How To Clean Red Wing Boots

How To Clean Red Wing Boots featured photo

Red Wing shoes are a popular choice for most people as they are durable and made of high-quality materials. Regular use of boots will result to wear and tear but, if properly maintained and cleaned, you can make your boots last longer. Red Wing boots are easy to clean and you can definitely do it yourself.

To clean Red Wing boots, you need to remove any grime or dirt from the boots before cleaning them with a leather cleaner. Leather conditioners and leather protectors are also used to maintain Red Wing boots.

If you own Red Wings and are wondering how to clean Red Wing boots, this article will give you a detailed guide to keep your boots in good condition. Cleaning Red Wings is an easy process and you will have clean and well-maintained boots in no time!

Do You Need To Clean Red Wing Boots?

Do You Need To Clean Red Wing Boots

Yes, you need to clean your Red Wing boots.

While Red Wing shoes are known for their high-quality footwear, cleaning and maintaining your Red Wing boots can make them last longer. As with all footwear, Red Wing boots can deteriorate over time.

Boots that are used regularly will become dirty, and scuffed, and can also have stains and marks. Cleaning your Red Wing boots can keep the leather from becoming stiff, dry, or worse, cracked. When cleaned regularly, you can maintain the boots’ appearance, prevent damage, and keep the boots high in quality.

Red Wing boots can come with a hefty price tag and keeping them clean and well-maintained will make them last longer and keep you from buying a new pair ever so often.

How To Clean Red Wing Boots

How To Clean Red Wing Boots

Red Wing shoes have a “Free 30-Day Service Program” where they will clean your Red Wing boots and/or shoes for free. This is a monthly service in many Red Wing stores so you can check out a Red Wing store near you to ask about this service.

This free service is awesome if you have the time to take your Red Wing boots to the store to have them cleaned. However, if you can’t make it to a Red Wing store, cleaning Red Wing boots by yourself is very easy to do.

All you need are a couple of things to start cleaning your boots. The materials needed are:

– Soft-bristled brush or horsehair brush

– Clean microfiber cloth

– Warm water

– Leather cleaner

– Saddle soap

Step 1: Clean Your Red Wing Boots

Before you can apply a leather conditioner to your boots, you have to clean them first. Removing the dirt and grime from the boots will make them cleaner. The leather conditioner will also be more effective if the boots have been cleaned beforehand.

To clean your Red Wing boots, start by removing the laces first. Using a clean cloth, soft-bristled brush, or horsehair brush, gently brush off any dirt and grime from the boots. Once the dirt and grime have been cleaned, pour some leather cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the boots down.

If there are stubborn stains or more soiled spots on the boots, pour some more leather cleaner on the cloth and gently scrub down the stained area. After wiping the boots with a leather cleaner, get a new clean microfiber cloth and gently wipe the excess leather cleaner from the boots. Aside from a leather cleaner, you can also use saddle soap and warm water to clean a Red Wing boot.

There are several leather cleaners designed for cleaning boots that you can buy. Red Wing also has their own Red Wing leather cleaner product should you prefer to use Red Wing products for your Red Wing boots.

Step 2: Condition Your Red Wing Boots

Step 2 Condition Your Red Wing Boots

Once your boots are clean and dry, it is time to condition them. Conditioning leather boots keep them pliable and supple. Not only that, but it can also increase the boots’ longevity and durability.

To condition your Red Wing boots, use a clean cloth to apply a small amount of leather conditioner to the boots. After applying the leather conditioner, let it dry for about one hour. Once the boots are dry, buff the boots with a soft-bristle or horsehair brush to finish it off.

Make sure to apply the leather conditioner evenly and to get the leather conditioner into hard-to-reach areas as well. For leather conditioners, you can use mink oil, an all-natural leather conditioner, or an all-natural boot oil.

Like leather cleaners, Red Wing also has their own leather conditioner product that you can use for your boots. But, you can also buy other appropriate leather conditioners for your boots that are not from Red Wing.

Applying mink oil will darken the leather so you have to use it sparingly, especially if you have Nubuck or suede boots. On that note, using too much mink oil on your leather boots, whether they are Red Wing boots or not, can cause damage to the boots. So, make sure to start with a small amount of mink oil when you start conditioning your boots.

Step 3: Protect Your Red Wing Boots

Caring for your Red Wing boots does not stop after applying a leather conditioner. Using a leather protector will protect the leather from premature aging and stains that can damage the boots. Leather protectors do not have any harmful oils that can damage or cause discoloration on the leather so these are very safe to use on leather boots.

Leather protectors can come as wipes, sprays, or as creams. If you are going to use a leather protector cream, apply a small amount of the cream on a clean cloth and gently wipe the cream on the boot evenly. If you are going to use a leather spray, lightly mist footwear with an even layer of leather protector on the boots making sure that the spray is about a foot away from the boots.

You can also buy a Red Wing leather protector or buy a different brand. After you are done applying the leather protector, let it dry and you are done caring for your Red Wing boots.

Red Wing Briar Oil Slick Leather Care

Red Wing’s Briar Oil Slick Leather is full-grain, oil-tanned leather and has an oil-slick finish. It has a dark brown coloring with a shade of red in it. If you have this type of Red Wing boots, use the same steps as above for caring for your boots but, use Red Wing’s Boot Oil to condition the boots. Red Wing boot oil is recommended by Red Wing to use for the Briar Oil Slick Leather as it has more oil added during the tanning process.

Red Wing Muleskinner and Rough and Tough Leather Care

Red Wing’s Muleskinner is made of full-grain leather but is fuzzier than other Red Wing boots as the leather is flipped inside out, exposing the fuzzy side. Red Wing’s Rough and Tough boots, on the other hand, are made of Nubuck leather.

As we said earlier, mink oil will darken leather boots and should be used sparingly, especially on Nubuck leather. For Red Wing Muleskinner, do not use polish or wax to condition the boots as it can ruin the patina on the boots.


Red Wing boots can last for a long time when cared for and maintained properly. Caring for your boots is easy and Red Wing has an easy way for you to remember how to clean Red Wing boots: Clean, Condition, and Protect.

Using the appropriate leather cleaning products will make sure that your boots will maintain their high quality. Cleaning it regularly will also ensure its longevity and durability. Red Wing has leather cleaning kits available for purchase if you are not sure what products to use.

We hope this article helped you keep your Red Wing boots in mint condition. Happy cleaning!