A pair of worn leather work boots

How to Care for Your Work Boots: Cleaning, Conditioning, and Protecting Your Investment

Learning how to clean work boots is the key to keeping your new footwear in optimal condition. A little TLC goes a long way in extending their lifespan and keeping them looking their best. Take care of your boots and they’ll take care of you.

We’ve been in business for about two decades, so we know a thing or two about how to wash work boots of all types. In this guide, we’re going to teach you the ins and outs of cleaning work boots that are made from leather or synthetic materials.

This is a general guide that should cover most work boots on the market, but we do recommend checking with the manufacturer in case your boots require special care.

How to Clean Work Boots: Leather

A pair of cowboy boots on a deck

With proper care, a high-quality pair of leather men’s western boots or ladies’ cowgirl boots will last for life.

Basic Cleaning

  • For removal of dirt and dust, use a soft brush to remove debris and wipe them down with a damp cloth.
  • For stubborn grime and mud, use an old toothbrush.
  • For stubborn spots and stains, use a soft cloth and saddle soap (a mild soap and warm water solution will also work in a pinch).


Conditioning your leather boots will help to restore moisture to prevent them from becoming dry, brittle, or cracked. Knowing how to clean work boots is the first step, but don’t overlook the importance of conditioning every 1-2 months (or more often if you live in a hot, dry climate).

Beeswax is a popular choice because it also waterproofs the boots while conditioning the leather.

  • Use a soft, clean cloth to massage the conditioner into the leather, working it deep into the leather in circular motions.
  • Allow the conditioner to fully absorb into the leather, and then repeat until the leather no longer absorbs the conditioner.
  • Remove any residue with a clean cloth.

How to Wash Work Boots: Synthetic

A construction worker with dirty boots

If your boots are made from synthetic materials, learning how to clean work boots is usually pretty straightforward. Unless the manufacturer’s instructions say otherwise, it’s best to avoid washing machines and dryers, instead washing them by hand and letting them air dry.

  • Clean them with a soft cloth or brush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.
  • Allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight.
  • Apply waterproofing spray for added protection.

Save on Authentic Work Boots

We hope this guide to cleaning work boots is helpful. If it’s time to replace your worn boots, or if you’re simply ready for an upgrade, browse our men’s discount work boots and women’s safety boots.

Understanding how to clean work boots is important, but starting with a high-quality pair matters even more. We carry the well-known shoe brands you trust at everyday discount prices, and we honor all manufacturer’s warranties. Shop our selection now at What’s Hot Clothing, and take advantage of free shipping on orders $50+.

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