The Ultimate UGG Boot Cleaning Guide!


About 64,334 times a year, I get a question from our community regarding cleaning UGG boots.

I don’t have a pair and I don’t plan on buying them, so I’ve never really taken on this question. 

However, I cannot ignore the cries of our beautiful community, so here goes.

UGGs are a fashion icon. Once thought to be a passing fad; I admittedly caved and bought the ‘budget’ pair of pale pink ones from Payless when I was a starving student to be a part of this fad.  However, they’ve clearly cemented their place in female fashion indefinitely.  They are warm, comfortable and many women could not go without their beloved UGGs for one single winter (or summer, I’ve seen it).

The caveat with UGG boots is their suede exterior.  While they look wonderful, they are not the most compatible with winter conditions; often times, mud, snow and salt can wreak havoc on the boots, leaving them looking worn and old.  This is ironic, no?  A winter boot that is not good to wear in snowy, salty and muddy conditions.  I digress…

Anywho, to restore UGG boots to their initial beauty, some key steps need to be taken.  Further,  ongoing maintenance is crucial.  UGG boots can last you a long time so long as you give them the TLC they deserve (essentially like everything else we talk about on the blog).  Keep in mind, some pairs will be damaged beyond repair and despite your restorative efforts, they won’t look any better.  This circles back to the point about ongoing maintenance.



Treat stains before you do a general clean of the boot. It is recommended that once you remove stains, you move on to clean the entire boot (or else you’ll have areas that look patchy).

Oil & Grease Stains

Step 1 – Take a piece of white chalk and gently ‘color’ over the grease or oil stain.  If you don’t have white chalk, use a pinch of cornstarch and sprinkle it over top the stain, then gently pat it down.

Step 2 – Let it sit overnight – this powder is absorbent and can ‘suck up’ oil and grease.

Step 3 – In the morning, dust it off gently, use a clean paint brush if you have one and the stains should be gone.

Step 4 – You can then clean the boots as usual (see below).  It is important to note that heat sets oil and grease stains, so be very careful not to get boots too hot (this even means in vehicles) if you have a stain you want to get rid of.

Dirt & Salt Stains

Step 1 – Brush the boot in one direction (ideally top-to-bottom) to remove any surface dirt and grime.  Pick up a specialty suede brush to do this.  You can get them at any shoe store or shoe repair shop.

Step 2– If you have a ‘matted’ or shiny stain, you can use a pencil eraser to ‘spot rub’ it out, being gentle as you go.  Certain suede brushes come with this little rubber piece on the brush already.  Some people even use a carbide strip (which is an extremely fine grit sandpaper, like super duper fine grit).  This is your call and depends on how risky you want to get.  It can work but if you are too vigorous you’ll ruin the leather.  This can only be done on suede, and not soft leathers.

Step 3 – Wet the isolated stain area with some water.   You don’t want to soak the whole boot,  just the area with the stain (to avoid spreading).  It allows the leather to be able to accept the stain treatment.  Let the water sink in for a few moments before moving on.  Keep in mind that too much water can deform the shape of the boot so be careful.

Step 4 – Use a suede stain cleaner and follow the directions.  Usually, you add a dab of cleaner to the sponge, wet it and rub the stained area in a circular motion.  it requires a damp (soft) sponge.  Alternatively, you can use a 1:1 mixture of water and plain white vinegar as a stain remover and apply it with the sponge. This is not ‘UGG approved’ but does work, the call is yours to make.

Step 5 – Rinse stained area off with clean water and a clean sponge.

Water Spots

A little known secret to removing water spots is this: rub the water spot stained area against another part of the suede.  Gentle rubbing like this usually gets the water stains right out!

UGG Boot Cleaning

Now that you’ve rid the boots of stains, you can move on on the actual cleaning.  Lay out a towel to work over (it will get messy) and have a clean water source close by.

You’ll need:

  • a suede brush
  • suede cleaner (ideally UGG cleaner) or a comparable brand, or a homemade mixture (see below)
  • suede conditioner and protector
  • newsprint/paper towel
  • soft sponge
  • cotton cloth

Step 1 – Brush the entire boot, from top to bottom, with a suede brush.  This softens the nap, loosens any dirt and prepares it for the cleaning process.  If you do not have any nap (i.e. Mongolian Sheep Skin), do not brush, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Moisten the exterior boot with clean, cool water.  You can use a clean soft sponge or cotton cloth to do this.  You don’t want to soak it, but you do want to wet the entire surface so that it can accept the product.

Step 3 – Rinse your sponge, and don’t wring it out entirely, leave it about 20% wet.  Squeeze some suede cleaner (ideally the UGG product) or an alternative cleaner (the vinegar and water mix above) onto the sponge.

Step 4 – Work the product in to the boot exterior, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom.  As the sponge becomes dirty, rinse and repeat step 3.  That way, you are not re-depositing dirt into the leather.  Spend time working on dirtier areas.  Remember not to press too hard, leather can be ruined by vigorous motion, so be extra gentle.

Step 5 – You have two options.  Either you can clean off your sponge and wipe the product off with your clean sponge, rinsing it often until all product and dirty water is gone, or you can run the exterior boots under cool water to remove product.  Don’t do this for a long period of time. Water can damage leather.

Step 6 – Stuff the boots with paper towel or crumpled up magazine or newsprint.  You want to stuff it so that when the boot dries, it will ‘form’ nicely as opposed to lose its shape.  Leave the boots to dry for 24-48 hours.  Before stuffing, you can add a silica gel pack to the bottom of each boot to assist with moisture removal.  Do not leave the boots in the sun, close to any heat register, fireplace or furnace.  Heat warps leather and will leave your boots misshapen.

Step 7 – Remove paper and voila, your boots are clean!  You may find they fit more snug than usual.  That’s ok, you just need to wear them and let them re-form to your feet. Two more things to do though.

Step 8 – Brush (if suede) with a suede brush to even out the nap.  You may find the boots look matted, and this will solve that.

Step 9 – Spray with a protective suede spray and conditioner and let the boots dry, usually 12-24 hours is recommended.

You asked for comprehensive, you got comprehensive.

The Wooly Part

If the wooly upper part of the boot (i.e the part that sticks out at the top) has debris caught in it, what you can do is comb it out with a plastic wide-tooth comb.  Hold the boot upside down and comb so that any debris falls out of the boot, as opposed to in it.


If your boot has an unpleasant smell, you can sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon of baking soda into each boot, close the top of the boot up with your hand and shake it really well.  Leave this to sit overnight and in the morning, tip the boot upside down to empty out the baking soda.  This is a great way to keep boots smelling clean.

General no-nos:

Make sure you don’t:

  • Dry clean your UGGs
  • Wash in a washing machine, dry in a dryer
  • Dry by a heat source
  • Get too wet or soak
  • Press too hard, ever, and
  • Worry if the boots lose shape while wet, they will re-form when drying.

A few great tips from the UGG website:

A warning:

Like any fine garment, sheepskin is delicate and not all stains can be prevented or removed. With proper care and cleaning, you can expect your footwear to last longer, but we in no way guarantee that it will remove all stains NOR prevent stains from occurring.

Specialty product care for Fancy Sheepskin, Fancy Suede and ALL Leathers:

My recommendation is to wipe these gently, in one direction, with a soft and clean cotton cloth sprayed with a little bit of water.  Anything else will ruin them.  This is what the folks at UGG have to say:

Cleaning instructions for Classic Metallics, Paisley, Mosaic, Embroidered Boots, Croc, Floral, Sweater Knit, Specialty Suede :

  1. Do not rub
  2. Do not use any cleaning product
  3. Do not use a brush
  4. You MAY use UGG Australia Protector product

That’s the comprehensive UGG cleaning & care guide.

I sincerely hope it helps you!


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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


  1. Hello my UGG boots has spots on them. I’m not sure if its wax dried up or a stain. I notice the spots on my boots when I was moving. I only wore my boots once. There the cloths off white with beige lines on them UGG boots..please what can I can do

  2. I tryed to clean them with soap and water I brushed it with a tooth brush and now I have this stain on them what to I do???? I honestly need help

  3. i have a pair of Uggs and they are suede navy blue, well somehow my boyfriend spilled something on them and the color looks like it is fading on the tip of the shoe, how would fix this problem if fixable?

  4. I washed my exspensive ugg boots in the washing machine. I then stuffed them with newspaper & changed the paper over the next week while they were air drying outside. They did feel abit slimmy while wet but considering they had dog poo smeared on them it was a machine job or bin.
    Admittedly when they dried they were a bit hard & had shrunk a couple of sizes. I asked a friends daughter to wear them for about 2weeks after she showered for an hour or so a day. She did this & they stretched a size up & softened up & when I got them back I could squeeze my foot into them & continued to stretch them back to their original size. Took another week or so & you wouldn’t have known they went through the machine.

  5. I have a pair of leather Uggs…where the exterior of the boot is all leather and the interior is sheep skin….how do I clean them? I get a lot of compliments on the color and want to keep these boots for as long as I can since this color is no longer and option and I only wear these boots when it is really snowing and not in the mess of slush or warm winter days. I really do want to take good care of them and put them away for the winter all clean.

  6. Didn’t see this site until after a mishap with our daughters new uggs. She dripped grease on them !! Figured they were ruined. My husband has worked in a hardware store for over 30 years and said lighter fluid is pretty much in all cleaners. He applied lighter fluid to the grease spot and held cloth to the area to soak up the grease. It worked perfectly after a few applications !!! The uggs are like new and didn’t leave a “wet ring” either !!!! Promise it does the job.

  7. My uggs australia boot seems to be warped and curled up the soles, how to fix them, should I wet them or use something else.

  8. Yesterday paint got spilled on my Uggs and I cleaned it off with water. I oanicked and got the paint off but now I have two HUGE water stains on one ugg and the other sitting there perfectly. I tried to rub the suede with suede but that doesn’t seem to be working… what should I do?

    • I work for Ugg and your boot is not suede. It is sheepskin which is more delicate. i would suggest cleaning touyour boot with our sheepskin cleaner which is 9.99. However with water stains that bad the boot may be ruined. When using the cleaner clean the entire shoe because cleaning can change the shade of the sheepskin

  9. My problem is the inside soles of them. The wooly bottom tends to pick up dirt and grime, which then gets ground into it. It needs a good washing, but I can’t figure out how to do that on the inside.

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