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How To Clean Tan Army Boots? | Step-by-Step Instructions

Army boots are one of the toughest, safest and most powerful boots in the world. They have versatility and endurance that are highly appreciated and trusted by many soldiers.

Army boots can overcome even fiery deserts, humid tropical forests in Asia, or sky-high rocky mountains.

However, no matter how powerful army boots are, if they are not carefully cared for and cleaned, they can be completely damaged by the destruction of dirt over time.

The most important thing is to keep army boots clean to prolong their lifespan and keep them flexible, durable and beautiful. Especially with the tan army boots, the stains not only affect the quality of the boots, but also affect their cool and dashing appearance.

Today, join us to learn how to clean tan army boots to protect them from enemies lurking in the dark!

Shall we?

How to Clean Tan Army Boots?

Tan army boots are usually made from 3 main materials: the most common is nylon fabric, next is suede and leather is the last.

You should note that each material has different care, you cannot use one cleaning method to apply to all.

So make sure you have used the correct method for the correct army boots.

However, some army boots are made of two different materials (nylon fabric and suede or nylon fabric and leather) or even made from three materials (nylon fabric, leather and suede). Then you should be flexible to change cleaning methods for each material.

We have clear instructions on how to clean each type, let’s determine what materials your army boots are made from, then combine the methods below. Above all, be flexible!

And now the detailed instructions for cleaning each one:

Note: some tan army boots are also made from rough-out leather or nubuck, you can use the suede cleaning method to clean these 2 types of materials.

How to clean tan nylon fabric army boots?

Nylon fabric is the most favorite material for army boots because they have many advantages such as:

  • Very durable
  • Lightweight
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Good insulation
  • Easy to clean
  • No wrinkles or shrinkage
  • Dry quickly
  • Less moisture
  • Less damaged in contact with oil and chemicals

With the above advantages, it can be said that nylon fabric is one of the perfect materials to make quality and versatile army boots.

One impressive thing is that nylon fabric army boots are easy to clean and can dry out in a short time.

Here is a step-by-step guide for cleaning nylon fabric army boots.

Step 1: Prepare a cleaning set

You should prepare a soft bristle brush, a rag, a soft dry cloth, a bucket of water and cleaning foam (or shampoo).

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Step 2: Remove laces and inner soles from army boots (if any)

Unlike Chelsea boots or cowboy boots that usually have no laces, most army boots have laces, so you should remove them from your boots and clean them separately.

Then take out the inner soles from army boots (if they are detachable) to make it easier to clean the inside of army boots.

Step 3: Clean each part of army boots

First, clean the laces of army boots, you can use warm water to wash them or just throw them in a washing machine. If you are more careful, you can also dip them in a bucket of soapy water and clean them.

Likewise, when cleaning the inner soles, use warm water or soapy water with a soft bristle brush to scrub and clean the inner soles. Or simply let the washing machine handle them.

Now, come to the cleaning of fabric army boots:

First, use a rag to remove all stains on the surface of army boots, all nooks and crannies, especially in the welt, tongue and stitches – which gets dirty easily.

Make sure you are using a dry rag to remove all the dry mud on the surface of army boots. Don’t let mud meet water or it will get wet and spread on the surface quickly, making your fabric army boots even more dirty.

Dip a soft bristle brush into a bucket of water to moisten the bristles, then apply cleaning foam to the brush and rub over fabric army boots.

Note: rub carefully but don’t rub too hard or it will damage the fabric.

Combine a damp soft bristle brush with cleaning foam until stubborn stains are completely removed.

After you remove the stubborn grime, it’s time to clean the boots from the dirt and clean foam. Clean the soft bristles brush with water and scrub the army boots surface again, gently and thoroughly.

Once you’ve washed down all the stains and cleaning foam, it’s time to dry the boots.

But don’t forget to use water-repellent spray to create a barrier that protects boots from water and stains.

Step 4: Dry the nylon fabric army boots

First, use a soft, dry cloth to wipe around the boots until no water remains on the army boots.

You should take advantage of sunlight or wind to dry army boots.

Don’t dry the boots with extreme heat or excessive sunlight as this will deform them.

You should use boot trees to keep them in shape while keeping the inside of army boots dry.

Some notes:

  • If the fabric army boots get muddy on the surface, you should wait until the mud is dry, then use a dry cloth to wipe it off. Don’t let the mud get wet or it will spread out and make the boot even more dirty.
  • You should only use warm water, don’t use hot water because hot water can make fabric army boots deform, lose shape, and damage quickly.
  • Don’t use soaps that contain strong detergents, or they may discolor the tan (or black) of army boots.
  • Keep army boots dry, but don’t expose them to too strong sunlight, making fabric army quickly discolored.
  • Fabric army boots should be washed in the morning to take advantage of daylight to dry them and avoid leaving them wet overnight.

Tip: Also, you can use the boot scraper to quickly clean stains such as mud, grass, and snow on your boots.

How to clean tan suede army boots? (Apply to rough-out leather, nubuck)

After nylon fabric, suede is also a very popular material to create army boots.

Army boots made from suede are very soft, durable, light, cool and comfortable. In addition, suede army boots only need a little time to break in.

However, suede is very afraid of water, and that is also the fear of suede army boots. If they are not properly cared for after being exposed to water, suede can be dry, cracked and lose shape.

In addition, suede easily gets dirty than nylon fabric or leather.

One good thing is that you can overcome that weakness by using specialized conditioners to make suede army boots water-resistant and dirt-resistant.

However, when cleaning suede army boots, you should note that they need specialized products, avoid using normal products.

Now let’s clean up suede army boots!

Step 1: Prepare a cleaning set

You need a dedicated suede brush, eraser, suede cleaner and suede conditioner.

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Step 2: Remove laces and inner soles (if any)

Similar to cleaning nylon fabric army boots, for suede army boots, we recommend removing laces and inner soles first for separate cleaning.

Besides, removing laces and inner soles makes it much easier to clean the rest of the boots without getting entangled.

Step 3: Clean each part of suede army boots

You can use warm or soapy water with a soft brush to scrub and clean laces. Or simply use a washing machine to wash them.

Similarly, dip the inner soles in soapy water and use a soft brush to scrub and clean. Or let the washing machine do that for you.

Then clean the surface suede army boots:

Note that you should keep suede army boots away from water during cleaning.

First, use a suede cleaning brush to thoroughly scrub the surface of suede army boots, paying attention to hidden areas like welt, tongue and areas that are prone to stains like seams.

If suede army boots are covered with wet mud, wait until it is dry to remove it. Don’t let the mud get wet, it will spread out and make suede army boots more dirty.

After you have removed the big stains, use the eraser to scrub thoroughly. The eraser will help you remove small and stubborn stains on army boots. Besides, you can use the eraser to clean the seams and welt pretty well.

Finally, combine suede cleaning brush and suede cleaner to clean super stubborn stains. Spray the suede cleaner evenly on the army boots and use a brush to scrub thoroughly, but not scrub too hard.

Keep rubbing until you see that the army boots are clean.

Step 4: Apply suede conditioner for tan army boots

For tan suede army boots, you need to use conditioner to maintain their quality and protect them better.

The conditioner will make suede army boots soft, flexible, durable and comfortable. Besides, some types of conditioners make suede waterproof and anti-dirt very well, this way helps suede overcome their weaknesses.

You can tuck some toilet paper or other absorbent paper inside the suede army boots to make sure they are dry inside.

Some notes:

  • Suede can’t be polished, so please don’t polish suede army boots
  • Don’t use a high heat source like a hairdryer to dry the suede army boots or you can crack the boots.
  • You can use household powder to dry the inside of army boots.

How to clean tan leather army boots?

Compared with nylon fabric or suede army boots, leather army boots can be cleaned easily and it takes you less time to clean them.

Cleaning doesn’t take much time, but you need to spend an amount of time polishing your leather army boots to make them shine as you wish.

On the other hand, cleaning leather army boots is much simpler if your boots are waterproof. For waterproof army boots, just use water to spray the outside to make them clean quickly.

What you need to do is clean the laces and the inner soles of your own army boots. Like above, clean them by using a brush and warm or soapy water, or put them in the washing machine for your convenience.

However, for non-waterproof leather army boots, or those army boots that have lost their waterproof ability after being used for a long time, you will need the following steps to clean them:

Step 1: Prepare a cleaning set

You will need to get a soft cloth, soft bristle brush, horsehair brush, leather cleaner, leather conditioner and leather polishing products (optional).

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Step 2: Remove the laces and inner sole (if any)

Removing laces and inner soles will help you easily clean leather tan army boots without getting entangled. These are also 2 parts that are often dirty, so please remove them and clean them separately.

Step 3: Clean each part of leather tan army boots

Use warm/soapy water with a soft bristle brush to scrub the inner soles and laces. Or another simple way to clean them is to put them in the washing machine.

Now, clean up the rest of the leather army boots.

First, use a soft cloth to wipe and remove large stains, try to remove as much as you can. Next, use a horsehair brush to scrub thoroughly again. Then combine the leather cleaner with the horsehair brush to remove stubborn stains.

Just rub until the army boots are clean, then use a dry and clean cloth to wipe off any dirt and excess of the leather cleaner.


After that, you should use a conditioner for leather boots to make them soft, and comfortable and keep their original colors.

Step 4: Keep tan army boots dry

You can use natural wind, or mild sun or take a hair dryer with an adequate temperature to dry army boots.

Then store them in a cool, dry place, but not damp. Leather army boots need to be stored in a dry place to increase their longevity and retain the original colors as long as possible.

If leather boots get faded, polish them with a specialized product.

Some notes:

  • Please keep your leather army boots dry, leather will deteriorate quickly if it gets wet for too long.
  • We recommend using a conditioner to make sure leather army boots can be durable and keep their colors long.


All of the above are the most thorough instructions to clean your dear army boots.

Leather, suede or nylon fabric army boots all have their own cleaning methods, don’t mess and be careful.

When cleaning army boots, you should pay attention and determine what materials they are made of and be flexible to apply the right cleaning methods.

Proper cleaning will keep the beautiful colors of army boots and maintain their durability, safety and flexibility.

Good luck!

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