How to Clean Sorel Boots (Nubuck, Suede, or Waterproof)

The steps for cleaning your Sorel boots depend on the material type on the outside of the boot and the liner on the inside. Waterproof leather, oiled leather, and suede boots are all cleaned differently and require special care as a result.

This guide gives step-by-step instructions for cleaning all types of Sorel boots, including their liners. It’s important to follow the instructions for your boot based especially on its outer material to ensure your boots are well taken care of.

Sorel Boot Cleaning

How to Clean the Outside of Sorel Boots

Cleaning the outside of Sorel boots is easy if you know what type of boot you have. Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure you know what material is on the outside of your boot.

The boot will be made of one of the following materials:

  • Waterproof leather
  • Oiled leather
  • Dry tanned leather
  • Nubuck
  • Suede leather

If you don’t know what kind of material your boot is made from, you can visit the Sorel online store and search for your shoe. The material will be listed in the product’s description.

After you know what type of material your boot is made from, follow the instructions for your boot type below:

Waterproof Leather

Step 1 – Remove dirt, dust, and debris by using a medium bristle brush. Brushes specially designed for cleaning leather are best.
Step 2 – Use a damp cloth with lukewarm water to wipe down the outside of the boot.
Step 3 – Place the boots in a cool, dry place to air dry for a few hours.

Oiled Leather/Dry Tanned Leather

Step 1 – Use a dry cloth to remove all dirt, dust, and debris from the outside of the boot.
Step 2 – Dip a clean cloth in leather cleaner and apply a small amount to the cloth.
Step 3 – Apply the leather cleaner to the boot by gently rubbing the cloth against the outside leather. Use a circular motion and make sure you don’t use too much cleaner at once.
Step 4 – Use a damp cloth to remove any excess residue.
Step 5 – Leave the boots to air dry in a dry area for a few hours or overnight.

Nubuck/Suede Leather

Step 1 – Use a soft brush to remove any stuck dirt, dust, and debris from the boot. Brushes specially designed for cleaning nubuck/suede are the safest to use and perform the best.

Try not to get the boot wet if you can avoid it as it will change the appearance of the leather material.

How to Clean Sorel Boot Liner

In addition to the outside of the boot, you may need to clean the liner from time to time. Because of the outside material, you can’t just toss the boot in the washer when the liner gets stinky and dirty. Instead, follow the instructions below based on the level of soilage on the liner.

Note that you should never put the liners inside a washing machine or dryer. Likewise, do not allow the liners to dry directly by sources of heat or the sun because they can catch on fire.

If your boots are having issues with strong odors, the best course of action is to remove the inner liner from the boot. Give it time to air out and dry, and then use a fabric spray or deodorizer to help remove any odors.

Just like the cleaning instructions above for the outside of your boots, the best way to clean the inside is to use warm water and gentle soap. All you have to do is take a damp cloth and wipe down the liner and then leave it to air dry before placing it back.

For those times where a damp cloth isn’t getting the job done, you should move on to the more extreme option. Start by filling up your sink with cold water and then add a small amount of mild detergent.

Instead of just wiping down the liners you should now completely hand wash them to remove heavy dirt or grime. After washing them by hand, use a towel to dry them the best that you can before letting them sit and dry for a few hours.

What If My Sorel Boots Have Scratches?

Leather is a natural material that is completed with unique marks and scratches. As you wear Sorel boots, they will develop inevitable scratches and marks. These imperfections add character to the boot. As a result, you should not fret small scratches and marks on your boots.

If you do, you will likely have a headache on your hands since you won’t be able to completely remove these marks in the first place.

So, wear the scuffs proudly – they show that your boots have been around the block a time or two!

Final Thoughts

The most difficult part of cleaning Sorel boots is knowing what material is on the outside. You must follow the instructions based on your boot material or else they will be damaged and broken prematurely. Use the product description to learn what kind of material your boot is made from.

No matter what kind of boots you have or how dirty they are, you should never put any part of the boot in the washing machine or dryer. These machines will damage the delicate material. Only handwash your Sorel boots to keep them clean and in tip-top shape.