Easily Clean and Care for Your Clarks Desert Boots

Did you know that the Clarks Desert boots were inspired by the crepe-sole boots worn by the British army during WWII? These boots are comfortable and stylish, but there are a few things you should know about how to clean and care Clarks Desert boots.

When was the last time you cleaned your Desert boots? Are your boots starting to look old and faded?

We are going to look at how to care for the two different fabrics used to make these iconic boots, including suede and beeswax leather.

We are going to talk about the best ways to get dirt and stains of your suede boots, and how to make your beeswax leather Desert boots look new again.

You might have been hesitant about cleaning your Clarks boot because you aren’t sure about the methods and products you can safely use on suede or beeswax leather.

Let’s take a look at the different ways to clean these shoes without causing any damages.

Method 1 –Cleaning Suede Desert Boots With A Suede Brush

If you own a pair of suede boots, you absolutely need to get a good suede brush. These accessories will help you remove the dirt and dust that get stuck in the pores of this material.

You can purchase a suede brush by itself or purchase a complete cleaning kit. If you have a suede brush with hard bristles, don’t apply too much pressure when cleaning your shoes.

Here is what you will need to clean your suede boots:

  • A suede brush.
  • An old newspaper.
  • A butter knife (optional).

You can the suede brush to clean your Clarks boot whenever they look dirty, or do it more regularly to preserve their original color. Letting dirt and dust accumulate on the suede fabric of these boots can increase wear and tear and cause the color to look less vibrant after a while.

This helpful video will show you exactly how to brush your suede shoes:

This is how you should clean your suede shoes:

  • Place an old newspaper on the ground since you will be brushing dirt off your shoes.
  • Use the suede brush to remove dirt and dust particles. Always brush in the same direction.
  • Brush softly to get rid of dirt that is on the surface of the suede material and brush harder if there are old scuff marks.
  • If there are any persistent marks or stains on your shoes, use a butter knife to carefully scrap the area. The knife will lift the grain of the suede and you can then use the brush to get the stain out.

Pro tip: invest in a silicone spray to protect your suede boots. This spray will create protective coating that repels dirt and water.

how to care clarks desert boots

Photo by Life-Of-Pix Licensed under CC0

If your Desert boots are particularly muddy, wait a couple of days for the mud to dry. You will then be able to remove most of it by hand and get the rest of the mud off your shoes with your brush.


  • Only takes a few minutes.
  • Suede brushes are not expensive at all.
  • Will make dirty shoes look a lot better.


  • Won’t get rid of tough stains.

Method 2 – Use A Suede Eraser

If your suede boots have some scuffs and marks that won’t go away after you use a suede brush, try a suede eraser. There are special erasers you can buy to get scuffs and marks out of suede and Nubuck shoes.

suede eraser

Pro tip: before purchasing a suede eraser, try rubbing a regular eraser on the scuff or mark.

You will need:

  • Your suede boots.
  • A suede eraser or a regular eraser.
  • A suede brush

Check out this video to find out how you can get rid of marks and scuffs with an eraser:

Or follow these steps to get your Clarks Desert boots looking new again:

  • Use the suede brush to get rid of the particles trapped in the suede pores.
  • Rub marks and scuffs with the suede eraser. Don’t apply any pressure at first.
  • Use the suede brush to remove the debris from the eraser.
  • Use the eraser again if the mark is still visible. Apply more pressure if needed.
  • Clean the debris with the brush, and use the eraser again if needed.

This is a cleaning method you should only use if there are stains you can’t remove with your suede brush. If you decided to try with a regular eraser and couldn’t get rid of the scuff, it is definitely worth it to invest in a special eraser for your suede boots.

Pro tip: if you can’t get rid of a tough stain with a suede eraser, try applying a small quantity of white vinegar to dissolve the stain.


  • A special eraser should remove most scuffs, marks and stains.
  • These erasers are affordable and last a long time.


  • Won’t work for water stains.

Method 3 –  Dealing With Water Stains And Waterproofing Your Boots

Water and suede shoes don’t mix. You won’t be able to get rid of water stains by brushing your shoes. Here is what you should do instead.

You will need:

  • Two rags or towels.
  • Some water.
  • An old newspaper.

Follow these simple steps to get rid of water stains:

  • Dip a rag or towel in water.
  • Use the rag or towel to get your shoes wet.
  • Use the other rag or towel to soak up any excess water.
  • Fill up your shoes with newspaper pages crumpled into balls.
  • Let the shoes dry in a well-ventilated area, if possible with exposure to sunlight.

Don’t let your shoes dry next to a heating vent. This will ruin the suede fabric. Note that you might have to repeat this process more than once to get rid of water stains if you got caught in a downpour.

You can prevent water stains by waterproofing your shoes with sprays. Waterproofing your suede shoes only takes a few minutes and cleaning suede Desert boots is a lot easier once they have been waterproofed.

Here is what you will need:

  • Your Clark Desert boots.
  • A suede brush.
  • A waterproofing spray for suede and Nubuck shoes.
  • A well-ventilated area.

You can waterproof your Clark boots by following these steps:

  • Get your shoes as clean as possible. Applying a waterproofing spray over scuffs and dirt will seal the scuffs or dirt on the suede fabric.
  • Spray your boots with the waterproofing spray. Spray your boots in a well-ventilated area since these sprays contain chemicals.
  • Wait a couple of minutes before applying a second coat.
  • Apply a total of at least four coats.
  • Let your boots dry. Check the label on the spray you used to find out how long your shoes need to dry.


  • Waterproofing your boots will make them last longer.
  • Waterproofing sprays are affordable and this only takes a few minutes.


  • These sprays contain chemicals.
  • Your boots will always have some scuffs or stains if you are unable to get them perfectly clean before applying the spray.

Method 4 – Cleaning your Clark Desert boots beeswax leather

The Clark Desert boots are also available in beeswax leather. These models look gorgeous and require a lot less maintenance than the suede boots.

clarks desert boots beeswax leather

Photo by Paul Townsend Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Here is how you can keep your beeswax leather boots clean.

You are going to need:

Cleaning and caring for your beeswax leather boots is very easy:

  • Use the soft rag or cloth to wipe your shoes whenever you notice dust or dirt.
  • Let mud dry before removing most of it by hand and using the cloth to wipe the rest.
  • Use a product like the Penguin P100 Instant Cleaner if there are persistent stains.
  • Let your shoes dry. Never expose them to a heat source this would cause the leather to become dried and cracked.

This YouTube user has a lot of useful tips for cleaning and caring for the beeswax leather Clark desert boots:

Pro tip: invest in a good leather protector and restorer. These products nourish leather and can make old shoes look new again. Keep in mind that using one of these products on your boots might make them look a tad darker.


Did you find these tips on how to clean and care Clarks Desert boots useful? If you are still hesitating before purchasing a pair of Clarks Desert boot, keep in mind that the beeswax leather models require a lot easier to care for. If you already own a pair of Clarks boots, try cleaning them with the methods listed above.

Let us know about the products and techniques you use to keep your Clarks Desert boots clean, whether you own a pair of the suede or beeswax leather boots. If you used any of the methods listed above, show us some before and after pictures!

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