How To Clean Ariat Work Boots: Learn these handy tips for better looking and cleaner shoes

How to clean Ariat work boots featured image

So, you’ve already gotten the pair of Ariat boots you wanted, but now they’re not looking as fresh as they once did. 

Don’t worry, in this article we’ll detail exactly how to clean your beloved pair of Ariat work boots.

Ariat takes great pride in the products they make, so they were more than happy to provide detailed instructions on how to best clean and preserve them.

If you’re reading this because you’re intere

Besides information directly from Ariat, I checked out some third-party, non-Ariat affiliated, leather and boot enthusiasts who also provided information on leather care for nothing other than the sake of art. 

Maybe you’re someone who loves their Ariat cowboy boots looking fresh. 

Maybe you’re not that person, but want to become that person. 

No matter who you are, or what your history of boot care looks like, if you want to learn the best methods for how to clean Ariat work boots, you’re in the right place.

Regardless of whether you have leather cowboy boots, a western boot or any type of Ariat Work boot, lets get into it.

Things You’ll Need

  • Cotton Rags (must be a clean cloth)
  • Dry Brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Ariat Leather Conditioner
  • Ariat Leather Polish (for some styles)

Steps to Clean Ariat Work Boots

Remove Laces and Footbeds (insoles)

You’ll want to remove the laces and wash them separately. 

If they’re really caked with mud, throw them in the washer

If they’re just a little dirty, a rinse in the sink or a bowl of soapy water followed by a rinse should be plenty.

This is a judgment call, I can’t see how dirty your laces have gotten.

This is noted as optional by Ariat, but as someone that used work boots for a number of years, and has a wife who is less than fond of how my feet and boots smelled after a day of work, I recommend you remove the footbeds.

Even if your feet don’t sweat like mine, airing the footbeds out can never hurt. 

Doing so will also give a little more breathing room for the insoles of your boot for odor and moisture to escape. 

Rinse Them Off

To begin, you’ll need to remove the excess of dirt or dust off your Ariat boots. 

If your boots are completely covered, it’s best to use impact to knock the excess dirt off. 

Simply take you boot and smack it outsole-first on a hard surface (preferably outside). 

This will prevent you from creating mud while you’re trying to remove mud.

If there’s still an excess of dirt, or you’re cleaning then before the mud has dried, spraying them off is okay. 

Just do your best not to fill the inside of the boot with water.

To prevent this, let gravity be your friend and turn your boots upside down before hitting them with a hose or sprayer. 

Dry Them Off 

This step requires you to do almost nothing but wait for your work boots to dry.

Put some paper towels inside your boot to help absorb any moisture that might have gotten in there, and then give the boots a day or two to thoroughly dry.

Do not try to speed this process up by using direct sunlight or a heat source (heat gun, fireplace, hair dryer). 

Doing so can cause the leather to dehydrate and crack. 

Even if you’ve dried boots like this before and haven’t seen a negative result, there’s some hurt that can’t be seen from the outside. 

I promise you, it’s not good for the leather to accelerate the drying process. 

As someone who has worked in trades that require patience (carpentry, painting, pouring concrete), it can be incredibly frustrating to sit and do nothing, but sometimes nothing is the action that delivers the best result.

I’m thankful for the old timers that have told me to let the first coat dry, or that a cracked landing doesn’t support a staircase at all. 

I hope this will be the same thing for your boots. 

Wipe Them Down

After this washing and drying, or if this wasn’t necessary for your boots, soak and wring out a rag, begin wiping off the grime starting at the top. 

You want to begin at the top so if you knock dirt loose you’re not covering areas you’ve already cleaned.

If you find the rag is getting dirty, rinse it, wring it out, and continue. 

You don’t want to be rubbing a dirty rag on the boots you’re trying to clean.

If your boots have any zips on them, make sure not to omit this part in your cleaning as dirt and sand stuck in them can limit or ruin the functionality of them.

There is an Ariat cleaning product which can be used instead of water. 

Dish soap can be used in addition to water.

I feel, however, that  with a little bit of effort water is just as effective as any sort of soap or cleaning product at this stage. 

The need for products comes next.


Conditioning your Ariat boots softens and preserves them so they can live to serve you another day.

Now that your boots are dry, grab a fresh rag (dry cloth), apply some Ariat leather conditioner to it, and start working it into your Ariat boots in a circular pattern from the bottom up. 

Take your time, and make sure to be thorough to ensure that you work the entire boot and don’t miss a spot.

Let the conditioner dry for at least 15 minutes. 

You should be able to see a milky or waxy film that appears. 

Use the dry brush to gently rub this off so you’re able to clearly see the natural color of the Ariat leather.

If you have a different brand of leather conditioner, that’s okay. 

I’m not being paid by Ariat so I won’t sit here writing that other brands’ leather care product just don’t work, they will absolutely work. 

But, if you don’t have any leather conditioner yet, and you can afford the difference in price (I don’t even know if there is a difference), go for the Ariat leather conditioner. 

I’ve found that a particular brand will take particular care ensuring that their products work excellent on their products.


After conditioning, it’s time to polish out any scuffs and scratches you’ve put into your Ariat boots.

Grab a fresh rag, apply some Ariat polish, and apply in a circular pattern from the base of the boot up to the top.

Important: nubuck, suede, and distressed Ariat leathers cannot be polished.

Doing so will destroy or discolor these materials. 

You have been warned!

Give a few minutes, and after that you’re free to hit your boots with a soft brush.

This will give them a beautiful shine.

Special Cleaning


If you’ve got grease or oil on your work boots, grab a box of baking soda and a toothbrush.

Sprinkle the baking soda on the stained area, apply a very small amount of water, and work the powder into the leather. 

Allow it to dry and wipe it off. 


Ink stains require cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, and a soft touch. 

Apply rubbing alcohol or acetone to the cotton ball and gently dab it upon the stained area. 

Resist the urge to rub, rubbing the ink stain will spread it and make it more difficult to remove.

If the cotton ball becomes covered with ink, change it out for a fresh one.

Cotton balls are cheap, leather boots aren’t.

After having removed the stain, wipe the area with a damp towel then dry it. 

Keep Them Around

I hope this will allow you to preserve your Ariat work boots for years to come. 

Taking care of a quality product is just as important as obtaining it, and it’s often the aspect of Ariat boot ownership that people ignore.

Don’t ignore this aspect of owning Ariat boots, keep them around for years.

On that note, if you’re interested in buying a pair then you might want to know how Ariat boots fit.

If you don’t own a pair of Ariat’s, you might want to learn more about how to clean work boots.

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