp rag should do the trick. If you need a bit more manpower, you can clean boots with saddle soap – a type of soap made specifically for cleaning and protecting leather (and arguably the best leather cleaner for boots).

How to clean leather boots with saddle soap

Using saddle soap to clean boots is really simple. Just rub a wet cloth into the soap until a lather forms. Then, rub the soap into the boot, wait a few minutes, and wipe off with a damp, clean cloth.

How to clean leather boots without saddle soap

If you don’t have any saddle soap to hand and a wipe with a damp cloth isn’t getting the job done you can use another mild soap, like castile soap, in its place.

Removing scuffs from leather boots

Removing scuffs from leather boots is easier than you might think, and requires no specialist tools. Simply dampen the corner of a soft cloth, dip it into some baking soda, and gently rub the scuffs until they disappear.

How to protect leather boots from future damage

Leather boots need waterproofing – when you first purchase them and at regular intervals after that (every six months should do it). Use a waterproofing product that’s made specifically for the type of leather your boots are crafted from.

How to Clean Women’s Suede Boots

Suede and leather might share the same origins but try and clean suede boots using the same techniques you use to clean leather boots and you will damage, or even ruin them.

Removing stains from suede boots

The most important thing to remember when cleaning suede boots is to do it quickly. The longer you leave a stain, the greater the chance it will set permanently.

To clean suede boots (without cleaner) you will need:

  • A shoe brush.
  • A soft cloth (even an old t-shirt will do).
  • A solution of two parts water and one part vinegar.

Then you just need to:

  1. Brush the stains(s) in both directions.
  2. Dampen the cloth with a small amount of the solution (the cloth should be damp, not wet).
  3. Gently wipe the boot.
  4. Ensure your boots are fully dry before storing or wearing.
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How to Polish Women’s Boots

If you want to keep your leather boots looking their best you need to do more than clean and waterproof them regularly – they also need to be polished. Thankfully, polishing leather boots is really, really simple.

You will need:

  1. A soft cloth (again, an old t-shirt will do).
  2. Shoe polish (that matches the colour of your boots).
  3. A shoe brush

Then you just need to:

  1. Remove any dirt with the brush or cloth. Wait for the boots to dry before moving onto step two.
  2. Apply a little polish to your boot using the cloth, taking care not to get polish on any other surfaces (it won’t come out easily!)
  3. Rub in small circles, using just a little polish each time.
  4. Remove any excess polish using your shoe brush.
  5. Use your cloth to buff the boot until it shines.
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How to Store Women’s Boots

Are you someone that gets in the door, takes off their boots, and leaves them in a pile in the hallway? If so, you wouldn’t be alone – proper storage is an often overlooked element of boot care, despite being a very important one.

The best way to store women’s boots is in a purpose built cupboard or rack, so the footwear can stand upright, with space between each pair.

How to store tall boots

Most tall boots will not stay upright without assistance. The result is that the fabric falls to the side, eventually causing permanent creases to appear in the sides of the boots.

To remedy this you could invest in purpose-made boot shapers, but this really isn’t necessary. Magazines, wrapping paper rolls, pool noodles and even wine bottles all serve the same purpose (just be careful not to use that last one over a hard floor, just in case the boot falls and the bottle breaks).

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Other Boot Care Queries

Boots won’t last forever - however good a job you do taking care of them. Thankfully even if your boots are showing visible signs of deterioration you might not have to throw them away just yet. You may be able to repair the damage, and give your boots a new lease of life.

While visiting a cobbler is generally your safest bet for repairing boots, depending on the severity of the damage you may be able to DIY it.

Let’s talk about how to repair women’s boots (DIY style).

Repairing a hole in the sole of your boot

A small hole in the sole of your boot is easily fixed using a product like Shoe Goo (a type of glue made specifically for shoes and boots).

  1. Get rid of any extra material near the hole that is not part of your boot’s outsole.
  2. Clean and dry the outsole.
  3. Use sandpaper to roughen the edges around the hole. This will help the glue cement to the boot.
  4. Remove the boot’s insole.
  5. Apply duct tape to the inside of the boot, taking care to cover the entirety of the hole.
  6. Fill the hole using the shoe goo.
  7. Spread and flatten the glue with an ice cube (the glue won’t stick to the ice cube).
  8. Wait 24 hours while the glue dries.
  9. Once the glue is dry, remove the duct tape and replace the insole.
  10. Use the sandpaper to ensure the glue is entirely smooth and flat.

How to reattach your boot sole

If the sole is coming away from your boots you’ll probably be tempted to resign them to the bin, but don’t - you might be able to repair them.

Again, you will need Shoe Goo (or a similar product).

  1. Clean all surfaces that are going to be glued together and wait for it to dry fully.
  2. Apply the glue to all areas that you want to bond together.
  3. Gently push the sole and boot together, taking care over how they’re aligned.
  4. Wipe any excess product away.
  5. Help the boot and sole bond by wrapping in duct tape, and leave for 24 hours.

How to stretch women’s boots

So you’ve found a pair of boots you love and they’re even in budget! There’s just one problem… they’re the only pair left and they’re too tight.

But maybe you can stretch them, right? As a general rule – yes. However, while leather and suede boots have a lot of give, boots made from synthetic materials are much less flexible.

How much can leather boots be stretched? Leather and suede boots can, as a general rule, be stretched by approximately 1cm (just over one UK shoe size) or in some cases, more. Exactly how much they can be stretched however will depend on the construction of the boots.

Boots made from synthetic materials will have only a few mm give, so don’t buy a size down expecting to stretch them to size – it won’t happen. Only buy boots of this type if they’re the correct size and just a little too tight.

So how do you actually stretch boots? Arguably the quickest and easiest solution is to take them to a cobbler. However bear in mind that you will have little control over how much the boots are stretched.

If you don’t want to do this, another easy (if more uncomfortable) solution is to wear them in. Slip on your thickest pair of socks (or two or three pairs of thinner socks) and wear your boots around the house and for short trips outside. This method’s ideal because it’s impossible for the boots to stretch more than necessary.

Alternatively try stuffing the boots with items like socks or rolled up balls of newspaper. This won’t be as effective as wearing the boots in, but it will be a whole lot less painful!

BONUS TIP: Some guides will suggest you stretch your boots using water – usually by filling something with water (or ice) and placing it inside the boots. DON’T do this – especially with leather or suede boots. If that “something” bursts, your boots will be ruined.

Why boots squeak (and how to stop it)

Squeaky boots and shoes can be embarrassing, but you don’t have to live with it (or throw your new boots away).

Your boots are squeaking because sections of the boot are rubbing against each other. Thankfully there’s usually a very easy fix, and you only need one tool:

  • Talcum powder (cornstarch or baking powder work too).

To stop your boots squeaking, lift up the inner sole and sprinkle the powder underneath.

If this isn’t possible (because the sole can’t be removed) sprinkle the powder around the edges of the inner sole. You may find it easier to apply the powder to your finger and rub it around the inner sole.

Looking for a new pair of boots? View our women’s boots or go straight to our women’s ankle boots, wedge boots or snow boots.

Time to Put Your Cleaning Know How to the Test!

Cleaning your boots will be super easy from now on, now which women's boots will you be choosing?

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