Since you’re trying to figure out how to clean Timberland boots at home, it probably means you’re freaking out over the possibility that you’ve destroyed your favorite boots.
Whether you managed to get them muddy and wet by wearing the outside during the winter or you simply spilled something on them, we’ve got your back.
Timberlands were the OG working class wardrobe staples, and they were made to endure all sorts of trouble. Turns out Timberlands aren’t any different from other blue-collar pieces that transcended class and became a fashion-forward must-have for celebrities, fashionistas, and the elite.
Timberlands deserve a deep dive, even though you’re only looking for tips and tricks on how to clean them at home. Now, the Timberlands we know and love today weren’t released for a while after the founder, Nathan Swartz, bought a company known as the Abington Shoe Company.
Around the time of the purchase (1952), Abington made workwear for New England’s working men and focused on producing waterproof leather (which was a difficult chore).
Over the following twenty years, Nathan focused on becoming better and bigger than other shoe companies by employing innovative technologies and revolutionary techniques. Come the year 1976, the Abington Shoe Company released the first-ever Timberland Waterproof Boots.
Timberlands were made with different types of leather, but the yellow nubuck became the most popular shade. The OG Timberlands featured the signature Timberland Tree which also became popular (and turned out to be one of the reasons why they changed the company’s name to Timberland).
These days, Timberlands are adored by the common folk, the elite, and pretty much everyone who gets to wear them. They’re known for their signature appearance, comfort, support, durability, and versatility – and for the fact that they’re easy to take care of.
How to clean Timberland boots at home?
Easy, because Timberland boots are made to be cleaned and taken care of on a regular (the makers of the boots expect you to wear them pretty much every single day).
Hence, we’re bringing you a couple of tips and tricks on how you can use things you have lying around your house to clean your favorite Timberlands.
First off, prepare the boots by removing dirt and debris that might be stuck there. Other than that, make sure you remove the shoelaces because you can wash them separately and get your supplies ready to go.
Then, proceed to clean your Timberlands by employing any of the methods (and supplies) you can read about down below. And voilà, your Timberlands will look as good as new!
1. Erase small spots with an eraser
Though that might sound strange, you can take good care of your Timberlands with a couple of things you have lying around your house. An eraser, for example, can be a great way for you to remove (or erase) small spots from the surface of your boots.
After you’ve made sure to remove any dirt or debris from your Timberlands, you can rub an eraser on some of the more stubborn spots. Here’s the thing, an eraser won’t remove hardcore spots and stains (we have other things you can use for that) but can help with some of the dried-out mud.
Rub the affected area gently. Use circular motions and keep on moving for as long as you can see the spot. Don’t press too hard because there’s a chance you could destroy the leather that way – be gentle and slow, and make sure to dust off the excess eraser “gunk” while working on your boots.
2. Clean grease spots with cornmeal
When you’re wondering how to clean Timberland boots at home, chances are you’re freaking out over the grease spots that might have ended up on the surface of your boots because you weren’t paying attention while you were munching on your mom’s food.
That’s completely okay because you can clean those grease spots pretty easily with cornmeal. That’s right, cornmeal might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, cornmeal can work wonders when you sprinkle a generous amount on top of your Timberlands.
Once you do that, press the cornmeal lightly with your hands and continue doing that for a couple of minutes. Cornmeal should act as a sponge and soak the grease. When you’re done, brush the oatmeal off and check whether you need to do more cleaning.
On the off chance that you notice those grease spots are still there, you can repeat the process (or you can move on to the next step and hope for the best).
3. Remove stubborn stains with vinegar
Vinegar’s a natural cleaner that’s strong enough to remove stubborn stains, but gentle enough to not damage your favorite Timberlands. Not only that but vinegar’s pretty cheap and readily available at any moment you might notice a spot you can’t get off your boots.
There are two ways you can use vinegar to clean your Timberlands. Now, the first one’s suitable for sensitive fabrics that might get damaged otherwise. Make a water and vinegar concoction with about ten parts water and one part vinegar.
Use a soft, cotton cloth that’s been soaking for a minute or two, squeeze the excess vinegar/water mixture, and gently rub the stained area. Or, you can simply use vinegar without the water for more durable, heavy-duty fabrics. Vinegar’s especially effective for salt stains, and that’s another thing to keep an eye on.
Other than that, make sure to leave your boots to dry completely before you attempt to clean them with other products. Don’t dry them next to an open flame, though.
4. Take off dried mud with a toothbrush
Never again do you have to wonder how to clean Timberland boots at home… As long as you have a toothbrush! Now, that’s a step you do before you start cleaning your Timberlands with water, vinegar, and other wet products.
Use an old toothbrush to take off dried mud, dirt, and debris to ensure you don’t create a bigger mess when you try to clean your boots with the above-mentioned wet products.
You can also use the same (cleaned) toothbrush when you’re done drying your Timberlands. Suede Timberlands can look a little “messy” when they dry after you clean them with wet products.
So, you can stroke a clean, dry toothbrush across the surface of the boots. Not only does the toothbrush remove the residue, but you can also use the toothbrush to make the suede look neater. Toothbrushes with hard, firm bristles work better than the softer ones, FYI.
5. Wipe leather Timberlands with water and dish soap
Now we’re getting somewhere! After you’ve prepared your Timberlands by getting rid of dried-out mud, dirt, and debris, dusting them off, and removing the laces, you’re ready to do some actual cleaning with soap and water.
And, there’s no denying that dish soap works wonder whatever surface you’re trying to clean. Here are the supplies you need to prepare before you start – a towel or cotton cloth, a soft brush or a toothbrush, dish soap, and warm water.
First, clean the outsoles with a soft brush and a drop of dish soap. Scrub them as much as you can, and make sure you focus on areas that hold the most dirt.
After that, make a mixture with warm water and dish soap, soak your towel or cloth, squeeze out the excess, and rub gently across the surface of your boots. Come back to it with a brush when you have to scrub harder at some of the more stubborn spots.
Once you’re done, go over the entire boot with a clean, damp cloth, as well as a clean, dry one before you leave them to dry overnight. Now, that method works best for leather Timberlands, but you shouldn’t face trouble cleaning suede ones the same way, either.
6. Refresh leather Timberlands with a homemade lemon paste
There are times when your Timberlands aren’t necessarily dirty, right? They don’t have any spots or stains on them. They’re not muddy or dusty. They’re not stinky.
They’re simply a little worn out because you’ve been wearing them every moment of the waking hour for the past couple of months.
To refresh your Timberlands, don’t shy away from making a homemade lemon paste that’s guaranteed to make them look as good as new. Combine one part lemon juice and one part cream of tartar. Blend them together until the mixture becomes a paste.
Rub the paste gently on the surface of your leather Timberlands (don’t use the paste on suede). When you’re done rubbing, wipe away the paste with a dry cloth and leave them to dry completely before wearing them.
Now, the lemon paste might remove lighter spots and stains but we wouldn’t count on that. On the other hand, the lemon paste will refresh your boots, buff the leather, and make them shinier.
7. Soften leather Timberlands with conditioner
We know you’re mainly wondering how to clean Timberland boots at home. But, there’s a chance you might be looking for tips and tricks on how to take care of them, protect them from damage, and make them last longer, too.
Leather Timberlands are especially needy, and you actually might need to condition them from time to time (to make them softer and more malleable). Conditioner seems to be the answer you’re looking for, but conditioners can be quite expensive.
Maybe you can use a conditioner that didn’t work for you or a conditioner you’re not that attached to. Take some conditioner on a cloth, and using a circular motion, rub down the surface of your boots.
Leave them to dry with the conditioner on, and wipe away excess product before you wear them. Needless to say, the hack works for leather Timberlands only – don’t use conditioner on suede footwear.
8. Use baby wipes for a quick clean
Here’s another hack for leather Timberlands! When you’re wondering how to clean Timberland boots at home, don’t forget that the materials and fabrics play a huge part, too.
Suede Timberlands are better to clean with a dry brush or a dry cloth because they’re easily damaged by water. Leather Timberlands, on the other hand, are easier to clean with a wet cloth or… Wet wipes, of course.
Wet wipes are the fastest way to remove lighter spots, dust, and dirt from your Timberlands. Not only are wet wipes able to clean some of the stubborn stains you might be dealing with, but they’re also conditioning and moisturizing – which happens to be of use for leather Timberlands.
Not to mention the fact that they enhance the natural color and shine of leather Timberlands! Whenever you’re overthinking and overanalyzing the cleaning process, remember that you probably have a bunch of wet wipes lying around (don’t we all!?) and get to cleaning.
9. Clean the shoelaces with baking soda
We already touched upon the fact that you should remove the shoelaces before you start cleaning your Timberlands. Shoelaces can get even more messed up when you’re trying to maneuver the vinegar, the soap water, and the lemon paste.
So, you remove the shoelaces to ensure they’re safe and secure while you’re taking care of the main problem. But, when you come back to them, you might be wondering whether you can clean the same way you cleaned the rest of the Timberlands.
Sure, you can clean them with soap and water by soaking them for a couple of minutes, rubbing them with a brush, and rinsing them off. Or, you can combine one part soap and one part baking soda, wet the shoelaces with the mixture, and rub them with a toothbrush.
Depending on how bad the spots and stains are, these two methods should work wonders.
10. Get rid of bad smells with dryer sheets
No matter how hard you try to take good care of your Timberlands, they’re guaranteed to become stinky sooner or later. That’s simply inevitable considering you wear them every day, you get them wet (maybe), and you don’t dry them completely before you store them away.
Worry not, though, you can refresh them with a couple of simple hacks. First off, you can use dryer sheets to remove the unpleasant odors from your Timberlands. Put the dryer sheets inside your Timberlands and leave them there overnight.
For a stronger remedy, you can combine equal parts baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a stronger scent. Fill up your least favorite socks with the mixture and place them inside your Timberlands.
Leave them there overnight (or for as long as you need to) and they should be as good as new. Good luck!