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How to Clean Ugg Boots, Rejuvenate and Reboot your Uggs

Updated on November 15, 2016
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Dr. John uses scientific skills (PhD) to review and develop natural home cleaning methods, tips & remedies. Safe effective cleaning guides

Let’s face it, the famous Ugg boot was never designed to stay clean. It is made from a piece of Merino sheep leather with wool attached; turned insides out and shaped into a boot. The better brands come with conditioners and sealants that help but all ugg boots remain very vulnerable to stains.

Raw and authentic merino leather is very porous and it will soak up just about anything. All liquids such as a dye, ink, blood or red wine, will soak in and penetrate and be very hard to remove. If you have a pair of very expensive uggs that are stained, and you don’t want to risk ruining them, then it may be best to get them professionally cleaned (not dry cleaning).

For mild stains there are some simple home remedies that work well most of the time. Harsher stains can be tackled using one of the special Ugg boot cleansers and conditioners, but you need to proceed with care.

This article outlines the best ways of cleaning ugg boots using simple home remedies, suede leather cleaners and also using the commercial special purpose ugg boot cleaners


General Cleaning and Minor Stain Removal

Before describing the general method for cleaning ugg boots it is important to list the things you should not do:

  • Don't dry clean ugg boots, as the leather will stretch and lose its shape.
  • Don't use too much moisture when cleaning ugg boots as this is unnecessary and risks damaging them
  • Don't just clean isolated spots and areas with stains. Clean the spots, but then apply the cleaner to the entire surface of both boots. This will help keep an even color and pattern on all surfaces of the boots
  • Don't wash your ugg boots in a washing machine or dry them in a clothes dryer. This will ruin your boots.
  • Don't dry your ugg boots in direct sunlight or in front of any type of heater. The boots will shrink and lose their shape. Instead, dry your uggs in the shade at room temperature. Get a proper boot dryer, as this makes the drying job a lot easier, and helps maintain their shape.

Basic Cleaning Method

  • Use a stiff brush to remove dirt and any bonded grime. This is an essential first step, otherwise you may wash the dirt and grime into the leather. Brush over the entire surface of both boots to ensure evenness.
  • Gently scrub with warm water to which has been added a tiny amount of very mild detergent. Use the minimum amount of water that you can. Don't saturate your boots. Too much water and your ugg boots will stretch and lose their shape. Repeat for the entire surface of both boots.
  • Stuff the inside of the boots so that they will retain their shape when drying. You can use newspaper, socks or linen stuffed inside to push them into their normal shape. It also supports the boots and keeps them from snagging. You don't want your boots to sag as it will affect their shape when they dry.
  • Allow the stuffed boot to dry slowly at room temperature away from heaters and direct sunlight. Be patient as it may take 24-48 hrours. Do not be tempted to wear your boots again until they are completely dry or they will stretch out of shape.

Spot Stain Removal for Ugg Boots Using Suede Leather Cleaner

For moderate stains you do not necessarily need a special purpose ugg boot cleaner, which can be hard to find in some locations. For bad stains a dedcicated ugg boot cleaner is required (try to purchase online).

You can clean your uggs with a suede leather shampoo and a suede sealant or conditioner. Both of these are more widely available than products for ugg boots. But always test any cleaning product first on a small less prominent area first. The various brands and types of ugg boots do vary quite a lot in terms of their reaction to cleaning agents.

The steps required are:

  • Brush to remove any dirt and surface grime, first before attempting to clean
  • Apply Suede Cleaner - Following the directions to make the cleaning solution. Using a sponge dipped in the mixture and squeezed, gently scrub the stained areas. Continue over the entire surface of both boots. This will ensure there will be an even color when the boots dry. The shampoo and water may change the appearance of the boots slightly and so treating the whole surface of both boots will ensure evenness.
  • Stuff and Dry the boots as above.

Tackling Stubborn Stains on Ugg Boots

More stubborn stains require a more work. The trick is to tackle the stain as soon as possible after it occurs. The longer the stain lies untreated on your uggs, the harder it will be to remove the stain and the greater the risk that the treatment may mark your boots.

Removing Protein Based Stains - Milk, Eggs, Mud, Glue, Blood

  • The first step is to try a pencil eraser. Gently rub the stain affected area. This helps remove some stains
  • Use a damp cloth to dampen the affected area. Leave it for an hour or so and then wipe with a warm cloth soaked in soapy water or suede cleaner and wrung out so it is not too wet.
  • If the stain remains, add a few tiny drops of vinegar directly onto the stain itself (not onto the surrounding area). Leave the vinegar on the stain. Next, try hydrogen peroxide - but test first to make sure it will not bleach the leather.

Removing Fat Oil and Grease Stains from Ugg Boots

  • Dust the area with talcum powder, chalk, or cornstarch dust, hopefully while the stain is still wet. Otherwise dampen the satin slightly.
  • The various powders will soak up the oil if left on the boots for several hours. You may have to repeat it several times.
  • Brush off the powder, dab with paper towel and gently wipe with a damp cloth to remove the residue. It is a much gentler treatment than using chemicals and so it is worth persevering.
  • If the stain remains, get the boots professionally cleaned or use a dedicated ugg bot cleaner,

Deodorizing Ugg Boots

Ugg boots can be deodorized by adding 1-2 teaspoons of baking powder to each boot and shale to spread around. After 24 hours, invert the boots and shake out the excess baking powder.

How to Clean Ugg Boots with Special Purpose Cleaner

  • Brush over the exterior of the boots to remove dirt and grime.
  • Dampen the entire exterior of both boots with cold water, but do not make the boots too wet.
  • Apply some special Ugg Sheepskin Cleaner to a boot cleaning brush or a clean and dry sponge. Most Ugg Boot Care Kits come supplied with a special sponge and boot brush for cleaning Ugg Boots.
  • Gently spread the cleaning solution over the damp boots, using very light pressure. Make sure you wipe over the entire exterior surface of the boot and not just the spots, to ensure an even finish.
  • Take plenty of time to ensure you thoroughly clean all the surfaces of both boots. Heavily stained areas may need some extra attention, but don't rub too hard.
  • Rinse the boots using running cold water, trying not to wet the inside of the boots.
  • Stuff the boots with small towels or some paper to help reshape the boots while they dry.
  • Be patient as it may require 24 hours or more for the boots to dry in the shade. Replace the stuffing several times to help the inside to dry.
  • Don't wear the boots until they are completely dry.

© 2012 Dr. John Anderson


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