Clean and Store Your Boots for Summer
Properly Storing Winter Boots
For boot lovers in Chicago the past extra months of cold weather meant additional time to sport your fashionable boots. Although we are happy to see warm weather finally sticking around, we are always sad to see boots go away for the summer.
Before making room for all of those cute sandals though, you need to give your boots the proper send off if you plan on seeing them in top shape again next fall. We have a few key tips to keeping them in their best condition while stored away for the season.
If Your Boots are New
If you caught a great after-season deal on new boots recently, but have to wait until next year to wear them, don’t just throw them to the back of the closet until the fall. Odds are, next time you take those boots out, it will be to wear them. Pre-treat them now, so that you won’t have to do it later when all you want to do is put them on and go.
Make sure to use a waterproofing spray or ointment recommended for the boot’s material. Use several coats, properly drying between each coat. Also, if you have leather boots, be sure to condition them so that they don’t dry out while stored away! Some products have both a conditioner and waterproofing agent in them, so check the label to avoid doing unnecessary double duty.
If Your Boots are worn
Winter may have some beautiful moments, but not when it comes to your boots. Would you like some boots to go with your salt? Salt, muck, moisture, and all of the other charms of winter love boots just as much as we do. All of this needs to be cleaned off to keep your boots made for walkin’. Ideally, you should keep a cloth and/or brush by the front door to clean them immediately after each messy wear. This habit can really extend the life of your boots-and in turn, save you money!
Before storing away for the season, boots should be thoroughly cleaned using a method appropriate for the type of boot. For most boots, a good wipe down with water and a mild soap is the way to start. To remove those pesky salt stains, try a mixture of water and vinegar. After completely drying, always remember to condition if necessary and re-apply a waterproofing agent.
If you have repairs that need mending, do it now, either personally or professionally. If you have been putting this off for a while, consider the fact that you may never do it! Donating may be your best answer so that someone else can give the boots the love they need! Trash any that are beyond repair.
Don’t neglect the inside of your boots. Cleaning the outside and proper storage isn’t going to help a smelly insole. In fact, it’s going to make everything else around smell just as sweet. There’s a ton of products out there for this from bamboo or cedar shapers (these deodorize and hold form) to charcoal sachets. Find one that works for you or make them yourself, just don’t leave out this step or you’ll pay for it come fall.
No matter how well you prep your boots for the off-season, if you store them poorly, they will suffer. Before storing, make sure any waterproofing or conditioning treatment is completely absorbed. How you store your boots will mostly depend on what type of space you have available for storage. Upright storage is best if you can allow for this.
Boots can easily sag and crease if flopped over in the back of the closet. If you are storing your boots upright, use an insert to keep the form intact. You can buy boot shapers like we mentioned above, or you can use something from around the home like a rolled up magazine. Pool noodles cut to size are super cheap and also work great as boot shapers!
If upright storage is out of the question for you, there’s a large variety of other storage products you could try. Under-the-bed bins and closet inserts or systems are good for keeping dust out and boots out of the way. Whichever storage method you use, just be sure your boots are kept safe from foot traffic and moisture, and if possible, air elements like dust.
As long as you give your boots the proper TLC they deserve prior to storing for the off-season, they will be ready to hit the streets come next fall. These methods can definitely help extend the life of your boots, but for major messes or specialized boots/materials (UGGS, Sheepskin) we recommend leaving it to the pros as these are delicate materials that can be easily damaged further if not cleaned properly.
Beginning in June, we are excited to accept UGGS and other sheepskin boots for cleaning at all CDone Price Cleaners stores. Wondering why you should have us take care of this for you when we just gave you some perfectly good ways to do it yourself? One of our expert insiders explains the benefits of professional cleaning vs DIY:
"The benefits are that we have machines that we can control, like the temperature of the water and the solvent that is used. Additionally, we put natural oil back in the skin of the boot to better condition them. If you put the boots in the washer at your home, it damages the boots because the washers and the detergent are built for fabric that would dry out the skin."
So while some boots can easily and safely be cleaned at home, others will last you much longer if you have the pros maintain them. To find your nearest CD One Price Cleaners for more details about boot cleaning, visit https://www.cdonepricecleaners.com/locations/.