How to Clean Work Boots

By Amy Johnston | Guides

Apr 08
how clean work boots

Work boots are some of the most essential footwear for people who work in highly volatile and dangerous environments; like construction and mining sites. For this reason, many workers tend to purchase high-quality leather work boots, which can enhance safety, as well as provide comfort during work. No matter the quality or the expense incurred in purchasing the boots, it is imperative to understand that they eventually get dirty and have to be cleaned.

Even though modern technology has enabled the development of durable work boots, wearers should understand that improper cleaning often leads to increased susceptibility in the wear and tear process. Hence, it is advisable to use appropriate cleaning strategy to elongate the life span of the boots, and keep them tidy at the same time. Below are the steps on how to clean work boots.

Loosening Dirt and Mud

The initial stage in cleaning your dirty work boots is loosening mud and other sediments that form a thin layer of hardened dirt on top of the leather. In many cases, after continuous use in harsh environment work boots usually, accumulate a thin layer of mud formed from fine sediments. It is important that you loosen this layer of mud before undertaking other cleaning procedures. The layer can be loosened by gently brushing the leather and the sole using a bristle brush that is gentle to leather.

Cleaning the Outer Leather

After loosening the mud and sediments, a thin layer of dust usually settles on the leather. Hence, the second stage usually entails the elimination of the dust particles and other fine sediments that have accumulated leather of the boot, as well as the sole after the scrapping process. This can be achieved by gently wiping the outer leather, and the sole with a soft wet rag dipped in water and mixed with vinegar. Repeat this process until all dust particles, and any other fine sediments are completely removed from all crevices and seams on the boots. After that, the boots should be left to dry in the shade in order to avoid hardening of leather.

Apply Mink Oil

Once the boots are dry, you should apply mink oil using a fresh and dry soft cloth. After the application of mink oil, leave the boot for approximately five minutes to absorb the oil properly. After that, you should wipe any excess oil using a new soft dry cloth. According to Backpaper magazine, mink oil is a popular oil-based treatment that ensures leather remains soft and supple. As such, it is advisable to use this oil to make sure that your work boots maintain their suppleness, shape, softness, and comfort.


The third and final stage is waterproofing the boots. Waterproofing protects the boots from water damage and eliminates the risk of accumulating a thick layer of mud. Excellent waterproofing can be achieved using waterproof wax, or any other waterproofing commodities like creams and spray. Wax and creams can be applied using a soft cloth or brush.

Cleaning your work boots, is a good way to ensure you look professional even though you are an outdoor worker. It shows, you care for yourself, and would invariable take the same care and skill when dealing with your duties at work. It is important to stay safe while working, and keeping your work boots in good condition will prolong its usefulness.

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