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How to Clean Uggs Without Ruining Them

Updated on September 17, 2014

Learn how to clean and care for your Ugg boots properly

UGG boots are a winter's dream come true. They are the most warm, cozy and comfortable footwear you could wish for in cold, snowy weather. However, uggs, especially the lighter colors such as sand, or light grey, can get dirty quite easily, especially if exposed to rain, mud and snow. You should know that UGGs are not really waterproof and do not like heavy rain and sleet, although that's the sort of weather most of us wear them in, as that's when we need their cozy comfort the most. After being exposed to harsh weather conditions for some time, uggs will start to look dingy and spotty and worn out and their inner sheepskin lining may look matted and flat. Uggs, like all real sheepskin articles, really need regular and proper care to keep looking as good as new for many years. However, even badly worn and neglected uggs can be cleaned quite effectively, provided you treat them in the proper way.

Be really careful before you try to clean your precious uggs at home on your own, because it is very easy to totally ruin them if you do something wrong.

There are certainly ways to clean your UGGS at home without using a specialized UGG care product, and I share some of these tips further down on this lens. However, the best and safest way to keep your UGGS looking their best, is to buy a special sheepskin care product.

Photo credit: ugg australia.

UGG sheepskin care kit

A must-have product for the protection and care of your uggs and other sheepskin products. Includes cleaner, protector and waterproofing product, as well as a nubuck/suede brush. The only problem reported is that the kit does not include very detailed instructions for use, especially concerning the use of the different sides of the brush.

Here is how to use it however:

Use the eraser side to gently scuff off persistent stains and marks, then gently brush with the side with the bristles. Use this side to gently brush off mud and dirt from your boots and also use it every time after you wash them, in order to bring back the texture and softness of your uggs.

UGG Sheepskin Care Kit
UGG Sheepskin Care Kit

Keep your Ugg boots looking like you just bought them, season after season, with this UGG sheepskin care kit. It contains everything you need to protect and properly care for your uggs: A sheepskin protector, a cleaner/conditioner, a freshener and an exraordinary three-sided suede/nubuck brush. All products work extremely well and do exactly what they are meant to do, the only problem being that there are no detailed instructions on exactly how and when to use each product. I will therefore provide these here for you:

1. Sheepskin protector

Use this on new uggs before wearing them for the first time, or after you have cleaned them. When used properly, the sheepskin protector helps prevent and/or remove/reduce stains. Use on clean, dry boots. Spray evenly on the boots until they look uniformly wet but not soaked. Then let them dry away from any heat source for 24 hours. After they are completely dry, use the brush provided (the side with the soft bristles) to brush the boots lightly in one direction. This will help raise the nap.

2. Sheepskin cleaner and conditioner

Use this to clean stained boots. Brush away all loose dirt and mud. Moisten the whole surface of the boots in clean, cold water. DO NOT SOAK. Apply a small amount of the product on a soft clean, wet sponge and gently scrub entire area. Do not rub too hard, or you might damage the sheepskin. Rinse the boots off, using a clean, wet sponge and cold water. Again, DO NOT SOAK. Stuff the boots with paper towels and leave the to dry naturally, AWAY FROM HEAT, for 24 hours. Then brush them lightly in one direction with the brush provided (bristled side) to bring back the texture of the leather.

3. Use the sheepskin freshener for the inner lining og your uggs after wearing them for some time. It has a wonderful smell that will keep them smelling fresh and clean like new.

4. The "magic" suede/nubuck brush

The three sides of the brush are used for different purposes. The flat eraser side is amazing for rubbing off stains, especially grease stains. Just rub lightly on the stain and then flip over and raise the nap with the bristles. The rubber like teeth on the sides are for rubbing off stubborn stains and dirt. Use the side with the bristles every time you want to raise the nap after cleaning and drying your boots.

Bailey button ugg
Bailey button ugg

Cleaning Uggs without a special sheepskin care product

Photo credit: Amazon

UGGs are quite expensive, even if you were lucky enough to buy relatively inexpensive UGGs online. After paying so much money to buy them, you should take proper care of them so that they will last many years. Here is how to properly clean your uggs in the absence of a specialized sheepskin cleaning product.

1. Brush off all loose dirt using a soft suede brush or toothbrush. In many cases, this will remove most stains. Only brush in one direction -with the nap- and use light to medium pressure.

2. Take a small bowl and fill it with 2 cups of COLD water and 3-4 drops of wool detergent or mild dish soap. Swirl the mixture around with your hand to create some suds. Take a soft clean sponge and dip it in the bowl. Lightly dampen the whole surface of the boot until it is evenly wet but not soaked trough. Lightly rub the boot with the sponge in one direction, using slightly more pressure on the stains but without rubbing too hard, otherwise you might damage the delicate sheepskin shell.

3. Rinse the boots with a clean sponge or lint free white cloth. Do not soak them or submerge them in water. Dip the cloth or sponge in clean cold water and dab all of the cleaning solution off your uggs.

4. Stuff your ugg boots with paper towels so that they will not lose their shape while drying. Let the boots dry naturally, away from sunlight and any other source of heat, for at least 24 hours. Do not hang them on the clothes line, do not put them in the dryer.

5. When completely dry, brush the Ugg boots with the suede brush or soft toothbrush. Brush lightly with the nap, until texture and color are restored.

Whatever you do, never EVER put your uggs in the washing machine or spinner dryer and never EVER soak them in water to the point of dripping!

short classic ugg
short classic ugg

Cleaning mud and snow stains off UGGs

Photo credit: Amazon

1. Let the Uggs dry completely, away from all heat sources before you attempt to clean them.

2. Use a soft suede brush or soft toothbrush to loosen and rub away all loose mud and crusty stains. Rub in one direction, with the nap.

3. Follow the instructions under How to clean Uggs without a special sheepskin care product.


Everything you need to clean and protect your Uggs in one handy kit

Tall womens' ugg
Tall womens' ugg

Cleaning salt marks off ugg boots

Photo credit: Amazon

Salt marks are a result of the salt used in winter to melt the snow and ice. Here is how to clean them without a special sheepskin care kit.

1. Wet a white lint free cloth in cold water and wring it out.

2. Pour a drop of mild dish liquid onto the edge of the cleaning cloth.

3. Rub the cloth over the salt stains, using gentle pressure and light circular motions. Continue, using more dish soap as necessary, until you have rubbed off all the stains.

4. For heavier, more resistant stains, try combining 1 cup lukewarm water and 1 tbs of white vinegar in a bowl. Dip a clean white cloth in the solution and gently rub at the stains. For darker colored uggs, try this treatment on an inconspicuous part of the boots, to make sure that it does not fade the color.

5. Rinse off the boots in cold water, using a sponge or cloth and let them dry naturally.

6. Brush the uggs with a suede brush to restore their texture.

UGG Boots on Amazon - Women's Ugg boots

Some of my favorite Ugg models. Click on the pictures to browse through the whole UGG collection on Amazon

How to clean uggs inside

Natural sheep wool is dirt and smell repellent. However, after a while, the inside of your uggs might develop an unpleasant smell and the lining might feel damp and matted, especially if you are in the habit of wearing them with no socks, which I would strongly advice you not to. The special freshener included in the UGG sheepskin care kit does a very good job of restoring the freshness and flufiness of your uggs' inner lining. However, in the absence of a specialized product, there are two alternatives.

1. Sprinkle the inside of your Uggs with a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch. Let it stand overnight, then brush out.

2. Use a light solution made of lukewarm water and wool detergent and brush it carefully on the inside of your uggs, without soaking them. Rinse them off, using a clean damp cloth. Then let them dry naturally, away from heat.

Never soak your uggs or submerge them in water. Never use hot water to wash them or you will ruin them

© 2012 Aquamarine18

How do you clean your uggs?

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    • profile image

      Jailen 2 years ago

      That's a clever answer to a tricky quotisen

    • profile image

      Dick 2 years ago

      I like your content! I can relaly understand your points because you have written them in such a clear-cut manner. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Rodaussie profile image

      Rodaussie 4 years ago

      The clear colour ones a harder to keep clean... Very nice lens anyway

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have some slippers with sheepskin lining. I need to replace them because the inside gets really bad. I'm bookmarking this lens, so I have all the info I need to keep the next pair clean and fresh. Thanks for so much helpful information!