How to Restore Leather Boots

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How to Restore Leather Boots

Cared for properly, a pair of leather boots can last a lifetime. However, an old pair of leather boots that have been sitting in the closet for a few years, or a pair worn for a long time with no care or maintenance, may need a little restoration in order to bring them back to life. Over time, leather becomes scratched or cracked and loses its shine as well as its suppleness. With a few leather restoration products and some expertise, it is easy to return leather boots to their original colour and sheen as well as clean off any dirt, mould, or mildew and fill any cracks.

Materials Needed to Restore Leather Boots

In order to properly clean and restore leather boots, owners need the right products. Since leather is a natural material with pores and fibres, it requires special cleaning and restoration products. Using the wrong types of products can weaken or destroy the fibres and seal the pores.

Cleaning Product


Fine sandpaper

Gently removes leftover filler or compound

Leather cleaner

Removes dirt, stains, and any shoe polish build up

Leather colourant

Restores dull leather to its original colour

Leather compound

Fills large or deeper cracks

Leather conditioner

Ensures leather remains supple and water resistant

Leather filler

Fills small cracks

Leather finish

Protects leather from future scratches and scuffs

Leather polish

Restores and maintains shine

Leather sealant

Protects the finish

Shoe brushes

Stiff brushes remove loose dirt

Soft brushes polish leather

Owners should use the condition of the boots to determine exactly which products they need. Additional items that may be useful include white vinegar, an all-purpose cleaner such as Simple Green, newspaper, paper towels, and rubber gloves.

Cleaning the Leather

The first step in restoring leather boots is to clean them thoroughly. To do this, simply brush away any loose dirt with a soft bristle brush and apply a good-quality leather cleaner such as saddle soap to the boots with a clean, damp sponge or cloth. Working in one small section at a time, rub the soap into the leather until it is sudsy. Then, wipe the area with another clean, dry sponge or cloth. Owners can repeat the entire process until they have completely cleaned the leather boots.

Removing Mould and Mildew

Occasionally, leather boots stored in dark, damp conditions may have some mould or mildew on them. The first step to removing mould and mildew from leather boots is to remove the source of the moisture. It is important to remember that both mould and mildew are dangerous and a facemask is essential while working on the boots.

Begin by using a stiff nylon brush to dry brush the surface of the boots. If the boots need a deeper clean, use a suede cleaner on nubuck leathers or suede to remove additional mould or mildew. Gently clean smooth leather boots using a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part water. Simply wet a soft cloth with the mixture and wipe the surface of the boots until they are clean. If the mould or mildew is tough to remove, spray a little all-purpose cleaner such as Simple Green onto the surface and wipe with a clean cloth.

Repairing Cracks in the Leather

If leather boots become too dry, the leather can crack. Fortunately, owners can repair even deep cracks with a little work. To repair fine cracks in a pair of leather boots, simply apply a coating of leather filler to the affected area with a sponge. Allow it to sit on the leather for about five minutes and gently buff the excess off with some fine sandpaper.

For deeper cracks, use a palette knife to apply leather compound to the cracks. Allow the compound to sit on the leather for about 30 minutes and then buff with fine sandpaper to remove excess compound.

If the colour of the leather fades, spray the boots with the appropriate leather colourant and use a sponge to spread it evenly over the boots.

How to Buy Leather Restoration Products on eBay

Buying leather restoration items on eBay is quick and easy. Begin your search by typing keywords into the Search box located on any eBay page. For example, if you are looking for conditioner, simply type " leather conditioner" into the Search box. From there you can refine your search by condition, category, price, format, postage options, and item location. Many sellers sell complete leather restoration kits that include everything necessary to give an old pair of boots a new look.

A restored pair of leather boots are a great part of any footwear collection. Not only do restored boots look great, but they are comfortable and economical as well.

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