How to Care for Carhartt Boots: Cleaning, Conditioning, and Polishing

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Carhartt work boots or regular boots are super comfortable footwear. And you can buy these without spending top-brand money on them. 

The comfort and durability they offer are amazing considering what you’re paying. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to clean them from time to time. 

So, how to clean Carhartt boots? Well, it’s not all about cleaning. Cleaning can be as simple as dusting off with a brush, right? 

You can call it taking care of your boots. At the end of this guide, you’ll know how to clean, condition, and polish your Carhartt boots the right way with the least effort made. 

Let’s dive right in- 

How to Care for Carhartt Boots? 

Caring for a pair of boots is more than simply cleaning them. You have to condition them from time to time. And of course, you can’t forget about waterproofing them. 

This is why I’ve broken down the entire process into 3 parts which will make your job even easier. 

How to Clean Carhartt Boots? 

First off, you need to clean the boots. And remember, cleaning boots and cleaning fabric isn’t the same thing. You can’t just dive in with the soap whenever you want. 

There are a few preparations to be made if you want to make your boots last longer. 

Step 1:  Remove the Laces Dust off Any Dirt or Debris 

You might think removing the laces is tiresome but don’t skip it. You have no idea how much dirt and grime can get stuck on those spots. 

And most importantly, the extra saddle soap that gets there is really hard to remove. Compared to lacing up again, this is ten times more irritating. 

Take a dry rag and wipe down the boots so there isn’t any visible dirt. If you want to go a step further, brush off the boots with a horsehair shoe brush

And remember not to use any water on your boots at this point. The water comes later. 

Step 2: Get Your Saddle Soap Ready 

Some people like to use a different container to hold warm water for the saddle soap. But the lid of the saddle soap does the same thing. And you don’t have to clean up afterward. 

After you’ve gathered the warm water and a dauber brush (these round brushes make cleaning super easy), you’re ready to move to the next step. 

Step 3: Apply Circular Motions on the Boots with the Dauber Brush 

It’s like brushing your teeth. You need to get into all the nooks and crannies. This means, don’t miss out on the welt and creases. 

You might not guess but that’s where most of the grime, patina, and dirt is. It’s the sticky kind, that just doesn’t want to come off. 

However, remember that your dauber brush shouldn’t be soaking wet. A lightly wet dauber brush will do the job just fine. 

This applies to all leather boots that you don’t want the leather to get saturated with water. It’s the lather that does wonder not the water.  

Long story short, you want to lather up all the spots. The entire upper of your Carhartt boots should be filled up with lather. 

Step 4:  Wipe Off the Boots with a Microfiber Cloth 

This part is simple. Simply wipe all the suds off your Carhartt boots with a microfiber cloth and you’re done. 

However, you might want to take your time with it. You see you don’t want any extra soap left in the creases. 

The welt, the creases, and the tongue are where you want most of your focus. Make sure there isn’t any soap residue there as they can attract dirt and debris more than the flat surfaces of your boots. 

How to Condition Carhartt Boots? 

You might think conditioning is a different process and you don’t need it. But that’s not the reality. 

As you’ve used saddle soap, the natural oils in your Carhartt boots aren’t at optimum level. If you don’t want the leather to start showing cracks, conditioning is the best way to go. 

For Carhartt boots, I’d always prefer mink oil as a conditioner. It conditions the leather also waterproofs the leather so that you can wear them in rough conditions without having to worry about damaging them. 

Here’s how to do it- 

Step 1: Dry Your Boots for 8-24 Hours After Cleaning 

Let me share with you a quick tip. I’m somewhat impatient when it comes to waiting. So, I always try to do the cleaning late in the day. 

After wiping off the soap, I leave them like that. The next morning, they are fully ready to get conditioned. Nonetheless, 24 hours is the ideal waiting period if you don’t want to leave any stones unturned. 

Step 2: Apply Mink Oil in Circular Motions 

There are two ways you can scoop out mink oil from the container. One is to use a cloth. 

And another one is to wear rubber gloves and use your fingers to rub the oil on the boots. 

Personally, I prefer using my fingers. And it’s the same for liquid mink oil. I think the cloth itself absorbs most of the oil. So, it’s a waste. And I don’t want that.  

Anyway, take small amounts and start rubbing in circular motions. This way it’ll spread evenly. 

Step 4: Cover Every Inch of the Boots with Multiple Applications 

It takes some time to cover every inch of the boots. As you ‘should’ take small portions each time, you have to do it plenty of times. 

But sooner or later, you’ll be done. Just don’t leave out any part. 

Step 5: Wait 1-2 Hours to Let the Mink Oil Dry 

Once you’re done applying, leave them like that. You don’t have to do anything. Simply leave them in a well-ventilated room for 1-2 hours and the oil will be absorbed by the leather. 

Do not even think of speeding up the process anything like heat or heavy airflow. It’s going to mess up the process. 

Step 6: Lightly Wipe Away the Remaining with a Microfiber Cloth 

After the waiting period is over, most of the mink oil should be absorbed. Although it greatly depends on how much you applied. 

Nonetheless, if you feel like waiting a bit longer, you can do that too. Then, wipe the boots with a microfiber cloth. You can use regular clothes too. But a microfiber cloth is going to be smoother. 

However, you shouldn’t apply extra pressure to your Carhartt boots. The wiping should be as light as possible. 

Remember, you’re not polishing them. You’re only removing the excess. 

How to Polish and Buff Carhartt Boots? 

Some people don’t really polish their boots as their work environment doesn’t let them have clean footwear. So, doing the same process every day is a hassle for them. 

However, there’s a simple solution to it. Here’s what it’s all about-

Step 1: Apply Shoe Polish with a Brush But Don’t Buff

You can use any brush you want. Most people use a toothbrush so that works too. Personally, I use the Jovitech 3-Piece Horsehair Shoe Brush. From cleaning to polishing, these brushes get all the jobs done flawlessly. 

Step 2: Use an Electric Shoe Polisher 

Trust me on this, an electric shoe polisher is far more effective than your hand when it comes to giving your boots the shine they deserve. The problem is choosing the right shoe polisher. 

If you ask me, I’d choose the Sansent Electric Shoe Polisher. It’s compact in size, charges with a micro-USB so you don’t have to look for a specific cable every time you charge. 

Most importantly, it gives you control as you can move around the polisher to wherever you want. 

But if you want more motor power, Moneyworth Shoe Polisher is the way to go. It’s a bit larger in size but it does a tremendous job with the least effort required. 

Final Words 

I hope now you know how to care for Carhartt boots. At the end of the day, it all boils down to keeping your boots out of water. Not outside but when you’re cleaning the boots. 

And the frequency of how often you clean the boots depends on how much you wear them and where you wear them.

Richard Nelson

Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. From an early age, leather boots have been a passion for him. So, he thought why not share his knowledge with the rest of the world? 

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