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How to Clean Muddy Cowboy Boots? | Step by Step Instructions

Cowboy boots are born to serve the needs of cowboys and farmers on the farm. They need sturdy, affordable boots that give their feet the best protection.

To this day, you will still easily find cowboy boots in the fields of America. They can fight through mud, rain or hot sun.

Because of working on the muddy and sunny farms in the West, cowboy boots need to be cleaned regularly to keep the outside fresh and lasting for years.

And mud is one of the most annoying foes for your cowboy boots, which is very common during the rainy season.

Today we will learn about how to clean muddy cowboy boots. This is a huge headache for cowboys!

Let’s check it out!

Cowboy Boots 1

How to clean muddy cowboy boots?

You need to prepare the five important things:

A soft cloth, brush, spray bottle (warm water), saddle soap (leather cleaner), conditioner.

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Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Some notes when cleaning mud from cowboy boots made from leather:

  • You should use specialized brushes to clean cowboy boots. Many of us use a toothbrush to clean cowboy boots, which is fine. But sometimes the bristles of the toothbrush are too hard, which in the long run will reduce the life of the boots. The boots will lose their colors quickly and are no longer new.
  • If your boots have laces (most cowboy boots do not have laces), remove the shoelaces and put them in the washing machine to wash them separately.
  • Besides, there are many different ways to clean waterproof & non-waterproof cowboy boots.

Okay, that’s enough, let’s get started!

How to clean mud off NON-WATERPROOF leather cowboy boots?

Normally, the best way to keep the original color of your cowboy boots for long and extend their life is cleaning the boots right after they get dirty, mud or rainwater, etc.

However, in reality, not all of us have enough time to clean cowboy boots right after using them, so we will divide into 2 cases: wet mud and dry mud.

How to clean non-waterproof leather cowboy boots with sticky WET MUD?

Step 1: Use a spray bottle to spray warm water on the mud stain on leather cowboy boots

Step 2: Moisten the soft cloth with warm water and use it to wipe off the mud

Step 3: Wipe thoroughly in the goodyear welt and seams areas, clean every seam carefully. Those are parts of cowboy boots that are most susceptible to mud.

Do not rub too hard, if the stain is stubborn, use a brush to remove the mud. Besides, use a spray bottle to spray warm water on the mud stuck on cowboy boots.

Step 4: At this point, your cowboy boots could relatively escape from stubborn mud. Now use a brush and a saddle soap to clean leather cowboy boots. Saddle soap will help remove all the dirt caused by the mud on the boots.

How to use a saddle soap: Moisten the brush with warm water (normal water is okay) then apply the saddle soap into the brush, then rub the brush on the surface of the cowboy boots.

Similar to step 3, scrub in the goodyear welt and in the areas with many stitches.

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 5: Use a dry cloth to wipe off the saddle soap left on the leather cowboy boots, carefully wipe the nooks and crannies on the boots, making sure the boots are dry after cleaning.

Bonus: After you’ve cleaned your cowboy boots and kept them dry, don’t forget to use an extra conditioner to protect them completely from stains. Also, some types of conditioners can keep cowboy boots waterproof (mink oil).

Here are instructions on how to use the leather conditioner: The 5 Best Cowboy Boot Conditioners

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Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Besides, remember to polish your cowboy boots so they are always shiny and fresh.

If you still do not know how to polish leather cowboy boots properly and what is the best product to polish leather boots, then this is a gift for you: How to Polish Cowboy Boots with Stitching

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Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to clean non-waterproof leather cowboy boots with sticky DRY MUD?

Step 1: Do not rush to wet your cowboy boots, use a soft cloth or specialized brush to sweep the dirt, dry mud on the boots as much as possible.

Step 2: Once the dry mud has been defeated, use a spray bottle to spray warm water on the cowboy boots and use a soft cloth to wipe every corner thoroughly.

Step 3: Use a combination of a special brush and leather cleaner to remove stubborn dirt and mud

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Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 4: Dry boots after completing the above process.

Step 5: Apply conditioner on your cowboy boots to make the boots soft and restore original color and help your cowboy boots against water, dirt and mud.

Bonus: After the conditioner is dry, polish your cowboy boots to make them bright and fresh again. That way keeps you boots durable and beautiful.

Read more: Can I make my leather boots waterproof?

How to clean mud off WATERPROOF leather cowboy boots?

For some waterproof cowboy boots (workhog boots, western work boots, rambler …), cleaning these boots is very easy

Because of the characteristics of waterproof cowboy boots that are constantly exposed to mud and dirt, manufacturers have sprayed a chemical layer against dirt, mud and water outside the leather of these cowboy boots

Step 1: Put on your waterproof cowboy boots

Step 2: Use a spray bottle, spray directly on the stubborn dirt and mud. You can apply this method whether it is dry mud or wet mud

Step 3: Use a soft cloth to wipe away the stains in the narrow trenches of cowboy boots

Step 4: Use a special brush and leather cleaner to clean the boots

Step 5: Dry your boots. Even if the boots are waterproof, you still need to use a dry towel to wipe them

After the boots are dry, use a conditioner to maintain the boots well so that they are durable enough to withstand the environment and soft enough to cuddle your feet.

Usually, these boots are for outdoor work and heavy work, so there’s no need to polish them, but if you like, just do it.

Read more: How To Care For Ariat Workhog Boots

How to clean mud off the sole of cowboy boots

To clean the outsole of cowboy boots, you don’t need to be as careful as cleaning the other parts made of leather.

The outsole of cowboy boots is usually very solid, hard and durable. Besides, the outsole is also made from many different materials such as leather, rubber, synthetic …

Do not use the above brushes to clean the outsole of the boots. Instead, use old or discarded brushes in your home.

Combine those brushes with water to clean the outsole of the boots. Spray the water directly onto the outsole and scrub thoroughly to make sure that the mud has been washed away by the water and the brush.

Or you can also use specialized tools to clean the outsole if you are a person who often has to wear cowboy boots and do outdoor work.

Below is a very interesting tool for cleaning the sole of cowboy boots I just found on Amazon. Actually, I also saw this product for the first time when writing this article.

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Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are already thousands of people using this product, so maybe you should consider using it if you need boots for working outdoors.

How to clean red mud, clay mud off leather cowboy boots?

Unlike normal mud, red mud or clay mud is a nightmare for cowboy boots.

Red mud and clay mud can stick very tightly and leave traces of them on the boots for a long time, which will seriously affect your cowboy boots.

The best way to handle when your boot gets caught in this mud is to clean your leather cowboy boot when the mud just sticks.

Red mud and clay mud often stick to large patches into the boots, so try to remove them as much as you can with your hands.

Then use the methods above to handle. It may take more time and more leather cleaner.

Some notes when cleaning cowboy boots:

  • Use leather cleaner when cowboy boots have been dried to a certain extent
  • Limit the use of non-specialized leather products to clean cowboy boots
  • The above methods are only used for leather cowboy boots. Don’t apply it to suede cowboy boots!
  • After cleaning your cowboy boots, make sure you dry the boots completely. Do not clean cowboy boots too often, too much contact with water will make the leather less durable.

Some tips for cleaning cowboy boots:

  • While waiting for the conditioner to penetrate into the leather, you can use a hair dryer to dry around to speed up the process
  • Using boot shaper to flatten leather will make it easier to clean
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Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQ: How to clean leather boots with vinegar

We have written many articles about hygiene as well as cowboy boots care, and in those articles we recommend that you use specialized products for leather or suede.

However, in reality, you might not buy specialized leather care products for some reasons. If so, you can search for some other methods to clean cowboy boots at home, but do not overdo it.

Step 1: Dilute vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio

Step 2: Spray warm water on the leather boots and use a soft cloth to thoroughly wipe on the leather boots, especially Goodyear welt and stitches.

Step 3: Use a soft cloth to soak into the vinegar-water solution, then continue to rub until the remaining stubborn dirt and mud is gone.

Step 4: Dry the boots and use the conditioner to protect, maintain the leather boots and also increase the lifespan of your boots.

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Last update on 2021-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 5: Polish leather boots to keep their color intact and lasting.

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Last update on 2021-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In general, the method of using vinegar is not too different from the above methods that we have instructed. The only difference is that you use a vinegar-water solution instead of saddle soap or leather cleaner.

Before you leave

Above are all the best and easiest methods to clean cowboy boots from mud, hopefully you will succeed when applied.

In general, leather cowboy boots are very durable and sturdy, if they are maintained properly, you can use them for more than 10 years.

And remember that after successful cleaning, don’t forget to write thank you to us!

Good luck!


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