How to use Dr Martens Wonder Balsam: The Accurate Method

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Leather boots are a staple in pretty much everyone’s footwear collection, and everyone wants their leather boots to always look the same as the day of purchase. Well, I’m no different, and after trying out many different products to care for my leather boots, I’ve found the best one and today, I’ll share all about it.

If you’re a fan of Dr Martens like I am, I’m assuming you’re going to love their wonder Balsam just as I do once you use it. And even if you’re not aware of Dr Martens, let alone a fan, I’m sure you’ll be a fan of this product if you know how to use it the right way. And I have got you covered with an easy detail on how to use Dr Martens Wonder Balsam to protect and restore your beloved leather boots. So, let’s not delay any further and jump into it – 

What is Wonder Balsam? 

Now, before I get into the know-how to use it, you may be wondering what this product is and how it works. The Wonder Balsam is a one-of-a-kind combination of natural and synthetic waxes that have been created to replenish, condition, and sustain your leather boots. It is a unique blend of beeswax, coconut oil, and lanolin and is completely colourless.

You can relax with no hassle of polishing your boots because this unique formula works so well that it keeps leather soft for a long time without any polishing.  The wonder balsam keeps your leather smooth and supple by nourishing, conditioning, and extending the integrity of your boots with each use. 

You can count on this product to make your boots always appear brand new. However, Dr Marten’s wonder balsam works on all leather types except suede.

In short, we can call it a balm for leather boots, or, more precisely, this one small pot of goodness will work as a raincoat for your boots on rainy days or a blanket on chilly winter days and protect your boots for years to come. 

How to use Dr Martens Wonder Balsam: Explained in 6 Steps

I’m not going to lengthen the process. For your ease, I’ll explain the entire process in 6 steps. Let’s start-

Step 1: Start with prepping! 

Before using the product and having it work its magic, you need to make sure your boots are prepared for the procedure. Check your boot thoroughly to ensure that there is no sand, dust, or grime that might potentially harm the leather. I suggest you start by dusting your boot with a dry cloth, sponging with a dampened cloth, and finally drying with a dry, soft cloth.

Step 2: Take off the laces

It is not mandatory to take off the shoelaces, but personally, I find it easier to remove the laces since it gives me access to all of the crevices & corners of the boots. I find it particularly helpful when I’m breaking in the Docs and working to soften the leather as fast as possible.

Step 3: Open the packaging 

Now that your boots are prepped and ready to go, it’s time to get into the tin. I know it sounds strange, but trust me when I say you’ll be thankful that you’ve read this and saved yourself the 15 minutes you would’ve spent trying to figure out how to open the tin. 

To begin, unscrew the lid, and you’ll see a handy sponge that will be resting in the lid of your wonder balsam. Detach the tiny sponge and look behind the sponge, where you’ll see a small tray where the sponge sits; that would be the lid of your balsam. Remove the tray under the sponge to reveal the wonder balsam, and you’ll be ready to go.

Step 4: Generously apply the balm

Take the sponge you just detached, dip it lightly into the Balsam, and apply the balm generously in a circular motion. Make sure you’re evenly covering the whole surface of the boot for the best results. A good tip I have for you is to ensure you’re applying the balm around the stitching. This will weatherproof your boot and prolong the life of the seam. 

Step 5: If required, Remove any excess balm.

Look out for any excess balm and if you spot any, take a clean and dry cleaning cloth and gently remove any extra balm. After you’re done with the steps, No polishing would be necessary because it’s time to let the balsam work its magic.

Step 6: Allow the balm to work its magic!

Allow it to sit for at least 15–20 minutes for the leather to absorb all the goodness. The best way to break into your boots faster is to leave the balm on your boots or shoes overnight to make them soft, pliable, and ready to go. So if you’re working with brand new boots, you can try this to speed up the process.

Related: Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam Alternatives: Best Options for Leather Care

When to use Dr Martens Wonder Balsam?

Whether it’s your newly bought leather boots or older ones, Wonder Balsam is an excellent product for all of your leather footwear. This product does it all – from cleaning, conditioning and maintaining to keeping the boots of your leather soft and supple. 

If you have a favourite old pair of leather boots you want to restore, the wonder balsam will bring them back to life just as they were when you first got them.

I highly recommend you use the Wonder Balsam whenever you have the chance. It doesn’t hurt to care for your favourite boots!  Once you start using this product, you will notice that you do not need to polish your leather shoes nearly as frequently as you did before.

One of the best features of Wonder Balsam is that your leather boots’ natural colour and texture will not be affected in any way, for better or worse, with constant use of the Wonder Balsam. For this, you can use the balsam as many times as you want to without hesitation. This is one of the many reasons why I love this product.   , 

If you have leather boots that you wear multiple times a week, whether they are your work shoes or shoes you constantly use to run daily errands with, I suggest you use the balsam two to three times a week to keep them clean and rejuvenated for a long time.

Apply Wonder Balsam to your leather shoes two or three times a week for complete care and protection. You’ll be amazed at the difference because your shoes look way more awesome. You can also break in new boots by using Wonder Balsam because its unique formula works amazingly to soften up leather no matter how tough it is. 

Personally, when my boots start to show signs of wear and tear when they begin looking beaten and exhausted, I like to use my wonder balsam to bring back their sheen. I also prefer the Wonder Balsam in winter because your boots need that extra care on chilly, snowy days.

Wonder Balsam vs. Mink Oil

While many options are available on the market to condition and care for your leather footwear, mink oil is among the most popular choices, which is why people are often confused about what to go for. Before I tried the Dr Martens wonder balsam, I was also confused if good old mink oil was the better option. But the choice became very clear after I tried both Wonder Balsam and Mink Oil. 

Let’s start with wonder balsam. This unique product gives leather amazing breathability, but mink oil, on the other hand, is not quite breathable because it tends to sink into the pores of the leather and stays put for a very long time. 

Another key difference is that wonder balsam doesn’t change the colour of your leather no matter how frequently you use it. Mink oil, however, darkens and damages the colour of your leather footwear when used daily. 

If you use Wonder Balsam daily, it will not only help you remove the stains in your boots caused by water and salt, but it will also help to enhance the overall condition of the leather shoes over time.

Unlike mink oil, Wonder Balsam is formulated with the essential components and materials for complete leather shoe care. As a result, you can be assured that this product will not in any way compromise the quality of your footwear or cause it to become damaged.

In general, compared to mink oil, wonder balsam stands out simply because it does everything to help protect the leather of your boots while bringing out the flexibility of the leather. 

If you want my verdict, I’d say Wonder Balsam is much better for leather boots than Mink Oil. I would strongly recommend you go for Wonder Balsam as your leather conditioner because

This one product alone will condition, protect, waterproof, and clean your leather shoes. If you’re getting this many benefits with one single product, then the choice is simple! 


Can I use Dr Martens Wonder Balsam past its expiry date? 

On the tin, you will see a printed expiration date, but I have continued to use mine further than the official expiration date, and it appeared alright. As far as I have seen, there has been no apparent deterioration in either the product’s quality or its efficiency.

Does Wonder Balsam waterproof leather?

Since the wonder balsam provides protection against sand and salt marks, it also makes your boot resistant to water. This product is perfect for protecting the leather against watermarks throughout the winter or rainy seasons. Wonder balsam does give protection against water, but only to some extent. 

What do Dr Martens Wonder Balsam and Dubbin have in common?

Dubbin and wonder Balsam have a lot of similarities, apart from the fact that they are both one of the best leather care products that every person passionate about boots should own. Wax and leather go together like peanut butter and jelly. Due to this, both of these products include small traces of wax to make the leather more supple.

Does Wonder Balsam change the colour of leather?

The color of your leather shoes will not be changed in any way, even if you use Wonder Balsam on a regular basis. Wonder Balsam will not dull or change the color of your leather shoes; rather, it will only improve and enhance their appearance.


That’s all from me! If you’ve gone through the whole article, I’m confident you know how to use Dr Martens Wonder Balsam like a pro. If you apply it correctly, the shine and sheen you will get from using Wonder Balsam on your leather shoes is something you’d love to experience. Your beloved leather boots will thank you for using this wondrous goodness on them; they will last you for years to come!

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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