Sheepskin and suede boots are quite stylish and comfortable. However, they can easily get scuffed and dirty. Here are some ways to tackle different types of stains and keep those boots looking better longer.
If your boots get wet, just letting them dry can cause streaking or water stains. Using a white cloth or sponge, wet the boots with cold water until they are evenly wet. Do not soak them! To help them hold their shape, stuff with a rolled white towel. Don't use a dark colored towel because some dye might transfer to the boots. Allow to air dry away from direct heat. Do not put in the dryer or use a hair dryer directly on the boots. High heat can damage the skin.
For winter salt stains, add one step to the above water stain removal process. Before you wet your boots completely, mix one cup of water and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Rub the salt stained area with the solution using a white cloth or cotton ball. The acetic acid in the vinegar will gently dissolve the salt. Proceed with the water stain removal steps.
Use an old toothbrush or a clean white towel to brush away the scuff. Take care not to rub too hard and follow the nap of the suede or sheepskin. For tough scuffs and stains, you'll need a suede and nubuck cleaner.
Cover the stain with a layer of baby powder or cornstarch and let it sit for at least 24 hours - 48 hours is better. The powder will absorb the oil from the boots. Then brush away the powder with an old toothbrush. You may need to repeat the procedure to get all of the stain.
For overall cleaning, there are detergents made for cleaning leather. Follow the directions carefully and shampoo your boots. Allow to slowly air dry. Remember, no high heat!
Cleaning the Inside of the Boots
There are usually a couple of issues with the inside of sheepskin boots - fungus and odor. It is nearly impossible to wash the inside of shearling boots thoroughly enough to kill fungus. Wiping down the inside with a solution of disinfecting cleaner (NOT CHLORINE BLEACH) and water will help. The best way to kill fungus in the boots is to use an anti-fungal spray.
Adding a 1/2 cup of baking soda to each boot and letting it sit overnight will help with the odor. Just empty out the baking soda before wearing!
Before You Wear Them
To help prevent excessive staining, sheepskin boots can be waterproofed using a special spray. Be sure to test it on an inside area first as it may change the texture and color of the leather.
Specific questions? Just ask here.
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