How to Clean Leather Boots for the Next Hunting Adventure

Knowing how to clean leather boots properly to keep them odor-free is essential in hunting. Leather boot care may seem to be a daunting task, especially if you have to consider making them scent-free. 

This article will teach you how to keep your leather hunting boots clean and odor-free.

Why is it critical that your hunting boots be scent-free

Hunters should take every precaution to ensure that their scent is not giving away their presence and location in the woods. 

Wearing scent-free leather hunting boots limits the amount of human odor that gets transferred to the ground as you walk, potentially alerting deer to your presence. 

Keeping hunting boots clean and odor-free is something that is frequently overlooked. Hunters usually concentrate on keeping their bodies and hunting clothes scent-free, completely ignoring the fact that the scent from their hunting boots could give away their game.

Boot odor may transfer from your previous hunt onto the area where you’re hunting. This can lead to deer avoiding that area or not coming close enough for a shot. 

It is critical that hunters take the necessary steps to make sure their hunting boots stay clean and scent-free.

Why Leather Hunting Boots are a Popular Choice

Leather hunting boots provide a better grip on slippery terrain, protect feet from sharp rocks and thorns, can be worn with thicker socks in colder weather, and have water-resistant features that help keep feet dry. 

Leather hunting boots can handle more wear and tear than boots made of other materials, they come in a wide range of colors and styles, and they’re comfortable. 

For all of these reasons, leather hunting boots are a wise investment that will pay off for years to come.

How to Clean Leather Boots at Home

The best way to clean leather boots is to use natural, non-abrasive, and quality boot care supplies.

What you’ll need: 

A soft-bristled brush and a cotton cloth or sponge to clean leather boots.

A saddle soap, brush, warm water, and towel for washing and protecting leather boots

A leather conditioner for additional boot care.


Treat leather boots with tender loving care to keep them looking their best and scent-free. Here are the steps on how to clean leather boots.

Step 1. Remove the laces and set them aside to clean separately.

Step 2. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any surface dirt, mud, and debris from the boot exterior, including under the sole and along the tongue.

Brushing too hard may leave permanent marks. Use an old toothbrush or a smaller cleaning brush on the stitching and crevices in the leather.

Step 3. Clean the boot exterior by wiping it with a cotton cloth or sponge.

Step 4. Clean boots with saddle soap. Use a brush and some warm water to lather up the saddle soap and apply it to the leather uppers in small circular motions.

Step 5. Allow the saddle soap to sit on the boots for 5–10 minutes.

Step 6. Wipe off the soapy residue with a clean, damp towel. Make sure there are no suds left in hard-to-reach areas.

Step 7. Allow the boots to air dry completely. You can use a boot dryer to speed up the drying time.

Step 8. Use a clean towel to treat leather boots with a conditioner. Use a quality leather conditioner, preferably one made specifically for hunting boots. Apply the conditioner according to instructions and allow it to absorb into the material.

Step 9. Lightly buff the leather uppers with a clean towel or shoe brush to restore the shine and remove any remaining residue.

Step 10. Put the freshly washed laces back, and your leather hunting boots are now ready for the next hunting season.

How to Remove Odor from Leather Boots

Rotate Your Boots: To avoid moisture buildup that can cause odors, boots need to dry completely between wears. This means you need to alternate your footgear.

Replace Insoles: A persistent bad odor may be a sign that the insoles need to be replaced.

Keep Your Feet Neat: Keeping your feet clean, dry, and odor-free will help prevent boot odor buildup.

Store Properly: Before putting away your boots for any length of time, make sure they are completely dry and then stuff them with newspaper or tissue paper. Doing this will help keep the leather from developing wrinkles and absorb any excess moisture that can cause odors.

Condition Regularly: Leather is a natural material that needs to be conditioned to keep it soft and supple. Learn how to condition leather boots properly to extend their life and protect against moisture and help prevent odors from forming.

Invest in Quality: Good quality leather boots will last longer and require less frequent cleaning and conditioning. They are also more likely to maintain their shape and repel moisture, which also reduces the risk of odor buildup.

Use Baking Soda: Baking soda is a great natural deodorizer. Simply sprinkle some inside the boots, let it sit for several hours or overnight, and then vacuum up the residue.

Follow the Instructions: To prevent damage when cleaning or conditioning your boots, it’s important to use the right products and the right techniques for your particular leather type. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Use Hunting Spray: Use unscented hunting spray like Scent Assassin Field Spray to boost your scent control efforts, especially while in the field.


Following these steps will keep your leather hunting boots odor free and in top condition for years to come. Knowing that your boots are ready for any challenge means you’ll enjoy your outdoor adventures even more!