Keep Those Shoes Looking New! How To Clean and Protect Your UGG Boots This Winter

Here's how to extend their lifespan.

In the colder seasons, it's common to see UGG boots everywhere. And while there's nothing more exciting than breaking out a new pair of shoes, there are some things to consider when it comes to keeping them looking fresh. So, we've got everything you need to know about how to clean and protect your UGG boots!

Fashion is fickle. What’s in one decade is most definitely out the next, until it’s in again. That could sum up the story of UGG boots in the US. In the early 2000s, UGG boots were on most young and beautiful celebrities, worn by the likes of Kate Hudson, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, who famously wore them with denim miniskirts and said, “That’s hot.”

And now, a decade after that, UGGs are back and better than ever.

But in some circles, the sheepskin boots never went out of fashion and, in fact, have been popular in their homeland of Australia since the early 1920s. There’s no defined date when this style of boot was invented, but it’s thought that sheep farmers made the first pairs, because the lanolin produced when shearing sheep rotted their regular work boots. They were called “ugg” boots because they were considered ugly and unfashionable.

The brand-name UGG boots were produced in the late 1970s by two Australian surfers, and for years were popular among the California surfing crowd. They were spotted on the cast of Baywatch in the 90s, before taking off in the 2000s with the fashionista crowds.

And while their name might come from an early opinion of their looks, you can’t deny the comfort and warmth of the sheepskin boots. They mold to your feet, keep you warm and toasty, and if properly cared for, keep out the rain and weather.

That’s the key—proper preparation of your UGG boots before wearing them is essential to extending the lifetime of the boots. But in the excitement of wearing new UGG boots, we don’t always take the time to weatherproof them before taking them out on the town. Ask us how we know.

And all is not lost if your UGG boots have been around the wet and dirty block a time or two. With a little TLC, they can be brought back to their original glory.

Here at Parade.com, we're all about sharing products we love with our audience. When you make a purchase on an item seen on this page, we may earn a commission, however all picks are independently chosen unless otherwise mentioned.

Protect Your UGG Boots First

<p>UGG</p>

UGG

Before putting your new UGG boots on, you must protect them from the elements. While sheepskin is durable and warm, it’s not impervious to water and staining. That’s why it’s important to start with a protective spray. UGG sells a Leather Care Kit that includes a protector spray (a water and stain repellent). Nikwax also makes a great nubuck & suede waterproofing spray.

Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray-On ,4.2 oz. / 125ml

Nikwax Nubuck &amp; Suede Proof Spray-On ,4.2 oz. / 125ml
Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray-On ,4.2 oz. / 125ml
Check Price
Check Price

Sprays are easy to use and dry quickly. Always follow directions on the packaging, but in general, you just spray the outside of the boots well and remove any excess spray with a dry paper towel.

New in the Ugg lineup is a physical protector made from rubber that wraps around the classic Ugg boot as well as the chic Ultra Mini. It’s aptly named the Boot Guard, and comes in four shades, costing $50.

Clean Dirt and Debris from your UGGs

In this UGG cleaning kit, you’ll find a special suede brush. Suede brushes are specifically designed to clean the leather without ruining the special nap finish, and it works on sheepskin in the same way. If you’ve got some dried-on dirt, take your suede brush (we like this one from Jason Markk) and gently brush the dirt until it comes free of the sheepskin.

Jason Markk Suede Cleaning Kit - Horsehair Bristle Brush - Shoe Stain Eraser - Suede and Nubuck Cleaner - Dry Cleans Fabric and Dirty Midsoles - Effectively Removes Stubborn Dirt from Footwear

Jason Markk Suede Cleaning Kit - Horsehair Bristle Brush - Shoe Stain Eraser - Suede and Nubuck Cleaner - Dry Cleans Fabric and Dirty Midsoles - Effectively Removes Stubborn Dirt from Footwear
Jason Markk Suede Cleaning Kit - Horsehair Bristle Brush - Shoe Stain Eraser - Suede and Nubuck Cleaner - Dry Cleans Fabric and Dirty Midsoles - Effectively Removes Stubborn Dirt from Footwear
Check Price
Check Price

One important note—it’s crucial to wait until the mud and dirt completely dry before brushing your UGGs; otherwise, it might just get more embedded in the sheepskin and be difficult to remove.

Clean Salt and Water Stains from your UGGs

If your UGGs are looking less than their best from water and salt stains, it’s time to grab a specialty suede and sheepskin cleaner. Not all leather cleaners are appropriate for the texture and nap of sheepskin, so make sure you get one designed for the job, like this cleaner from UGG, or one like this from Otter Wax.

Otter Wax Suede and Nubuck Cleaner - 5 oz - Versatile Blemish Repair and Conditioner – All-Purpose with Aloe Vera and Vitamin C for Delicate Leather – Safe for All Suede and Nubuck Leather

Otter Wax Suede and Nubuck Cleaner - 5 oz - Versatile Blemish Repair and Conditioner – All-Purpose with Aloe Vera and Vitamin C for Delicate Leather – Safe for All Suede and Nubuck Leather
Otter Wax Suede and Nubuck Cleaner - 5 oz - Versatile Blemish Repair and Conditioner – All-Purpose with Aloe Vera and Vitamin C for Delicate Leather – Safe for All Suede and Nubuck Leather
Check Price
Check Price

Once the suede cleaner is applied, gently brush to make sure the sheepskin is saturated. Then brush again to restore the natural nap to its upright position. Let dry, and brush again. Your UGGs should be good as new.

View the original article to see embedded media.

Protect Your UGGs Again

To avoid going through this process again and again, seal and protect your now clean UGG boots with the waterproofing spray again. And while they’re clean and shiny on the outside, take a moment to refresh the inside (the part that gets a little, well, stinky) with UGG shoe freshener or these deodorizers from NonScents.

NonScents Shoe Deodorizer (2-Pack) - Odor Eliminator, Freshener for Sneakers, Gym Bags, and Lockers

NonScents Shoe Deodorizer (2-Pack) - Odor Eliminator, Freshener for Sneakers, Gym Bags, and Lockers
NonScents Shoe Deodorizer (2-Pack) - Odor Eliminator, Freshener for Sneakers, Gym Bags, and Lockers
Check Price
Check Price

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.