6 Home Remedies on How to Clean Faux Leather Boots


Faux leather boots have made an undeniable mark in the fashion world, acclaimed for their stylish appeal, affordability, and cruelty-free production.

Like their genuine leather counterparts, these boots require proper cleaning to maintain their visual appeal and longevity. However, cleaning faux leather may raise concerns for many.

The fear of damaging the faux leather finish or fading color can make cleaning daunting. This guide aims to alleviate these worries by providing six effective home remedies to clean your faux leather boots and keep them looking as good as new.

Are Faux Leather Shoes Washable?

Before we dive into the deep end of faux leather maintenance, let’s clear up a common query — are faux leather shoes washable?

The answer to this is a big, resounding “it depends.” Different types of faux leather have different resilience against water; not all faux leather is created equal.

For instance, my PVC faux leather boots can withstand a gentle wash, but they’d probably be ruined if I tried the same with my polyurethane pair.

The key here is to check the manufacturer’s instructions on your faux leather product. In my experience, most faux leather can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but a full soak may be out of the question.

Can Faux Leather be Washed and Dried?

Having established that faux leather’s washability hinges on its type and the manufacturer’s instructions, let’s discuss the best techniques for washing your faux leather boots.

I’ve found that using a mild detergent and a soft cloth usually does the trick. Remember, abrasive materials and harsh chemicals are a faux leather shoe’s worst nightmare!

I learned this the hard way when I scrubbed a pair of boots too vigorously and damaged the finish.

I’ve found that air drying works best. A gentle heat source, like a fan heater set on low, can also be a good option if needed.

But avoid direct sunlight at all costs — it can cause the faux leather to crack and fade. I once left a pair of my beloved faux leather boots in direct sunlight to dry, and they looked years older by the end of the day!

Does Water damage Faux Leather?

Water can be an adversary to faux leather, especially regarding prolonged exposure. Remember the time I spilled coffee on my faux leather couch?

Well, I quickly realized it could not only leave a stain but also cause warping or discoloration. So, faux leather can warp, discolor, or even crack if it stays wet for too long.

The secret to minimizing water damage lies in speedy action. If you spill something on your faux leather item, blot it up immediately with a soft, dry cloth.

And never, ever rub! Rubbing can push the liquid deeper into the material, exacerbating the problem.

Quick and thorough drying is another crucial step. I prefer to leave my faux leather items in a well-ventilated room to air dry.

Using a heater or hairdryer can speed up the process, but be careful — too much heat can damage the faux leather.

What Can Damage Faux Leather?

Several elements can pose a threat to faux leather. One of the main culprits I’ve found is extreme heat and sunlight. Remember the boots I left in the sun? They didn’t just fade; the extreme heat caused them to crack too.

Harsh chemicals and cleaning agents are another common faux leather foe. I once used a strong solvent to clean a stain off my faux leather jacket, and it ended up damaging the material more than the original stain! Always stick to mild, leather-friendly cleaning agents.

Scratching and abrasive materials can also harm faux leather. The rough side of a sponge once left a scratch on my faux leather car seats that I could never get rid of.

Always use a soft cleaning cloth to prevent and minimize such damage and avoid placing sharp objects on or near your faux leather items.

Remember, a little care can help your beloved faux leather pieces last for years!

Home Remedies for Cleaning Faux Leather Boots

1. Soap and Water Solution

  • Mixing mild soap with warm water:

Back when I accidentally spilled coffee on my brand-new faux leather boots, I was in a panic. A friend suggested a simple remedy – a mild soap and warm water mixture.

I was skeptical at first, but I gave it a shot. I took a couple of drops of mild soap and mixed it with warm water. The result was a bubbly, mild solution, perfect for my boots.

  • Application with a soft cloth or sponge:

I grabbed a soft cloth from my drawer (remember, no abrasive materials on faux leather!) and soaked it in the soapy solution. You can achieve the same result with a soft sponge.

  • Gentle scrubbing to remove dirt and stains:

I gently scrubbed at the coffee stain, not rubbing too hard. To my astonishment, the stain started fading, and after a few minutes, it was gone!

2. Vinegar and Water Mixture

  • Creating a solution with equal parts vinegar and water:

When my dog decided that my faux leather boots were his new chew toy, he left a few scratches and stains behind.

My grandma suggested vinegar, an ingredient I’d previously only associated with salads. I mixed equal parts vinegar and water to create an easy cleaning solution.

  • Dabbing onto stains with a clean cloth:

I dipped a clean cloth into the mixture and gently dabbed it onto the gnawed boot. The smell was strong, and I was apprehensive, but I kept going.

  • Buffing with a dry cloth to avoid lingering odors:

After a few minutes, I took a dry cloth and buffed the boot. The scratches and stains were less visible; surprisingly, the smell was gone too! My boots were saved, and I had unlocked two new faux leather cleaning hacks.

3. Baking Soda Paste

One day, I noticed an oil stain on my faux leather boots, and after a quick search online, I found that baking soda can absorb oil stains effectively. Here’s how I did it:

  • Making a paste with baking soda and water:

I grabbed my baking soda and mixed a tablespoon with just enough water to make a thick paste. It resulted in a whitish, gritty paste, and I was ready for the next step.

  • Applying on stains and scrubbing gently:

Taking an old toothbrush, I applied the baking soda paste onto the oil stain on my boot and scrubbed gently. The key here is not to be too forceful, as it might damage the surface of the faux leather.

  • Wiping off with a damp cloth and allowing to dry:

After a few minutes, I wiped off the paste with a damp cloth and let the boot dry. To my delight, the oil stain was significantly lighter!

4. Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

I had heard about olive oil and lemon juice cleaning wood, but never faux leather. However, I tried it when my boots started looking dull and dry.

  • Mixing equal parts olive oil and lemon juice:

I squeezed fresh lemon juice into a bowl (a bottled one should work fine, too) and added an equal amount of olive oil. Mixing the two created a cloudy solution, and the lemon’s citrusy smell was a pleasant surprise.

  • Applying with a soft cloth for conditioning:

I soaked a soft cloth in the solution and gently applied it all over my boots. The olive oil helped condition the faux leather, while the lemon juice helped clean and restore the shine.

  • Buffing to add shine and protect against cracks:

After letting the boots sit for a few minutes, I buffed them with a dry cloth. The boots regained shine and felt soft and supple, almost like new! Plus, the olive oil provided a protective layer, helping to prevent any future cracks.

5. Cornstarch for Grease Stains

An unfortunate mishap occurred during a barbecue party at my friend’s house—I accidentally spilled some grease on my faux leather boots.

Knowing that grease stains can be stubborn, I tried an old trick—using cornstarch.

  • Sprinkling cornstarch on grease stains:

First, I patted the stain with a clean cloth to remove excess grease. Then, I sprinkled a generous amount of cornstarch directly onto the stain.

The idea is that the cornstarch would absorb and draw out the grease from the faux leather.

  • Allowing it to sit for a few hours:

Patience is key here. I left the cornstarch on my boots for a few hours to give it ample time to absorb the grease. I resisted the urge to touch or disturb the cornstarch during this time.

  • Brushing off the cornstarch and wiping clean:

After waiting, I gently brushed off the cornstarch using an old toothbrush. I was quite thrilled to see that the grease stain had faded significantly.

I then wiped the area with a damp cloth and let it dry. The result was pretty impressive!

6. Commercial Leather Cleaner Alternatives

When home remedies didn’t quite do the job, I decided to turn to commercial cleaners. However, I was wary of using harsh chemicals on my faux leather boots, so I opted for milder, non-abrasive alternatives.

  • Choosing a mild and non-abrasive cleaner:

I picked up a leather cleaner that was advertised as gentle and non-abrasive. It was crucial that the product wouldn’t harm my boots while effectively cleaning them.

  • Testing in an inconspicuous area first:

Before applying the cleaner all over my boots, I decided to test it on an inconspicuous area—like the inner side of the boot. This way, it wouldn’t be noticeable if the cleaner caused discoloration or damage.

Precautions and Tips

As I navigated through cleaning my faux leather boots, I picked up a few additional tips and precautions.

  • Testing Remedies in a Small, Inconspicuous Area:

Not all faux leather is created equal, and what works for one pair of boots may not work for another. So I made it a point to test any new cleaner or remedy on a small, hidden part of the boot first.

Before applying it to the entire surface, I waited a few hours to see if any adverse reactions occurred. This saved me a few times from causing more harm than good!

  • Using a Soft Cloth or Sponge to Avoid Scratches:

I quickly realized that the tools used for cleaning are just as important as the cleaning solution. Given the delicate nature of faux leather, I opted for a soft cloth or sponge to apply and remove remedies. This helped avoid any scratches or abrasions that a harsher material might cause.

  • Allowing Boots to Air Dry Naturally:

After my boots were cleaned and wiped down, I allowed them to air dry naturally. I resisted the urge to speed up the process with a hairdryer or heater, as the excessive heat could have caused damage to the material. Instead, I found a cool, dry place for my boots to rest, and the results were well worth the wait!

  • Storing Boots Away from Direct Sunlight and Heat Sources:

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the longevity and appearance of faux leather boots. I learned this the hard way when a pair of my favorite boots started to crack after being stored near a sunny window.

Now, I keep my boots in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat sources or sunlight, to prevent premature aging or damage. It’s a simple step that goes a long way in preserving the life of your boots.

How Do You Maintain Faux Leather?

When it comes to faux leather, maintenance is key. With a few simple habits, you can extend the life of your faux leather items and keep them looking as good as new. Here are some strategies I’ve found to be effective:

1. Regular Cleaning and Wiping

One of the things that I’ve found to make a huge difference is regular cleaning. A quick wipe-down with a soft, dry cloth can remove surface dust and prevent it from settling into the crevices of your faux leather items.

Once a week, I take a few minutes to gently clean my faux leather pieces, ensuring they stay in top shape.

2. Proper Storage to Avoid Scratches

Storing your faux leather items correctly can significantly reduce potential damage. I once left a faux leather purse on a hanger, only for the straps to stretch and crack.

I always ensure my items are flat and not under strain when stored. I also keep them away from sharp objects, which can easily scratch the surface.

3. Using a Protective Spray for Added Durability

A protective spray can help guard your faux leather against environmental damage. I use one specially designed for faux leather, spraying a light layer on my items every few months. It helps keep them resilient and shiny, almost like a shield against the world.

4. Preventive Care in Extending the Life of Faux Leather

Above all, the best way to maintain faux leather is to care for it proactively. A little thought goes a long way in keeping your faux leather items in good condition.

I regularly inspect my pieces for wear and tear, addressing minor issues before they become major headaches.

Can I Use Leather Cleaner on Faux Leather?

Naturally, one might assume that leather cleaner would work just as well on faux leather. However, this isn’t always the case. I once used a leather cleaner on my faux leather boots, which looked dull and lifeless.

Leather cleaners can sometimes be harsh and abrasive on faux leather. They’re designed for real leather, which is generally more durable and has different properties.

But fret not, there are plenty of alternatives:

Mild Soap and Water Mixture

One of the safest and most effective ways to clean faux leather is to use a simple mixture of mild soap and water.

I’ve used this method countless times on my faux leather handbags, and the results are always satisfactory. It’s gentle yet effective.

Specialized Faux Leather Cleaners

Cleaning solutions are also available specifically for faux leather. These cleaners are formulated with the right balance of ingredients to clean faux leather effectively without causing damage.

I always keep a bottle handy in case of spills or stains. With the right care, your faux leather can look great for years.

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