Your snow boots keep your feet protected and thus go through a lot. Subjected to a variety of wintry elements, snow boots plough through snow, mud, rain, dirty snow and salt, as well as a variety of chemicals and street dirt. If you neglect your snow boots, they won’t last beyond the present winter season or will end up looking really shabby. To make sure your favorite snow footwear sees you through many winter seasons, try to give them that much needed care through these simple procedures.
Start protecting your snow boots when they are new
Use a waterproofing agent or formulation on new snow boots. This will increase their resilience against water even before you start using them. It is not unusual for manufacturers to recommend a specific waterproofing product. Use the waterproofing formulation on a regular basis to enhance the boots’ factory-set protection capability. Snow boots that do not have this protective layer won’t offer long term usage. By applying waterproofing agent, you seal the protective layer in.
Make sure to brush the snow boots using a suede brush before and after treatment.
Some snow boots owners suggest the use of saddle soap to keep leather boots protected longer. Thanks to the protective, softening and waterproofing agents in saddle soap, your winter footwear should last a long time. First, give the boots a wipe over using a damp cloth. With the saddle soap and water, create a lather using the cleaning cloth. Apply the lather to the snow boots, leave to slightly dry and then wipe off any lather left. Do test spot the mixture first as it can darken some types of leather.
Salt stains need to be cleaned off immediately
Living in a community where salt is used to keep the streets clear of snow will mean your favorite footwear will be picking up a lot of salt as well. Just a single salt stain that sets in will ruin the appearance of your snow boots. The metallic parts, such as hooks, zippers and others, will develop rust if salt deposits are not cleaned off immediately. It is smart to clean off salt stains the minute you spot them. Use a desalting agent that the manufacturer recommends.
New wet salt lines can be fixed immediately using a warm, damp cloth to wipe the boots over. Leave the snow boots for drying in the mudroom, never by a heater. Stuff some newspaper or other scrap paper into the boots to help them maintain their shape. For salt lines that have dried on, use commercial formulations to eliminate them. You can also use your own desalting formulation if you have a specific recipe for it. One good example is using equal parts vinegar and water to make a liquid solution. Moisten a cleaning rag with the solution and then wipe on the perimeter of the salt line. Finish with a clean damp cloth to wipe the applied solution off along with any salt line left. Use a dry towel to wipe the boot/s and then leave to dry not near direct heat, of course. Buff when dry.
For suede boots, use an eraser or sand gently with an emery board to clean any marks away. A flattened nap can be straightened up with the use of a clean towel or toothbrush to brush the nap up. You can also steam gently over the spout of a freshly boiled kettle.
Heavy dirt stains can also be blotted out using a bit of white vinegar and a clean towel.
Liquid spills can be cleaned with cornmeal or talcum powder
If your suede snow boots have liquid spills on them, pat the spot using a clean cloth or towel. Then, apply a layer of talcum powder or cornmeal. Leave to set overnight. The next day, brush the snow boots using a suede brush to clear away the dried powder.
Keep your snow boots clean and polished
Leather boots should be kept well-polished. Generally, any type of boot should be taken care of by keeping it clean. Many synthetic boots can be given a regular wipe-down using warm water to help clean away dirt and other elements that have gotten encrusted on the surface. Scuff marks on leather boots can be wiped off using a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. Leave to dry and then buff.
Suede boots should never be cleaned with water, as this will affect the footwear’s texture and color.
For oil stains, rub with talcum powder or cornmeal immediately. Gently brush off the boots using a towel, then leave for a few hours to allow the powder to soak up the grime.
Removable boot liners should be hand or machine washed separately. They should be completely dry before being re-inserted into the footwear.
Make sure snow boots are completely clean and dry before storing
Do not put snow boots into storage after the winter without cleaning and drying them. Doing the opposite will result in boots that are cracked, moldy and damaged come next winter. Stains that are allowed to set in can weaken the footwear. Articles of clothing and other shoes kept in storage with your moldy snow boots can also be cross contaminated.
Using plastic bags for storing snow boots is a no-no. Plastic bags do not allow the leather and suede material of the boots to breathe, which can result in drying out and trapping mold. You can use fabric shoe bags, pillowcases and cloth bags instead.