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How Do I Clean The Stitches On My Cowboy Boots? | Pro Tips you need to know!

How Do I Clean The Stitches On My Cowboy Boots? | Pro Tips you need to know!

Stitches at the welt, stitches on the shaft, stitches on the vamp; cowboy boots are a work of art that is converged and made up of leather and stitches.

Cleaning leather? A brush and leather cleaner are simply all you need!

But cleaning stitches is definitely not easy, especially stitches on exotic cowboy boots.

So how do I clean the stitches on my cowboy boots?

The answer will be revealed now!

How do I clean the stitches on my cowboy boots?

Stitches on cowboy boots not only make up the structure of cowboy boots, but they are also a unique beauty that only cowboy boots have.

Besides, stitches embody the brand that makes cowboy boots, they are like a signature of that brand. When looking at the stitches, you know where those cowboy boots come from.

A woman wears jeans with cowboy boots on the ranch

Stitches on cowboy boots not only get dirty after many days of use, but after you polish your boots, the stitches lose their original color and get the color of the polish, of mud and dirt instead. Which is a pity!

Don’t fret! Here are some ways to clean stitches on cowboy boots!

There are many kinds of stitches including white stitches, multicolored stitches, etc. As you know, there is no method that can apply to all.

Besides, for cowboy boots made from exotic leather, you will have to note a few things.

Method for cleaning white stitches on cowboy boots

White stitches are always the bright color on dark cowboy boots, but we have to accept the fact that they are very easy to get dirty, especially the stitch welts.

We have 2 ways to deal with this problem:

Method 1: Using a white color pencil

This is not my own idea, a friend of mine worked at the airport, and he saw a shoe shiner using a white color pencil during the shoeshine.

The shoe shiner did it very meticulously, he used a white color pencil to paint every single line of stitching on the welt and upper of cowboy boots, thereby turning them bright white like new.

cowboy boots and white pencil

This method is completely reliable and effective! A minus point is that it will take you an hour to turn all the stitches white lol!

Method 2: Combine a small brush with soap

Another way to clean stitches on cowboy boots is to use a brush with soap.

If you clean the stitches on the welt, then you can use soap with a toothbrush to do that.

soap and toothbrush

But if you clean the stitches on the shaft and vamp then you should use a small horsehair brush with soap to avoid scratching the leather.

ProTip: we often use painter’s tape to cover the leather around the stitches, then use a brush and soap to clean the stitches.

Remember, don’t let soap come in contact with exotic leather (believe me, it’s no good at all), you can rely on this ProTip!

Exotic leather should only contact specialized products such as leather conditioners and leather cleaners. Not laundry soap.

The last thing you need to do is apply the cleaner on the stitches and use a brush to clean, that’s it!

Method 3: Use a bleach pen

Another method that many people do is to use a bleach pen to clean the stitches of cowboy boots.

However, with this method, it’s almost imperative to use painter’s tape to wrap the leather around the stitches. Because bleach liquid can discolor the leather.

You can combine the bleach pen, and soap with a toothbrush for the best results.

First, use soap with a toothbrush to pre-clean the stitches, then use a dry rag to dry and clean the stitches.

Next, cover the entire stitches with bleach liquid, then wait for 5 minutes.

After 5 or 10 minutes, use a combination of soap and a toothbrush to remove all bleach liquid.

Finally, use a rag to dry and remove any residue left on the stitches and then remove the painter’s tape.

After this process, white stitches will definitely come back to life with a new look!

Method for cleaning colored stitches on cowboy boots

cowboy boots with colored floral stitching

Unlike white stitches, you should note a few things when handling colored stitches:

You can also use some methods such as using a small brush combined with soap to clean the stitches of cowboy boots.

Besides, remember to apply our ProTips!

Note that do not use a bleach pen to clean colored stitches, they can cause the color of stitches to fade.

Many people like to use wax pencils with many different colors to restore the color of stitches on cowboy boots. And this is also quite effective.

Using a wax pencil and painting each stitch with your creativity doesn’t sound bad, right?

How do you protect white stitches on cowboy boots?

In fact, there’s almost no way to protect white stitches when you’re wearing cowboy boots.

You can keep cowboy boots dry and store them in a dry and well-ventilated area to protect the white stitches of the boots from darkening.

Or limit the use of cowboy boots with white stitches in muddy places.

Don’t try to cover them up, as they are the beauty of cowboy boots. All you can do is learn how to clean them thoroughly and chase away all the dirt. That’s all!

Women wear cowboy boots with white skinny jeans

On the other hand, you will encounter many obstacles for sure when polishing multi-stitched cowboy boots.

And we have a way to make it easier as shown below!

Method to protect white stitches when polishing cowboy boots

The best way is to use painter’s tape to cover all the stitches on cowboy boots, from welt, vamp to shaft.

painter's tape

Then feel free to polish your cowboy boots!

Of course, you can still get stuck, but trust me, it’s less of a hassle than re-stitch the stitches one by one!

Here are some options for you: protect stitches with painter’s tape, or know how to clean and restore stitches.

There is an option that is to do nothing, and many people choose this way!


Overall, you will have 4 choices:

Learn how to clean stitches on cowboy boots with a brush, soap or bleach pen. Combine with using painter’s tape to hide leather around stitches to protect the leather.

Or you could regain the color of stitches on cowboy boots by using a white color pencil or a colorful wax pencil.

You won’t be able to protect stitches when wearing cowboy boots and going out on the street. This is really unnecessary as stitches are the beauty of cowboy boots, feel free to show them off!

But you can protect stitches by using painter’s tape to cover them up when polishing cowboy boots.

Or you can choose to do nothing, trust me, many people don’t care about stitches. Let it be!

Good luck!