Unlike fabric boots or sneakers, you can’t just throw your suede Timberland boots in the washing machine. That’ll outright ruin them. And cleaning your Timberland boots won’t remove stains but it does prevent them from growing.
So, what do you do when you find out how to remove ink from Timberland boots?
Well, I’m here to solve that problem. I mean, I’m not going to show you any magic trick or something.
But you can rest assured that the ink stain will be gone if you follow the steps properly. There are certain ways to do that. So, don’t skip the description of the steps.
Anyway, let’s see what all the fuss is about-
Here's What to Expect
- 1 How to Remove Ink from Timberland Boots?
- 1.1 What You’ll Need
- 1.2 Step 1: Clean Any Dirt or Debris on the Boots
- 1.3 Step 2: Apply Hairspray on the Ink Stain
- 1.4 Step 3: If the Ink Stain is Still Sharp, Apply More Hairspray
- 1.5 Step 4: Dip the Brush in the Soapy Solution
- 1.6 Step 5: Gently Use the Brush in a Circular Motion
- 1.7 Step 6: Spray, Rinse, Dip, and Continue Brushing
- 1.8 Step 7: Bloat the Cloth Whenever Necessary
- 1.9 Step 8: Check If You’ve Missed a Spot or Not
- 1.10 Step 9: Straighten Up the Nap with a Dry Brush
- 1.11 Step 10: Stuff with Newspaper and Let Them Dry
- 2 Things to Keep in Mind When Removing Ink from Timberland Boots
- 3 How to Protect Your Timberlands from Future Ink Stains?
- 4 On a Final Note
How to Remove Ink from Timberland Boots?
I know it seems like there are a lot of steps. But in reality, I’ve broken down the steps into more parts to make it easier for you to understand. Just read on and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
What You’ll Need
It doesn’t have to be a special kind of hairspray. Regular aerosol hairspray would do just fine.
However, you should use the aerosol kind. Other non-aerosol hairsprays would struggle a bit to remove the ink. Although do you know that you can use hairspray also to stretch Timberlands?
Gentle Liquid Detergent
Remember, it’s suede(or nubuck) leather. You need the detergent to be as gentle as possible when dealing with these types of materials. In fact, you shouldn’t even use detergent on leather. But you have to.
And another thing is never to use too much soap. If there’s a lot of soap foam, it means you’ve used too much.
2 Bowls of Warm Water
Both of the bowls should be filled with warm water. But only one of the bowls should have liquid soap mixed in it.
The other one is for rinsing the ink off the brush. Seems confusing? Don’t worry, I’ve explained it all below.
Get a soft toothbrush. The softer, the better. Although there’s no problem if you want to use old toothbrushes. In fact, it’s better.
But if you can’t find a clean and soft one, I’d recommend you get a new one.
A Clean and Dry Cloth
You know what it is. Just make sure that the clothes you use are clean and dry.
Waterproofing Spray (it’s for later on)
You won’t need this for the removal process. But you should buy one of these if you want to avoid these cases in the future. I’ll be talking about it in a while. These also make your Timberlands good enough for snow.
Step 1: Clean Any Dirt or Debris on the Boots
You don’t want any kind of dirt or debris when you clean the boots. You have no idea what a horrible mess it can create.
It’s a piece of cake if there’s no mud stuck on them. The best way is to protect your Timbs beforehand so that there isn’t much to deal with in the first place. So, please don’t skip this step.
- Grab a horsehair shoe brush(this one’s my personal favorite) and brush off any loose dirt.
- If there’s mud stuck on the boots, get a suede and nubuck cleaning kit(it’s also got a water repellent spray).
Once your Timberlands are fully clean, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Apply Hairspray on the Ink Stain
Before you start spraying, shake the can a few times. Otherwise, you’ll only be spraying propellant, not hairspray.
And remember to work with small areas. By small, I mean ⅕ to 1-inch of an area at a time. The reason is, the ink will start spreading around that area. So, there’s really no way to work your way around it.
Step 3: If the Ink Stain is Still Sharp, Apply More Hairspray
However, if the ink stain doesn’t get expanded or doesn’t seem to run, it means that you haven’t sprayed enough hairspray yet.
You need to take away the sharpness of the ink stain. Or else, you won’t be able to blot away the ink.
Step 4: Dip the Brush in the Soapy Solution
By this point, you should make your soapy solution. Put a few drops of gentle detergent in a bowl filled with warm water and mix it thoroughly.
Now, grab your toothbrush and dip it in the soapy solution. The little amount of water that’s still in the toothbrush is enough to do the trick.
Step 5: Gently Use the Brush in a Circular Motion
It’s better to go for a circular motion when you’re using the brush. This way more ink residue will come upon the brush in less time.
Whatever you do, don’t try to do it rapidly. Stick to the small part of the boot you selected. Once you’re done with it, move on to the next part(but don’t move on yet).
Step 6: Spray, Rinse, Dip, and Continue Brushing
As soon as you start seeing some ink residue on the toothbrush, dip it in the bowl containing only warm water.
Then, dip it again in the soapy solution and continue working on the stain.
It’s a repetitive task. So, it’s not unusual to get bored.
But don’t quit or speed up when you’re only halfway there. Keep on spraying when you start cleaning a new area.
Step 7: Bloat the Cloth Whenever Necessary
At one point, your Timberland boots will get wet. But don’t let them sit like that. Always keep a dry, clean cloth by your side.
Whenever you feel necessary, use it to soak any excess moisture. Don’t forget that suede or nubuck don’t do well with water. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Step 8: Check If You’ve Missed a Spot or Not
As the ink starts to run like crazy, it’s possible you might miss a spot or two. On top of that, it’s hard to notice when the boots are somewhat wet.
This step might seem unnecessary. But it’s better to spend some time looking for a stain when you’re already cleaning than to discover it after the boots are dried.
Step 9: Straighten Up the Nap with a Dry Brush
All of the ink stains should be gone by now from your favorite suede Timberland boots. But it’s not over.
Before you let your Timberlands dry properly, you need to straighten up the naps. Otherwise, they’ll look messed up when they dry out.
You can do this with a dry toothbrush. But I recommend using a suede brush for this purpose.
However, if you do use a toothbrush, make sure it’s completely dry. You don’t want to add any more moisture to these boots.
Step 10: Stuff with Newspaper and Let Them Dry
Once the naps are all brushed down, grab a few sheets of newspaper. And fill up the boots with those.
This will help in holding the shape of the boots. Areas like the toes can deform when they get soaked in water.
By doing this, you’ll ensure that the boots don’t lose their shape. I mean, it’s free. So, why skip it? On top of that, a lot of the creases should go away. But if you want to remove all the creases from your Timbs, this is just a scratch on the surface.
Things to Keep in Mind When Removing Ink from Timberland Boots
Even though the process is relatively simple, there are ways you can mess it up unintentionally. Simply go over these pointers and save yourself the trouble-
It Won’t Work on Marker or Gel Pen Ink
Remember that this method is only applicable for ballpoint ink. This type of ink is pretty easy to remove. But you could get it much faster if it weren’t suede.
However, you can’t apply this method for marker ink, gel pen ink, or even felt-tip pens. You could still try but I’m not sure how well it’d work.
The Newspaper Thing Might Seem Excessive But Don’t Skip It
I don’t know why but a lot of people are against this idea. They think that their boots are going to hold their shape on their own.
But when you think about it, water is the worst enemy of suede or nubuck leather. There’s already a chance that you might’ve ruined the shape of the boots. So, why aggravate it?
Never Try to Speed Up the Drying Process
Nothing. You should do absolutely nothing to speed up the drying process. Whether you want to place them near a radiator or by the place, it’s only going to do harm to the boots.
This also goes for sunlight. It might seem harmless but for God’s sake, please avoid doing it. Leave the boots in a well-ventilated cool space and let them dry on their own.
Be Patient, It WILL Take Some Time
Just like breaking in Timberlands, removing ink will also take time. You might want to remove all the ink stains in one go. But instead of getting it done faster, you’re only going to make it worse.
Take your time. Be patient with it. The entire process won’t even take half an hour depending on the size of the stain.
How to Protect Your Timberlands from Future Ink Stains?
Timberlands are notoriously known for getting stains on them. The only way you protect your boots from this problem is to use a stain protector. In other words, use a water or stain repellent spray.
The problem comes with which product to choose.
Timberland has its own Travel Kit that includes everything you need to protect your suede boots. It’s got the complete package. Whether you need to clean your boots or waterproof them, it has the right tool.
However, it’s a bit pricey because of the brand recognition. If you want a cheaper alternative, my suggestion would be to buy the Gear Air Suede and Nubuck Kit.
It’s basically the same product. But you’ll be spending a LOT LESS, meaning for value for the buck.
On a Final Note
When it’s a matter of how to remove ink from Timberland boots, the hairspray method works flawlessly. I’ve used it myself on multiple occasions.
But some people mess it up when they hurry too much. The key is to take your time with the process. Take things slow and trust me, you won’t even know when it’s done.
Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. It’s not like he dedicated his entire life towards boots but he did work at multiple footwear stores for over 7 years. Anything that’s posted here is double-checked by him. So, don’t worry about getting the wrong info off the internet.