How To Clean a Pair of Desert Boots

In the world of fashion, styles come and go, and sometimes along with it functionality. Desert boots are usually meant both for trekking and for style. Originating in the middle part of the 20th century, it has been a classic and iconic piece of footwear. You have probably watched the desert boot on several movies or TV shows depicting treks in the desert. Think Indiana Jones, and you'll think desert boot.

Desert boots are built to last. However, no matter how durable your boots are, they are still subject to wear and tear. They are still subject to the elements. They will last longer and look better with proper maintenance. You wouldn't want to go around wearing muddy boots.

Cleaning a pair of desert boots will require a few materials, such as a soft, lint-free cloth, suede cleaner, suede brush, small brush (a toothbrush will do), and water-repellent spray. Your main goal here is to maintain the suede upper, and keep it in a pristine condition.

  • Brush the upper. Use your boot brush on the boot's suede upper. Keep in mind to brush only toward one direction, which is usually against the direction of the suede. Be sure to brush only lightly, depending on the material of your boot brush. If it's made of metal, take care not to scratch the surface of the suede. Use a toothbrush or a small brush to reach into tight areas, like where the upper meets the sole. Again, take care to brush only toward one direction, as this helps condition the suede.
  • Wipe any mesh or canvas portion. Some boots come with other material, like mesh or canvas. Wipe these down with a washcloth soaked in warm water with some mild laundry detergent. If your boot's insoles are dirty, then you can also soak and wash it in the same way. Leave these to dry before moving on to the next step. Be careful not to wet the suede.
  • Use suede cleaner. Apply suede cleaner to the boot's upper. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's specs, on how much you need to use, and how often you need to apply it. After applying suede cleaner, brush the upper again, similar to how you brushed it at first.
  • Apply water repellent spray. Again, follow the instructions on the packaging. Most suede cleaning kits will include both the suede cleaner and water repellent spray. Let the product air dry.
  • Wipe the soles. With the same washcloth you used earlier, wipe down the soles as necessary. If there is mud or dirt caked in between the sole's tread, then you can use your toothbrush to get rid of these.

After cleaning, allow your boots to air dry. Keep it away from direct sunlight or heat for now, especially since you have used waterproofing products. Also, since you are using products with potentially harmful fumes, it's a good idea to clean your boots in a well-ventilated area, so you won't suffocate from the fumes. The waterproofing spray will help protect your boots from the elements. After using this, you can simply use the suede brush to clean the upper, until you find the need to do a thorough cleaning again.


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