Skip to Content
From The Guest Room is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

What Are The Best Cleaners For Cowboy Boots? For Regular and Deep Clean

What Are The Best Cleaners For Cowboy Boots? For Regular and Deep Clean

Cleaners are indispensable products in the world of cowboy boots as they keep cowboy boots clean and durable, smell good, and maintain their original state for a long time.

Using a cleaner periodically and at the right time helps remove mud, soil, and stains, while preventing the risk of harmful fungus, mold or rot on the boots.

However, there is one thing that you need to remember, regular cleaners are different from deep cleaner types. Using the deep cleaner too often can affect the color and moisture of the boots.

Therefore, although cleaner is indispensable, there are still a few notes to check out below.

In the world of cowboy boots, which is the best cleaner? Which is chosen by cowboys the most? And how to use it properly?

This article will give you the most comprehensive answer.

Key takeaways

  • Saddle soap is recommended for regular cleaning because it can clean, moisturize and maintain leather cowboy boots (its properties contain neatsfoot oil, beeswax or lanolin).
  • Leather cleaner is rated as having a stronger cleaning ability and is suitable for periodic deep cleaning. However, it will often strip away the natural oils and waxes of the boots, so you should use a leather conditioner to fix this situation.
  • Using saddle soap to regularly clean light stains and a leather cleaner to deep clean periodically will be the best way to fully protect your cowboy boots against mud, soil, dirt, etc.

What are the Best Cleaners for Cowboy Boots?

As mentioned, in practice, you should distinguish between regular and deep cleaning. The cleaner for regular use will be different than deep cleaning.

In the world of cowboy boots, there are two most popular types of cleaners used by many people: saddle soap and leather cleaner.

Best cleaner for regularly cleaning cowboy boots: Saddle soap

The saddle soap includes mild and safe properties for leather. It also contains some oils and waxes to moisturize, restore, and nourish the leather such as neatsfoot oil, beeswax, and even lanolin.

saddle soap and horsehair brush

Therefore, saddle soap is a good choice for regular cleaning. It is not too heavy, just enough to clean light and new stains.

At the same time, it can still maintain your boot quality such as moisturizing to ensure cowboy boots are soft, not dry, and cracked.

cowboy boots have adaquate moisture due to being conditioned regularly

The use of saddle soap is also very simple. You can follow these steps:

  • Use warm water to moisten the horsehair brush (or towel), and pre-clean cowboy boots, making sure that the mud and sticky soil come off.
  • Add a little warm water to the saddle soap to dissolve it a little, then dip a horsehair brush in it, take some and rub it on the surface of cowboy boots.
  • Thoroughly scrub the nooks and crannies of cowboy boots. Then clean the brush with warm water, and use that brush to clean the remaining residue.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times for the best results.
  • Finally, you should use a clean and dry cloth to dry your boots. Rub it thoroughly on their surface.


Most saddle soap cannot be used for suede, nubuck or rough-out leather, or napped leather. It may result in their surface being flattened because saddle soap breaks the hairs.

Besides, saddle soap can also make cowboy boots darken (because they have oil and wax). So if you use light-colored cowboy boots and don’t want that to happen, try a small amount of saddle soap before applying it to the boots or ask the manufacturer before buying.

Best cleaner for deep clean cowboy boots: Leather cleaner

The reason leather cleaners are suitable for deep clean cowboy boots is that they have a stronger effect than saddle soap. Their cleaning ability is better.

Therefore, for long-standing or stubborn stains, using a leather cleaner is a great solution, and it usually does not darken leather. Above all, it is advisable to clean cowboy boots periodically with a leather cleaner.

A bag of Tecovas leather cleaner and leather conditioner with a cloth

Leather Cleaner and Conditioner | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

Although a must-have and safe product, the leather cleaner should not be overused. In the cleaner, there are usually no oils and waxes like saddle soap.

Therefore, if the leather cleaner is continuously used, the natural oils and waxes of the leather will be washed away without additional compensation. This leads to cowboy boots being dry out, hard, and cracked.

drying out cowboy boots left outdoor

Usually, a leather conditioner is very useful to restore lost oils and waxes.

It’s very simple to use leather cleaner, you can follow these steps:

  • Pre-clean cowboy boots with warm water, spray an appropriate amount onto the surface of the boots and scrub with a brush.
  • Apply leather cleaner to the brush or directly onto the boot surface, then use the brush to thoroughly scrub every nook and cranny.
  • Clean the brush, keep it moist, and scrub the boot again to remove any remaining residue. You should do this 2 to 3 times to completely clean the boots.
  • Lastly, use a clean and dry cloth to rub and completely dry your boots.


Leather cleaners for smooth leather and nappy leather (suede, nubuck, or rough out) are different, you should distinguish them clearly before using.

Cleaners for nappy leather are usually in a spray form. You should use it with a suede brush, not a horsehair brush.

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

Also, after each use of leather cleaner for smooth leather, you should use a leather conditioner to restore lost moisture (provided by oils and waxes). However, you don’t have to condition suede boots.


In summary, you should have 2 types of cowboy boot cleaners at home. The first is saddle soap for regular use for light and new stains. Meanwhile, the leather cleaner will be the heavy-duty solution for stubborn stains.

Using the right cleaner at the right time will ensure that your cowboy boots are clean and smell good. Thus, this can prevent mold and mildew and keep the good qualities of your cowboy boots.

That’s all you should do about how to choose a cleaner and how to clean your boots!