How to Clean Tan Leather Boots?

Nothing looks better than a pair of gleaming, tan leather boots. But, how to clean tan leather boots at home? But, like all other good things, they have their own baggage.

Already know where I am going with this, don’t you?

Undoubtedly, only after the first couple of times you wear them, signs of wear and tear start arising. You can see faded areas, spots, and stains.

Clean Tan Leather Boots

Don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get new ones?

Don’t worry. Today, we will see how to clean them without causing a mess and leaving watermarks all over them.

Cleaning Tan Leather Boots – Do It Right!

When I used to ask my mom how to clean tan leather boots correctly, she would always tell me not to get them dirty in the first place.

What a witty answer, isn’t it?

But, today I will tell you all the easy steps to clean them easily and that without spending much.

First things first:

You will need to get a hold on all the materials before getting down to the actual cleaning process. The following materials are required:

  • Cornstarch
  • Soft-brush
  • Cotton cloth
  • Mild dish soap
  • Water and alcohol. You need to make a solution with one part water and one part alcohol. Mix it well and place it in a small spray bottle. Best of all, use isopropyl alcohol.
  • A stand to hold the shoe on
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3%

Caution: Even though none of these materials are dangerous, be careful when using hydrogen peroxide. Reason being, it can cause burns and hurt already damaged skin. Hence, it is preferable to wear gloves when you are cleaning.

Step 1: Clean with water

First of all, you need to remove the dark spots by wiping them carefully with a damp water cloth. Keep rubbing the cloth in small streaks with a light hand. Be sure not to apply force on it.

Tip: Make sure not to use a lot of water and don’t let the watermarks stain it further. The watermarks cause more stains.

Step 2: Check what type of stain it is

Secondly, you need to see what type of stain the boot has. There are two types of stains:

  • Tough, difficult ones
  • Light, easy to remove ones

So, if the stain is still showing after cleaning with water, it means it is a tough one to handle. Here, we have two ways to deal:

  • If it is a tough stain, go with a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. For instance, stains caused by mildew, etc.
  • On the other hand, for lighter stains, add a dash of dishwashing soap to your water and use that. For instance, ink marks.

Step 3: Rub it well

Maintaining Tan Leather Shoe

Once you have decided which solution to use by looking at the type of stain there is, go ahead and use it.

Here, you need to rub it well. Dampen the cloth and then make sure there is no liquid dripping from it. Twist and turn it well to get rid of all the excess liquid.

Tip: Don’t rush the process. Undoubtedly, the shoes need to be treated with care and a light hand. Otherwise, the leather will get all ruined.

Step 4: When the stains get tough, you get tougher

Yes, I know what you were thinking:

What If I have dark stains on my leather boots?

Certainly, only ink, water, and mildew aren’t the stains that you can get. There are a plethora of other things that can stain your shoes. For instance, bloodstains and dark water stains.

Therefore, for stains like these, you need to use hydrogen peroxide very carefully. Take a damp cloth and pour the solution on it. Next, rub it well only on the demarcated area.

Tip: When dealing with tough water stains, use a good shoe tree to put your shoes in. REMEMBER to do this, or the shoe will lose its shape.

Step 5: Let them dry

Lastly, let the shoes air dry. Do not use any sort of blow dryers or anything because that will make the leather contract and ruin your shoes.

Tip: Don’t expose them to direct sunlight. Got you, didn’t I? Usually, I always keep them in sunlight also. But, they only ruin the shoes and do them no good.

Generally, these are the 5 basic steps that you can follow. But, at times, there are different types of stains which need a different method.

Let’s go over them quickly!

Dirt – Take It Off!

For a dirt stain, get rid of the laces first.

Oh, got them dirty too?

No worries. Just throw them in the washing machine and you are good to go!

  • Use a soft cloth to clean the loose dirt.
  • The rest of the process is the same as the above 5 steps.
  • Lastly, apply a leather conditioner to the shoes to keep them well.


Cleaning this is just a piece of cake. All you need is a drop of toothpaste. Yes, just squirt a little dab of toothpaste on the stain. Next, rub it with a clean cloth and whoosh! The stain will just go with the wind.

Tip: here, using non-gel toothpaste will do the trick better.

Oil and Grease:

Yes, we have saved the worst for the last.

But, with our little trick, you will be able to clean them in a jiffy!

All you need is:

  • Baking Soda/talcum powder/cornstarch
  • Warm water
  • Cotton cloth

Firstly, sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain. Now, rub it gently for a few seconds. Keep in mind not to rub the entire thing away.

For best results, keep it overnight or for at least 6, 7 hours to let the powder do its work.

How does it work?

The starch/soda in the powder will easily absorb all the oil. You will only need to clean it with a soft cloth. Remember, the cloth should be dry.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Them Clean:

Initially, you should try to protect your shoes. Keep the following steps in mind:

  • Wipe them with a damp, cloth frequently
  • Use a leather conditioner frequently. Almost once a month.
  • Use a wax-based compound to keep them waterproof.

How to Store Tan Leather Shoes?

Follow these simple steps to store your leather shoes perfectly.

  • Always use shoe horns to keep the shape of the shoes intact
  • Next, wrap your shoes nicely in an acid-free paper.

Tip: NEVER use newspapers to keep your shoes. They contain traces of acid that can damage the shoe.

  • Store them in a dark, close space.
  • Don’t keep them near a source of heat.


Cleaned Women Tan Leather Boots

Finally, now you know how to clean tan leather boots like a pro. Moreover, we have included many different methods for the different number of stains.

Best of all:

All the materials used here can be found lying in your house. So, the methods are friendly on your pocket too.

Mostly, people stop using leather shoes the minute they see any spots and stains on them. Even I used to be reluctant to use them and got dejected every time a little stain appeared.

But, now with these methods, I flaunt my shoes with pride!