Cold weather is inevitable in many places. And investing in apparels and gears that could protect us from the harsh icy cold is necessary. However, clothing and shoes that can keep us from getting sick and preventing us from slipping on snowy grounds can be quite expensive. A pair of waterproof leather boots alone can set us back by a lot of dollars. This is why many people ask how to care for waterproof leather boots as they have spent a good amount of money for the footwear.
How to Care for Waterproof Leather Boots
Caring for leather boots so that they would last longer is necessary. After all, these shoes cost a lot of money. Fortunately, their maintenance so that they would be more durable is no rocket science. Users must simply be diligent in their care and ensure proper use of the cleaning materials and agents.
The Laces and the Accumulated Dirt
One of the best ways to care for the leather boots is to clean them regularly, a task that is fairly simple to do. Check out the steps below.
Step 1: Remove the laces before cleaning the footwear.
The laces will only get in the way of cleaning. Cleaning the boots is also a harder task with the laces on. Just make sure that you place the laces in a safe place as you will need them again after the cleaning.
Step 2: Take the boots out and start removing any soil or dirt that has accumulated at its bottom.
One way of doing this is to knock the boots against each other or a sturdy wall. Doing so will dislodge the soil or mud that has stuck on its bottoms. This task is best done outside as not to get the house floor dirty.
The Leather and the Cleaning Solution
Step 4: Apply the cleaning solution onto the boots’ leather.
Take out the cleaning gel, which usually is in an aerosol can, and apply it directly onto the leather. Take the time to read the instructions of the cleaning gel. Some of these products may require letting the gel sit for 30 minutes or longer after application.
Step 5: Rub off the cleaning gel from the boots.
After letting the gel stay according to the instruction, then grab a clean rug and start rubbing the cleaning gel off the leather. However, take note that there is also another cleaning solution that can be made at home. For example, users can also mix white vinegar with water or use baking powder. Make sure to clean the boots’ leather thoroughly.
The Rinse and the Drying
Step 6: Rinse the boots.
Bring the boots to the faucet and let the water run through it. There is no need to soak the footwear in the water, simply let a light stream of water clean the leather surface.
Step 7: Dry the boots.
Find an airy or sunny place where you can let the boots sit to dry. This may take 24 hours or longer.
Pro tip: If you are in a hurry, then you can use the newspaper to speed up the process. Stuff the newspaper inside each shoe since they can help absorb the moisture from the leather.
Warning: Do not make the mistake of using the hair dryer or any blower to dry the boots. Doing so may damage the leather and leave them cracked after drying.
The Conditioning Oil
Step 8: Apply conditioning oil once the footwear is thoroughly dry.
Check thoroughly if the boots are already dry. One should not apply the conditioning oil if the footwear is still damp.
One might need to use the fingers when applying the oil as it has a thick consistency comparable to cream. Hold the footwear using one hand while the other hand rubs the conditioning oil onto the leather.
There is a reason why it is best to use some oil for the leather as they can keep the leather supple and soft. Leather boots that have never been applied with any conditioner may become brittle and dry over time.
Also take note, that mink oil may also be used for some boots like the industrial leather ones. However, mink oil may also damage other leather boots like those made from dry tanned leather.
How To Waterproof Boots
Yes, you bought waterproof boots. However, there are still ways to ensure that they remain so. After all, how to care for waterproof leather boots also include waterproofing your shoes. Just like cleaning, this task is easy and straightforward to do.
The Waterproof Wax
- Go to the store and look for waterproof wax, which often comes in a tin can or plastic container.
- Get a clean rag and dip it into the wax.
- Massage the wax gently onto the leather surfaces of the boots. Make sure you use a circular motion and that you have thoroughly rubbed the wax into each area or section.
How often should the user apply the waterproof wax? Experts say that the wax, which can seal the boot leather for a couple of months, should be administered at least once a year. Take note, however, that the boots should be cleaned before applying the waterproof wax.
The Waterproof Spray
Boot owners can also use a waterproof spray instead of the wax. The user can spray it directly onto the boots. Hence, this is easier and faster to apply than the waterproof wax. Take note that some spray may need to be rubbed while others do not. Again, it is best to read the instructions of the product maker.
The waterproof spray, however, has its disadvantages as it does not soak into the leather as well as the wax. Plus, the spray has to be applied more than once during the cold months.
The Drying of the Boots After Waterproofing
Wearing the leather boots right after waterproofing is wrong. Like the cleaning process, one has to dry the footwear first after applying the waterproof wax or spray.
Air dry the waterproofed leather boots until the wax or spray has been fully absorbed. The leather must be completely dry when touched before the pair can be used.
Tip: Use a fan to help dry the footwear faster.
Warning: Users should also refrain from using a blow-dryer to dry the leather boots as doing so can cause the leather to crack.
Yes, caring for your leather boots is no rocket science. However, if you fail to devote time to clean and maintain them, then lo and behold, your leather boots will fail you before you know it.