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Is it Okay to use Leather Cleaner on Cowboy Boots?

Is it Okay to use Leather Cleaner on Cowboy Boots?

In fact, there are many different instructions on how to clean cowboy boots. Some people recommend saddle soap, others say just water is enough. Well, the bottom line here is that you should clean cowboy boots based on their material.

Each material has a different cleaning method. However, you should know that most cowboy boots are made of 100% leather.

Therefore, once you stick with cowboy boots, you will definitely be attached to leather care accessories. Among them, leather cleaner is one of the most essential accessories for cleaning cowboy boots.

Today, this article will discuss the use of leather conditioners for cowboy boots. Although the answer is that you can use it, there are still a few caveats.

Let’s dive into it!

Key takeaways

  • Using leather cleaner for cowboy boots is extremely necessary for deep cleaning. The leather cleaner will penetrate deeply into the nooks and crannies, especially the pores of the leather to remove all dirt and debris.
  • The leather cleaner can clean leather without damaging or affecting its color or surface. Using a leather cleaner to deep clean cowboy boots is essential.
  • After using the leather cleaner, you should use a leather conditioner to restore the lost waxes and oils of cowboy boots.
  • It is advisable to distinguish cleaners for smooth leather or suede (or nubuck, rough out). Using the wrong type can leave residue, harm the material and not achieve the desired effect.
  • Do not overuse leather cleaners. For cleaning light stains regularly, you should use saddle soap.

Using leather cleaner on cowboy boots: Is it okay?

Leather cleaner, as its name says, is one of the indispensable products for deep cleaning leather. With 100% leather construction, cowboy boots definitely need this product.

Cowboy boots have many small pores which can accumulate dirt and stains. The accumulated dirt will gradually dry and absorb the moisture of the boots, causing cowboy boots to quickly dry out, wrinkle and crack.

drying out cowboy boots left outdoor

In addition, these stains will also make the gorgeous look of the boots fade with time.

When used properly, leather cleaner penetrates deeply and cleans those stains, taking them out of the pores. This prevents cowboy boots from drying out as well as retains their fresh look.

Cowboy boots are made of diverse leather. Some cowboy boots are made from cracked leather with lots of natural grooves. The leather cleaner can remove dirt and stains in it while regular soaps or water cannot.

In addition to that, the leather cleaner is also very effective in removing sweat from the pores of the leather. Therefore, your cowboy boots will get rid of the unpleasant smell of sweat.

This is essential because, with their tall construction, cowboy boots can make you feel hotter than many other boots, especially in the summer. If there is no effective method like using a leather conditioner, you can imagine the scenario.

dirty cowboy boots on dry leaves

Manufacturers will have their secret to producing leather cleaners. However, in general, they all possess some basic elements such as:

  • With neutral PH and no alcohol (or very little), leather cleaners can clean leather cowboy boots very gently and can be applied to many different types of leather without harming them.
  • Leave no color stains: Unlike saddle soap which can darken leather after each wash, leather cleaners usually have a colorless formula. So, you can feel more secure when cleaning boots with bright colors like white.
  • Leather cleaners create foams to pick up stains in the grooves and pores of leather without scratching it or using stiff bristle brushes for cleaning.
  • Do not leave residue: unlike saddle soap which may leave residues if not thoroughly buffed and rinsed with water, leather cleaner is usually in liquid form from the beginning, so it does not leave any residue.

In short, to deep clean cowboy boots, leather cleaner is an effective choice!

Even so, leather cleaner, although a very popular product in the cowboy boots world, still has limitations.

Some things to keep in mind when using leather cleaner for cowboy boots

Leather cleaner is an indispensable choice in the world of cowboy boots. But if you notice, many manufacturers often bundle leather cleaner with a bottle of leather conditioner.

Leather care kit from Tecovas

Leather care kit from Tecovas | Click image for more info on Tecovas

In the process of cleaning cowboy boots, the leather cleaner, water, and brush accidentally sweep away some of the natural waxes and oils of the leather. So, cowboy boots can still dry out and fade in color over time.

To prevent that from happening, you need to moisturize the boots periodically using a leather conditioner or some type of oil like mink oil. These products will nourish the leather and make it supple, soft, durable and retain its original color.

Can I Use Mink Oil on Cowboy Boots

Due to this weakness, you should use saddle soap for regular cleaning instead of leather cleaner.

Saddle soap, though not as clean as a leather cleaner, often contains lanolin and neatsfoot oil. It will ensure that cowboy boots are supple, and soft and retain moisture better.

Bickmore Saddle Soap Plus - 2.8oz - Leather Cleaner & Conditioner with Lanolin - Restorer, Moisturizer, and Protector
  • CLEANS AWAY DIRT, GRIME AND SALT STAINS: Formulated with lanolin and neatsfoot oil for added...
  • KEEPS LEATHER SOFT AND LOOKING GREAT: Bickmore Saddle Soap softens and preserves smooth finished...
  • NOT JUST FOR SADDLES: Use Saddle Soap to clean horse tack, leather boots, leather shoes, and even...

Last update on 2022-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

After cleaning boots with saddle soap, you do not necessarily need to condition boots right away.

Overall, you should only use leather cleaner for deep cleaning, not too often.

leather cleaner and leather conditioner from Tecovas

Leather cleaner and leather conditioner from Tecovas | Click image for more info on Tecovas

Another note is that most leather cleaners on the market are mainly used for smooth leather. Some manufacturers will specify whether a cleaner can be used on suede (or nubuck, rough out).

Using a leather cleaner for smooth leather on suede, nubuck or rough-out leather can leave a residue. Or in the worst case, this causes the hair on the suede surface to break or ruin it forever.

To ensure the best results, you should choose the right suede cleaner. It is usually in the form of a spray. You can use it to directly spray on the suede and use a suede brush to scrub and clean.

Suede care kit from Tecovas

Suede care kit from Tecovas | Click image for more info on Tecovas

Some other small notes for cleaning smooth leather cowboy boots may be different from cleaning some other leather furniture in the house.

To clean the boots, you should not use brushes with very stiff bristles (such as toothbrushes). For cowboy boots, people often use horsehair brushes. This brush is soft and does not tear or scratch the surface of the boots.

3 Pieces Horsehair Shoes Polish Brushes Kit Leather Shoes Boots Care Clean Polish Daubers Applicators
  • Practical brush: horsehair shine shoes brush with wood handle, works fine for cleaning or polishing,...
  • Quality horse hair brush: the main features of the shoe polish brush are soft bristles, anti-static,...
  • Material: the boot care brush consists of soft horse hair and a long wooden handle, efficient care...

Last update on 2022-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can refer to the cleaning steps below:

  • Pre-clean the boots with a brush or warm water.
  • Moisten the horsehair brush, apply the leather cleaner to the horsehair brush and rub it evenly and thoroughly over the surface of the cowboy boot.
  • Rinse the brush with water and then scrub the surface of the boot to remove excess residue.
  • Repeat the process 2 to 3 times for the best results.

Before you leave

In general, leather cleaners are an indispensable product in the world of cowboy boots. They can deep clean cowboy boots, make them last longer, and maintain their beautiful and soft shape.

However, you should not overuse leather cleaners too often because they will wash away the natural waxes and oils on cowboy boots. It will take time to restore the boots with the leather conditioner.

Using leather cleaner for deep cleaning is essential, do it every time cowboy boots are too dirty or haven’t been washed for a long time.

That’s all you need to know!