How to Clean UGG Sheepskin Boots Inside and Out

how to clean sheepskin boots

Illustration: © The Spruce, 2018

Sheepskin and suede boots like those made by UGG are quite stylish and comfortable. However, the outisde can easily become scuffed and look dirty and the interior begin to smell. These boots are made from real animal hide that has been tanned to create the soft finish. There are boots that are made of synthetic materials that look quite similar. However, true sheepskin and UGG brand boots should be hand-cleaned and never tossed in a washer. Here are some ways to tackle different types of stains and keep those boots looking better longer.

How to Remove Water Stains on UGG Boots

If your boots get wet, just letting them dry without cleaning can cause streaking or water stains. Instead, 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!

To help the boots hold their shape, stuff the damp boot with a rolled white towel. Don't use a dark colored towel because some dye might transfer to the boots. Allow to air dry away from full sun or direct heat. Do not put in the dryer or use a hair dryer directly on the boots. High heat can damage the skin.

How to Remove Salt Stains on UGG Boots

For winter salt stains, add one step to the water stain removal process. Before you wet your boots completely, mix one cup of water and one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. Rub the salt stained area with the solution using a white cloth or cotton ball. The acetic acid in the vinegar will gently dissolve the salt. Proceed with the water stain removal steps.

How to Remove Scuff Marks on UGG Boots

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 or sheepskin. For tough scuffs and stains, you'll need a suede and nubuck cleaner. Finish by brushing the suede with a soft bristled brush.

How to Remove Oily Stains on UGG Boots

Cover the oily stain with a layer of baby powder or cornstarch and let it sit for at least 24 hours - 48 hours is better. The powder will absorb the oil from the boots. Then brush away the powder with an old toothbrush. You may need to repeat the procedure to get all of the oily stain off the suede.

For overall cleaning, there are detergents made for cleaning leather. Follow the directions carefully and shampoo your boots. Allow to slowly air dry. Remember, no high heat!

How to Clean the Inside of UGG Boots

There are usually a couple of issues with the inside of sheepskin boots - fungus and odor. It is nearly impossible to wash the inside of shearling boots thoroughly enough to kill fungus. Wiping down the inside with a solution of disinfecting cleaner  (NOT CHLORINE BLEACH) and water will help. The best way to kill fungus in the boots is to use an anti-fungal spray.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda into each boot and let them sit overnight to help with odor. Just empty out the baking soda before wearing!

There are replacement insoles from UGG and other brands that may solve the majority of the odor problem.

6 Tips to Keep your UGG Boots Looking Great

  • To help prevent excessive staining, sheepskin boots can be waterproofed using a special spray. Be sure to test it on an inside area first as it may change the texture and color of the leather.
  • Never let your boots soak in water or stay wet for too long. This will loosen adhesives and cause the skins to become misshapen.
  • Never dry sheepskin boots under a direct heat source. Slow, gentle drying is best.
  • Never store damp boots. 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 away.
  • Always wear socks or tights with your boots to prevent interior soiling and to help prevent odors.
  • Use boot trees or rolled up tissue paper to stuff boots to help them hold their shape when not wearing.