How To Clean Waterproof Shoes – 7 Easy Steps

A Guide That How to clean waterproof shoes

Whenever you plan to clean your waterproof shoes, remember that you have to apply the waterproof wax/spray again. This practice will ensure that your shoes have a waterproof coating and can resist water, humidity, and moisture without hassle. Here we have put up the guide that tells you, in the most straightforward words, how to clean waterproof shoes. You can see the details, and if any ambiguity still comes, you can ask us:

Guide to clean waterproof shoes

The first part of this guide tells how to clean waterproof shoes, and the second section explains how to waterproof them again.

Items needed

You need a soft microfiber cloth, waterproof garment cleaner, DWR-refreshing spray, moving paper, tarp, boot brush, and vinegar.

Step 1

Remove the boot laces! If you leave the laces as it is on the boots, it will be really difficult for you to treat as well as waterproof the shoes’ leather tongue. Simply keep the laces in a safe spot. You can put them back in their place the minute you are done cleaning the boots.

Step 2

The next step is to remove loose dirt, grime, and dust from the boots. See if there are any loose mud and soil particles on it. You need to dislodge and properly remove those dirt particles so that your shoes get ready to be passed through the cleaning and waterproofing process.

Step 3

Get a good-quality cleaning gel and apply it gently onto the boots. Most cleaning gels come in an aerosol can forms, and you only have to spray them directly onto your shoe leather surface. To be on the safe-hand side, follow the directions mentioned on the cleaning gel and apply it accordingly. After applying the gel, let it sit like this for one hour.
Grab a cleaning rag, start rubbing it in a circulation motion, and perform this step very gently. If you do not have a cleaning gel, the alternative is to prepare a 1:1 mixture of water and white vinegar. You can even get an all-purpose saddle soap for cleaning your leather shoes.

Step 4

Rinse your shoes and let them fully dry. Generally, leather shoes take 24 hours to get completely dry. In addition, it is recommended to place your shoes outdoors if you notice that the weather is sunny and dry.
Never use a blow dryer for drying boots. If you do so, the leather will crack. Dry them under natural sunlight and avoid proceeding to the next step until you get assurance that your shoes have been dried from A to Z.

Step 5

Grab conditioning oil and rub it onto your leather boots as soon as they dry. This oil comes in a creamy form and has a thick consistency. Use your fingers, take out a little amount of that conditioning oil, and rub it onto your boots.
Moreover, you must condition your industrial leather boots with mink oil. Conditioning waterproof shoes are believed to keep the leather very soft, durable, and well-maintained. Avoid skipping this step because it carries enormous significance.

Step 6

Here you will jump onto the task of waterproofing your shoes again. Get a waterproof wax and apply it again onto the boot leather. These waxes are available in a plastic container or tin form.
Applying the wax to the shoes is easy. Get a rag, dip it into the wax, and start rubbing and gently massaging it all over the exterior leather surface of your shoes. Perform the application in a circular motion.
If you are uncomfortable using wax, you can definitely use a waterproof spray. It is relatively easy and trouble-free to apply. Besides, these sprays come in an aerosol can forms, and you must spray them directly onto your shoes’ leather. The only drawback of waterproof sprays is that they fail to soak properly into the leather and do not yield long-lasting results.

Step 7

The last step is to dry the shoes again once you have applied waterproof wax or spray onto them. Give sufficient time for your boots to absorb the product properly before you wear them.
So, air-dry them until and unless the wax has been fully absorbed, and the leather material should be dry to the touch.

Bonus tips

Below we have shared more of the bonus tips, you can check them out:

  • You can temporarily waterproof your shoes by applying Vaseline. This hack primarily works if you want to waterproof your leather boots. Coat a very thin Vaseline layer, and your shoes temporarily resist moisture.
  • Some people waterproof their shoes with coconut oil. Rubbing coconut oil onto the shoes is believed to inject a slight amount of water resistance. Your boots tend to develop the ability to hold up elements like rain and humidity.
  • If you want to make your shoes more heavy-duty looking, apply mink oil and develop their ability to resist moisture for hours and hours.
  • It is also researched that applying candle wax makes the shoes somewhat waterproof. But you must be very careful while following this hack and prevent hurting your hands because the candle wax is hot.


Thus, that is the basic guide on how to clean waterproof shoes. Be it any footwear, cleaning and maintaining it is a must. It is a routine practice that you have to mandatory follow.
Hikers and hunters massively prefer waterproof leather boots. It is assumed that the waterproof coating wears and tears with time; that is why re-applying the coating is compulsory at least once a year.
You can share with us your experiences of how you waterproof and clean your boots. There is still much more interesting to come about the footwear world, so stay tuned and in touch with us.

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