How To Clean Ugg Boots & Sheepskin Slippers

Cleaning UGG boots isn't hard, it just takes the right ingredients.

Uggs aren’t the cheapest shoes out there, so learning how to clean Ugg boots at home is a smart way to protect your investment. Luckily, it’s no more difficult than cleaning suede boots, and you can use a lot of the same tools and methods to do it!

To make it easier to clean your beloved sheepskin footwear after wearing them through snow, rain, and other elements, I’ve put together the handy Ugg cleaning guide you’ll find in this post. From tips for removing stains from Uggs to easy ways to keep odors at bay, you’ll find all the info you need to restore your favorite pair of sheepskin boots to their former glory below!

How To Clean Ugg Boots (& Other Sheepskin Footwear)

You'll need white vinegar, a suede brush, and an eraser to clean your UGGs.

You’ll need:

*Suede brushes and scuff erasers are often sold together in kits — some suede brushes even have a scuff eraser attached to them! You might also consider Ugg’s branded care kit, which includes a brush, eraser, cleaner, protector, and deodorizer for $35.

You can buy a suede eraser for your UGGs, or you can use a regular eraser -- just make sure it's white so you don't discolor your expensive boots.

Cleaning The Exterior

Use a suede brush to gently remove loose dirt and debris all over the surface of your shoes, then use the eraser on areas with scuff marks or ground-in dirt.

A microfiber cloth is the perfect tool for cleaning UGGs.

Next, wipe with outside of the shoes with a clean, damp cloth — just enough to dampen the surface without getting it wet. Combine 1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar in a small dish, then dip a clean cloth in the solution and use it to gently blot any lingering stains. (“Gently” is the key here — vigorous rubbing can discolor the material.)

After cleaning, stuff your UGGs with newspaper or towels so they keep their shape.

Finally, dampen a clean cloth with water and use it to wipe away the loosened dirt and vinegar residue. Stuff your boots with some towels or scrap paper to help keep their shape, and leave them to dry in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. (Don’t set them near a heat source, which may cause shrinkage or other damage.)

You can buy conditioning and protecting spray for your UGGs online or in shoe stores.

Once the sheepskin or suede exterior is clean, you may want to apply a conditioner to nourish the fabric and maintain its appearance and soft texture. There are a variety of suitable conditioners for suede, nubuck, and sheepskin available online, including an Ugg brand conditioner spray ($15). Apply the conditioner according to the instructions on the package.

When the insoles of your UGGs get so smashed you can't fluff them up, buy some new insoles for your UGGs.

Cleaning The Interior

If the interior of your boots only needs some freshening up, you can do it easily using the cornstarch and baking powder method below. If the interior is visibly dirty and could use a more thorough cleaning, I’d recommend the second method for removing tough stains and odors.

Bonus Tip: If your sheepskin insoles are in really rough shape, consider replacing them! You can get genuine sheepskin insole replacements for around $20.

If the insides of your UGGs could use freshening, sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch inside to absorb moisture and odor.

Method #1: To Freshen & Deodorize

Put a couple of teaspoons of both cornstarch and baking soda in each boot or slipper you want to refresh, then use your hand to cover the top and give them a good shake. Leave the shoes alone for a few hours, then dump out and discard the powder. If desired, use a brush to fluff up the newly fresh and clean lining.

Why It Works: 

Cornstarch and baking soda are both very absorbent, helping to eliminate odor-causing bacteria — the cause of stinky shoes — and the moisture it thrives on. Additionally, baking soda is alkaline enough that it helps to neutralize acidic odor sources. It’s easy, effective, and economical — my favorite combination!

If you need to deep clean your UGGs, get some Lysol.

Method #2: For A Deeper Clean

You’ll need: 

*I use Lysol disinfectant concentrate in my homemade carpet cleaning solution, so I usually have it on hand, but you may have an easier time finding the laundry sanitizer.

Directions:

Start by removing the insoles (if present) and preparing your cleaning solution. (If using the Lysol concentrate, follow the directions on the bottle; if using the laundry sanitizer, just add a tablespoon or so to a couple of cups of water.) Dip a clean cloth in the prepared cleaning solution, then use the damp cloth to wipe down the interior of the shoes.

Next, stir 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap into 1 cup of water, then dip a clean cloth in the soap and water. Use it to give the sheepskin interior a gentle scrub, paying special attention to heavily soiled and stains. (If a cloth isn’t doing it for you, dip an old toothbrush in the soapy water and use it to scrub the stain.)

Dampen a clean cloth with water and use it to wipe down the sheepskin and remove any traces of soap or cleaning solution. Use a clean, dry cloth to absorb the excess water from the inside of your shoes, then let them dry naturally for 24 hours, away from sources of light or heat.

Cleaning UGGs and treating stains quickly will keep your boots looking as good as new for a long time.

Tips For Treating Common Stains

  • Greasy Stains: If you get a greasy stain on your boots, sprinkle chalk or talcum powder over the stain and let it sit overnight. Brush off the powder, and repeat if necessary.
  • Water Stains: To remove water stains from sheepskin boots, try rubbing the exterior of the other boot against the stained area. As strange as it sounds, rubbing sheepskin against sheepskin can get rid of water spots!
  • Ink Stains: Use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to remove ink from your boots, then clean and brush the area to restore the nap.
One old pair of UGGs after cleaning, and one new pair. Can you tell which is which?

BONUS: The 5 Don’ts Of Cleaning Uggs

  1. DON’T use Clorox, Clorox Wipes, or anything with chlorine on your sheepskin boots or slippers. It will make them brittle.
  2. DON’T wash your Uggs in the washing machine (and don’t put them in your dryer, either!)
  3. DON’T use leather conditioner on sheepskin footwear, which could ruin the nap. Conditioning products generally aren’t interchangeable.
  4. DON’T use your hair dryer (or any kind of heat, for that matter) to dry your UGGs — they may shrink! Instead, let them air dry away from direct sunlight.
  5. DON’T wear your Uggs without socks if you can help it. Socks can help keep the insides dry, which could help you avoid many of the issues caused by moisture!

Have you ever wondered how to clean UGGs?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • Do you think this would work on deerskin boots too? I have a pair that I bought in 1982 that I still wear (when we get enough snow and/or ice). THey need to be cleaned just from being in boxes (I moved from Colorado to Arkansas).

  • I couldn’t help but laugh when I read your reasoning behind vowing never to own a pair of Uggs. I grew up in Phoenix, where I had to endure the same annoying trend, thus making the same vow. All of that changed when I was dared to try a on pair. The instant I put my bare foot in the soft, pillowy, goodness, I was hooked! I’m an unashamed, multi pair owning addict!

    To keep mine clean, I use baby wipes. I figured if they’re gentle enough for baby bums, they’ll work wonders on the suede material!

  • would these techniques work on a suede purse ? I have a lovely old Coach bag in light blue…. but it has dirty places I’d like to tackle. I’ve tried the suede brush and eraser on it with no sign of improvement.

  • Another great tip from a friend about preventing smelly boots is to put a dryer sheet inside after you wear them, and it works! Of course, baking soda as well.

  • I read that Uggs have been around since the 60’s, I don’t go back that far, but I had what we called desert boots (though only ankle high) in the late 70’s. I wonder if they were Uggs without the label & the marketing. They were a dream to wear–but they were also very inexpensive–in fact, the least expensive shoe out there.

  • I buy used UGGS and other leather goods to re-hab and re-sell. I use BABY SHAMPOO–the name brand kind works best—to wash them and then get as much of the water out as I can by wrapping in towels and then stuffing to stand the shaft upright.

    Work the shampoo and the warm water into a lather and rub thru both the inside and the outside; you can use plain shampoo on any stains. An old soft toothbrush helps loosen up any crud.

    Above posters who mentioned do NOT use heat are right–this can cause the sheepskin to dry oddly and crinkle and become stiff; you might be able to put them in a dryer with a damp washcloth and a fabric sheet but I have not needed to do this. You can also “work” the leather to soften it up but this is better avoided. Early tribes chewed it to soften it–probably don’t wanna have to do THAT either!

    Pool noodles cut to length are a good way to keep the tops from flopping over and makeing creases. Some of these have insoles that can be removed—take them out before you wash them and it cuts dry time and they will probably need to be washed anyway. I think you can buy new ones from UGGS ; if not other companies make them.

    We live where we have an entire SEASON devoted to MUD—our boots get nasty no matter what. But this has gotten even deeply stained ones clean. Even pink kids ones!

  • Just yesterday I threw my pair in the washing machine on delicate and threwe them on my boot dryer (we use it to dry the insides of our children’s boots after playing in snow) and I left them to dry frim the inside out. They look nearly new.

    A lot less work and didn’t have to buy any tools.

  • I also machine wash mine, in cold water, hand wash cycle, with Woolite. Stuff with towels or paper, air dry, then “fluff” in the dryer on the air dry cycle with my ‘One Good Thing’ homemade wool dryer balls. Brush well with a suede brush and you’ll be amazed how great they look!

  • I machine washed my Ugg boots on a quick wash cycle using warm wash and rinse then air dried with a fan facing them. When they were dry I used suede brush on them. Results were awesome!

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