How To Clean Leather Motorcycle Boots

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How To Clean Leather Boots

If you own a nice pair of leather riding boots you’re going to want to take care of them. Without proper care leather motorcycle boots can dry out, become stiff, uncomfortable and eventually fall apart. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to clean leather motorcycle boots, then oil and protect them so they last.

Photo: Howzey

What You’ll Need:
• Oiled Leather Boots*
• Stiff bristled brush
• Toothbrush (for nooks and crannies, not plaque)
• Leather cleaner
• Mink or boot oil
• Soft cloth

*Different leathers require different care. Make sure your boots are oiled leather (rather than Lorica or Vinyl-top) before using this cleaning technique.

Step 1
Step #1 – **Note: We are demonstrating with our interns regular, old leather boots that are in need of a good cleaning.

Step 1: Using a stiff bristled brush, remove any excess dirt from the boot. Using a small toothbrush in the hard-to-reach places will make your task easier.

Step 2: Apply leather cleaner (Aerostich makes a good one) to a dry cloth and gently scrub, then remove any excess cleaner with a clean cloth. Let the boots dry on their own. Using a heater or blow dryer to speed up the drying process may cause the oil in the leather to dry out, and we do not advise doing this.

Step #2
Step #2 – **Note: We are demonstrating with our interns regular, old leather boots that are in need of a good cleaning.

Step 3: Using your hands or a cloth, apply mink or boot oil. The boots should be liberally covered, with special attention paid to seams and stitching. As strange as it sounds, think of this step as a massage for your boots. You want to make sure you really work the oil into the boot as it will help condition and maintain the leather. Let your boots sit overnight.

Step #3
Step #3 – **Note: We are demonstrating with our interns regular, old leather boots that are in need of a good cleaning.

Step 4: Now for the final step in the boot cleaning process. Step three should have left your boots looking very shiny and oily. Using a clean cloth, polish your boots until the oil has been polished away and your boots have a consistent, smooth texture with no excess oil remaining.

Step #4
Step #4 – **Note: We are demonstrating with our interns regular, old leather boots that are in need of a good cleaning.

Optional: As an additional step, apply a leather protectant to your boots. This will further protect your investment by adding an extra layer of defense against rain, dirt and mud.

The Result
The Final Result – **Note: We are demonstrating with our interns regular, old leather boots that are in need of a good cleaning.

As with any other piece of motorcycle equipment, maintenance is very important. Cleaning your oiled leather boots once a month will help ensure that they will remain on your feet and in working-order for many miles to come.

Do you have any cleaning techniques or products for your leather boots that you swear by?

  • Justin

    I actually just recently finished cleaning and refinishing all of my leather boots and jackets -

    Anything by Bickmore: I use ‘Bick 4′ leather cleaner/conditioner, works wonders and won’t darken lighter colored leather, this is what I use first when cleaning my boots, it also does a pretty good job of conditioning the leather too:

    http://www.bickmore.com/

    For my heavy duty conditioning I recommend ‘leather honey’:

    http://www.leatherhoney.com/

    Not a cleaner but is truly a miracle leather conditioner, i lost an old leather jacket close to a decade ago that I was particularly fond of and just recently found it in the bottom of a cardboard storage box in the attic…needless to say it was in need of some serious TLC and Leather Honey more than did the trick, it took a few applications but the results are nothing short of astounding.

    One word of caution: Leather honey darkens leather a bit but most I’ve found usually recover after a few weeks but don’t use it on anything you don’t mind being a little darker after using it.

    Can’t go wrong with either.

  • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

    For folks on a budget looking for a solid, everyday solution:

    1. Spot clean using a hand-towel lightly moistened with diluted castille soap or liquid hand soap.
    2. Let the leather dry out for 30 minutes.
    3. Feed and protect the leather by rubbing in Obenauf’s LP with your hands (https://www.obenaufs.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=30).
    4. Fend off the bees that will now be strangely attracted to you.

    Done.

    • Dan Pohl

      I have so far used, Vanish Extra Hygiene Stain Remover, Vinegar, Dish Liquid, “Bickmore bick 4″ leather conditioner and still cannot get the marks off my DAINESE leathers jacket just purchased from Online store http://www.moda2ride.co.uk

  • Matt Mason

    I just bought red wing Iron Rangers a couple weeks ago, they’re awesome. They’d look sick on a motorcycle but I don’t trust the protections.
    …yes I know they’re just for demonstration purposes. Wish they made motorcycle boots that looked like those though.

    • Jonathan Berndt

      i as well, have a pair, they just keep getting better and more comfortable the more i wear em. i also dont wear them on my motorcycle but they are fantastic boots. the mink oil is great, works wonders.

  • DSquared

    I’ve cleaned kangaroo motorcycle leather jackets very effectively with Ego non soap hand wash using alight brush and cloth and then when dired in the shade conditioned with Inox Lanolin. Needs to be hung out in the sun for a couple of days to absorb. Makes the leather new feeling and supple.

    http://egopharm.com/our-products/qv-skincare/qv-body/qv-wash/

    http://www.inoxmx.com/inox/mx4-grease/

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Any tips on cleaning suede leather?

  • NIGHTRIDER

    one time i did this while asleep. woke up in the morning with my boots on.