UGG boots are comfy, warm and casually cool, but one major drawback of the popular footwear is that they're easily stained and damaged by water. Stepping in a puddle, spilling a drink or getting caught in the rain while wearing them all have the potential to ruin the look of UGG boots. Even after they've dried, water-damaged UGGs often show discolored splotches and flaws in the natural sheepskin pile, which make the boots look worn out well before their time. Fortunately, there are several ways to successfully clean water stains from sheepskin boots and restore water-damaged UGGs.
Things You'll Need
Suede brush or old toothbrush
Commercial suede cleaner, dish soap, laundry soap or white vinegar
Microfiber cloth, soft cloth or sponge
Hand towels, rolled-up paper or paper towels
Water-repellent spray for sheepskin or suede
Tackle Spots on Water-Damaged UGGs
Step 1: Rub Suede on Suede
For light spotting, first try rubbing another part of the sheepskin against the water spot. Do this by folding over a flexible part of the boot or by using the other boot to gently rub the spot and the area around it. Examine the results; this method might be sufficient to remove visible water marks.
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Step 2: Use Chalk for Tougher Water Stains
For tougher water stains, rub a stick of white chalk over the water mark, covering it completely with the chalk. Leave the boot undisturbed overnight.
Step 3: Brush Off the Chalk
In the morning, use a suede brush or an old toothbrush to gently brush away the chalk. Use a firmer brushing action to get out the last traces of chalk and to buff the suede and lift its pile.
Step 4: Repeat if Needed
Examine the results and repeat the entire process if necessary.
Surface Cleaning for Water-Damaged UGGs
If you have water spots or water damage all over a pair of UGG boots, they will need a more thorough cleaning.
Step 1: Select a Cleaning Product
Select your choice of commercial suede cleaner, a clear and gentle dish or laundry soap or a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. You'll also need a microfiber cloth, another soft cloth or a sponge.
Step 2: Lightly Dampen the Boots
Spray the boots all over with cold (never warm or hot) water so that they're damp but not soaked.
Step 3: Apply the Cleanser
Apply a tiny spot of your chosen cleanser to the cloth or sponge and rub it evenly into the exterior surface of the boots. If you're using a commercial suede cleaner, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 4: Rinse With Water
Rinse the cloth or sponge with plain cold water and wipe down the boots to remove the cleanser.
Step 5: Repeat if Needed
If water spots or discoloration remain after this cleaning, repeat it one or more times until you see an improvement.
Drying and Restoring UGG Boots
Whether you spot-cleaned or fully surface-cleaned your water-damaged UGG boots, it's important to dry them correctly.
Step 1: Stuff the Boots
After a full surface cleaning, stuff the boots with hand towels, rolled-up paper or paper towels, which will help them keep their correct shape.
Step 2: Leave the Boots to Dry
Leave the boots undisturbed until they're fully dry, which might take a full day or more. Never use heat or expose the boots to direct sunlight.
Step 3: Restore the Nap With a Final Brushing
Make the boots look their best again with a final all-over brushing. Use a suede brush or old toothbrush and gently buff the suede exterior of the boots all over. This raises the nap of the sheepskin and restores the even coloring of the boots.
Step 4: Prevent Future Water Damage
Apply a water-repellent spray to prevent future water damage to your UGGs. Look for products specifically designed for suede or sheepskin and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. This will generally involve spraying the exterior of the boots in a well-ventilated area and allowing the product to dry.
Step 5: Reapply for Upkeep
Reapply the product periodically to keep your UGG boots as water-resistant as possible.