Made of sheepskin, suede, and love, Ugg boots are favored by many for the warmth and comfort they bring.
Despite the recent vendetta and hate towards them, no one can deny the convenience and contentment these boots provide.
They’ve been dominating the market for decades and have now become somewhat of an international classic.
The only problem here is this: classic Uggs aren’t waterproof.
Rain- and snow-specific Uggs are, but the plain, suede-covered, tan Uggs aren’t.
Luckily, there are several ways to remedy this situation.
Read on to learn how to waterproof Ugg boots, along with tips on taking care of them.
Waterproofing Uggs: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide
Ugg boots are primarily used during the cold months because of their warm interiors. So it’s really quite frustrating that they aren’t waterproof since winter comes with plenty of puddles, rain, and snow.
Despite their reputation for being able to carry you through a snowstorm, classic Uggs aren’t winter boots. But, with a little effort and a bottle of waterproof spray, you’ll be able to wear your Uggs no matter the season!
Let’s start with what you’ll need:
- Suede brush
- Suede cleaner and conditioner
- Suede eraser (optional)
- Clean cotton cloth
- Cold water
- Suede water repellent or waterproofing spray
- Baking soda (optional)
1. Preparing Your Uggs
Before waterproofing your Uggs, you’ll first have to clean them.
If your Uggs are brand new and came straight out of the box, you can go ahead and skip this step and the other two that follow. Otherwise, you’ll have to thoroughly clean them before you begin to prevent staining and further damaging them.
Preparing your Uggs for cleaning is really quite simple. First, lay down several newspaper sheets so your floor won’t be dirtied. Then, take your suede brush and gently but thoroughly brush your boots to soften the nap and get rid of all the surface dirt, debris, and scuff marks.
Use a dull knife for particularly stubborn scrapes or strains. For blemishes that won’t scrape away, or if you have ‘matted’ or shiny stains, use a pencil eraser or a suede eraser. Most suede brushes come with this rubber piece already.
2. Deodorizing Your Uggs
This step is optional and you may skip it if you wish! If your Uggs smell a bit unpleasant, simply sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of baking soda into the opening of each boot, cover the hole with your hand, and vigorously shake.
Doing so removes any odor and keeps your boots smelling fresh and clean.
3. Cleaning Your Uggs
Once you’ve removed all the surface dirt and blemishes, wipe the outside of your Uggs with a clean cotton cloth soaked with cold water. The cloth should be damp to the touch but not dripping wet, so only about 20% wet.
Then, dampen a sponge in cold water and add a small amount of suede cleaner onto it. You can also use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol or a 1:1 mixture of plain water and white vinegar.
Evenly work the product into the suede from top to bottom. Don’t rub too hard; suede is quite fragile and may easily be damaged. Make sure to cover the whole outer layer to prevent unsightly watermarks. Cleaner residue can be cleaned away with a wet cloth.
When done, stuff the boots with newspaper, kitchen paper, or boot supports to hold their shape as they dry. Allow them to air dry for at least 24 hours or until all the moisture has evaporated.
To assist with moisture removal, you can add a silica gel pack inside the boots before stuffing. This is optional, of course, but it does speed up the drying process. You can also hang them on a washing line and let them naturally dry or use a Boot Dryer if you have it.
Don’t place them in direct heat or sunlight as it may cause the suede to dry and misshapen the boots.
4. Waterproofing Your Uggs
Using a waterproofing spray is the easiest and quickest way to waterproof your Uggs. However, not any ol’ waterproofing spray will do! You need to use a product that’s specifically made for suede.
I personally use Nikwax because it adds water repellency to my Uggs without damaging their texture. You can use either sponge-on or spray-on, but I found that spray-on is more convenient than the former.
Take your now-dry Uggs and place them on top of a newspaper. If you deodorized your boots, tip the boots upside down to remove the baking soda. Brush away any remaining dirt or dust using a clean suede brush.
Then, spray the outside of your boots from top to bottom at a distance of about 6 to 8 inches. Don’t overspray. Your Uggs should be damp but not overly soaked!
Leave them to dry for 24 hours in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat. Similar to the step above, stuff your Uggs with newspaper to retain their shape while they dry.
5. Final Touches
Remove the newspapers once your boots are sufficiently dry. Then, brush your Uggs with a suede brush to even out the nap and spray them with a protective suede spray and conditioner.
Allow them to dry for a couple of minutes and voilà! Your Ugg boots are now clean and waterproofed. Take them out on a stormy or snowy day without worrying about damaging them!
Ugg Boots Care Tips
Suede is soft because it’s made from the underside of an animal’s skin, thus making it quite delicate. Like any other fine garment, Ugg boots made of suede, smooth leather, or sheepskin must be properly taken care of if you want them to last longer.
Here are some important Ugg boots care tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t soak your boots in water for extended periods of time even if you’ve waterproofed them.
- Always use a soft-bristled brush when cleaning your boots.
- Fully let your boots dry before storing them away.
- Wear socks with your Uggs to prevent odors from developing.
- Don’t press on the boots too hard while cleaning them.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals such as chlorines, bleaches, and peroxides to wash or clean your boots.
- Don’t cook with your Ugg boots on as they can easily get stained by cooking oils, sauces, and wines.
- Keep your Uggs away from your pets as they may attempt to chew and play with them.
- Bring your boots to a professional cleaner if you don’t have the proper cleaning products available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked Ugg boots questions on the web!
Can I put my Uggs in the washing machine or dryer?
It’s certainly tempting to skip all the above cleaning steps and pop your Uggs in the washing machine or dryer instead. However, I strongly advise you from doing so!
Even at their lowest setting, washing machines and dryers can be quite unforgiving to Uggs. They may destroy the fabric of your boots and cause all sorts of chemical stains.
Moreover, traditional washing detergent is damaging to suede, sheepskin, and leather. This is why you should always use suede and sheepskin-specific products to clean your Uggs.
If you want to quicken the drying process of your boots, use a Boot Dryer. Boot Dryers are designed to accelerate the drying process of all types of footwear, sports equipment, and even garments.
How can I clean stains off of Uggs?
The best way to remove stains off of Ugg boots is by using chalk. Chalk is typically found in stationery stores. Gently mark the affected area with chalk and leave it overnight. During this period, the chalk will absorb and remove the stains.
When the time is up, brush off the excess chalk using a soft-bristled brush or suede brush. If the marks remain, rub away the chalk using the surface of your other boot to restore its color. Do this for a couple of minutes until all the chalk marks disappear.
This technique is ideal for oil or grease stains, mud stains, and food stains.
What happens if I get water on your Uggs?
Water may damage leather and cause the boot’s wool to separate from the skin, thus ruining the product’s outer surface and aesthetic. Water could also permanently stain your Uggs once they dry.
Keep in mind that Uggs aren’t snow boots and shouldn’t be worn in muddy, wet, or snowy weather unless they’re designed to be waterproof. Even if they’re waterproofed, you shouldn’t purposely jump on mud or puddles while wearing Uggs.
Ugg boots keep you warm and snug all winter long.
They’re comfortable, durable, and never go out of style.
The only downside to Uggs is that they aren’t waterproof. But this can be easily remedied by a suede water repellent.
Simply follow the steps above and you won’t have to worry about damaging your Uggs when frolicking in the snow.