How to Clean and Care for UGG Sheepskin Boots

Ugg boots

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Sheepskin boots, such as those made by UGG, are quite stylish and comfortable. However, the suede outside can easily become scuffed and the fleece-lined interior of the boots can begin to smell unpleasant. While there are certain brands of boots that can be machine-washed, they are made of synthetic materials that look quite similar to sheepskin. True sheepskin UGG brand boots or Deckers X Lab comfort shoes and slippers are made from a real animal hide that has been tanned to create a soft finish. They should be hand-cleaned and never tossed in a washer.

How to Clean UGG Sheepskin Boots
Detergent Gentle leather soap
Water Temperature Cold
Cycle Type Do not machine-wash
Drying Cycle Type Do not machine-dry
Special Treatments Spot-clean stains
Iron Settings Do not iron

Project Metrics

Working Time: Varies based on the type of stain

Total Time: Varies based on the type of stain

Skill Level: Beginner

What You Need

Supplies

  • Cold water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Suede and nubuck cleaner
  • Baby powder or cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Phenolic spray disinfectant (Lysol)
  • Anti-fungal spray

Tools

  • White cloth or sponge
  • Towels
  • Toothbrush (optional)
  • Suede or soft-bristled brush
  • Cotton ball
materials for cleaning Ugg boots
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Instructions for Overall Cleaning

  1. Brush the Boots

    Run a suede brush over the boots after every wearing to remove dust and loose soil. It's best to brush the boots outdoors. Start at the top, and brush downward following the nap of the hide.

    brushing the boots
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  2. Use a Suede Cleaner

    For overall cleaning, use a detergent made for cleaning leather. Follow the directions carefully, and shampoo your boots starting at the top and working downward with gentle circular motions, being careful not to over-saturate the boots. Allow the boots to air-dry.

    applying suede cleaner to ugg boots
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

How to Remove Water Stains

If your boots get wet in a rainstorm, just letting them dry without cleaning can cause streaking or water stains. Here's how to prevent water stains on your UGG boots.

  1. Wipe Down With a Wet Cloth

    Use a white cloth or sponge dipped in clean, cold water and wet the boots all over until they are evenly wet. Do not soak them. This step will help them dry evenly and without watermarks.

    wiping down ugg boots with a damp cloth
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  2. Stuff the Boots With a Rolled Towel

    To help the boots hold their shape while drying, stuff the damp boot with a rolled white towel. Don't use a dark-colored towel because dye could transfer to the boots. Skip the newsprint as well, or your feet and socks will be ink-stained.

    rolled up towels in ugg boots
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  3. Air-Dry the Boots

    Allow the boots to air-dry away from full sun or direct heat. Do not put the boots in the dryer or use a hair dryer directly on the boots. High heat can damage the skin of the boots.

    ugg boots air drying
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

How to Remove Salt Stains

Salt stains can appear on UGG boots after you've walked in the salted roads after a snowfall. Salt used in the tanning process may also rise to the surface of the skin and appear when the boots are wet. However, the stains can be removed with a little TLC.

  1. Create a Water and Vinegar Solution

    Mix 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar.

    vinegar and water mixture for cleaning Ugg boots
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  2. Blot the Salt-Stained Areas

    Wipe the salt-stained area with the vinegar solution using a white cloth or cotton ball. The acetic acid in the vinegar will gently dissolve the salt.

    dabbing an Ugg boot with vinegar solution
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  3. Wet Boots Evenly

    Use a white cloth or sponge dipped in clean, cold water and wet the boots all over until they are evenly wet. Do not soak them. Allow the boots to air-dry.

    dabbing Ugg boots with the vinegar solution
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

How to Remove Scuff Marks

Here's how to remove the scuff marks that can make your UGG boots look aged.

  1. Brush Away the Scuff Marks

    Use an old toothbrush or a clean white towel to brush away the scuff. Take care not to rub too hard and follow the nap of the suede. For tough scuffs and stains, you'll need a suede and nubuck cleaner.

    brushing away scuff marks
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  2. Brush the Finish

    After the scuff is gone, use a suede or soft-bristled brush to brush the suede to return the napped surface to the proper direction.

    brushing away scuff mark on an Ugg boot
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

How to Remove Oil Stains

You can pick up oil or grease stains on your UGG boots simply by walking around outdoors. Before using the following method, wash your hands so you don't transfer more oil to the boots.

  1. Absorb the Oil

    Cover the oily stain with a layer of baby powder or cornstarch, and let it sit for at least 24 hours (though 48 hours is better). The powder will absorb the oil from the boots.

    Sprinkling the boot with baby powder
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  2. Brush Away the Powder

    Brush away the powder with an old toothbrush. You may need to repeat the procedure to get all of the oily stains off the suede.

    Brushing baby powder on an Ugg boot
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

How to Clean the Inside of UGG Boots

When the fleece inside of your UGG boots becomes moist from sweat or water, bacteria begins to grow and causes odor. Take care to maintain the inside of the boots, so they stay smelling fresh.

  1. Eliminate Fungus and Bacteria

    Wipe down the inside with a solution of disinfecting cleaner and water. Choose a pine oil or phenolic disinfectant, such as Lysol; never use chlorine bleach, which will cause the sheepskin hide to stiffen. Follow the label directions for mixing instructions. The best way to kill fungus in the boots is to use an anti-fungal spray.

    using fungal spray inside an Ugg boot
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  2. Allow Plenty of Time for Air-Drying

    Once you have wiped down the interior, allow at least 24 hours for the interior to air-dry before wearing again.

    air drying Ugg boots
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  3. Control Odor

    To help combat odor, sprinkle a 1/2-cup of baking soda into each boot and allow them to sit overnight. The next morning, empty and vacuum out the baking soda to prevent leaving white tracks everywhere.

    spooning baking soda into an ugg boot
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

How to Store UGG Sheepskin Boots

Never immediately store damp boots in an enclosed space or container. Even if the weather is dry, allow the boots to air-dry at least 24 hours after wearing to allow foot and body moisture to evaporate before storing them away. Use boot trees, rolled up white towels, or white tissue paper to stuff boots to help them hold their shape when they're not being worn.

Repairs

If a seam has come undone, use a heavy-duty needle and buttonhole thread to repair it. Double-stitch the seam so that it doesn't come undone easily.

If there's a tear in the boot, cover it with a suede patch found at fabric and craft stores. It might not look as good as new, but it will keep your feet warm and dry.

Tips for Cleaning and Caring for UGG Sheepskin Boots

  • To help prevent excessive staining, sheepskin boots can be waterproofed using a special spray. Test it on an inside area first, as it may change the texture and color of the leather.
  • Always wear socks or tights with your boots to prevent interior soiling and odors.
  • Never let your boots soak in water or stay wet for too long. This loosens adhesives and causes the skins to become misshapen.
  • Never dry sheepskin boots with a direct heat source, such as a hair dryer or clothes dryer. Slow, gentle drying is best.