Some say Uggs are back in style in a big way, and others say they never went out of fashion in the first place. Regardless of how you feel about this often-polarizing footwear, Uggs are a rather ubiquitous shoe — and one that requires a certain level of care to keep them looking their best.
Ahead, with the help of shoe care experts, we’ve rounded up all the best products and techniques for keeping your UGGs looking (and smelling!) brand new.
How to apply a protective treatment to Ugs
The best thing you can do for the good looks and lifespan of Uggs is apply a protective treatment to them. “I recommend using professional shoe care products, like Ugg Sheepskin Protector” Cristina Ehm, a shoe care expert who runs the blog Shoe Tease, says. Ehm says to reapply the protective treatment every six weeks, or after wearing them in wet weather.
A protective spray, like Ugg Protector, is an essential for keeping sheepskin boots looking their best and ensuring they last a long time.
Apply a protective spray, like Ugg Protector, before wearing the shoes for the first time. The protector should be reapplied every six weeks, or after the shoes have been worn in wet weather. For best results, the Uggs should be clean and dry before applying a protective spray.
- Step 1: Shake the bottle. Holding the nozzle six inches away from boot, apply an even coat to the boot so that it is wet, but not soaked.
- Step 2: Allow the boots to dry for 24 hours; avoid direct sunlight or heat.
- Step 3: After the boots dry, use a suede brush, working in one direction, to restore the nap.
You are not limited to the use of Ugg’s care products; there are very good protectors at a lower price point, like the highly-rated Angelus Boot Protector.
How, and how often, to clean Uggs
As every Ugg wearer knows, even the most well-protected pair can very easily become stained and grimy-looking. “Uggs should be cleaned any time they encounter dirt, dust, grime or water,” Ehm says, “to keep them looking pristine.”
Ugg’s cleaning kit includes bottles of the brand’s cleaner and conditioner, protector and freshener, as well as a shoe brush and a suede eraser. It is a good buy for people looking for a full suite of shoe care products and tools that can also be used on footwear other than Uggs.
- Step 1: Use a shoe brush to remove dust or grime particles.
- Step 2: Treat stains by dabbing suede cleaner on them using a light-colored cloth. Take care not to saturate the shoe when applying a suede cleaner.
- Step 3: Allow the shoes to air-dry away from direct sunlight or heat.
If you already have a suede brush and/or a protective spray, Ugg’s cleaner and conditioner can be purchased separately from the brand’s shoe care kit.
White vinegar can also be used to clean suede; dampen a light-colored cloth with vinegar and dab at stains. White vinegar is particularly good at removing road salt stains from suede and leather.
How to keep Uggs looking their best in between wears
In addition to applying a protective coating, and cleaning them when they become dirty or stained, a little bit of care in between wearings can also help to keep your Uggs looking practically brand-new.
Giving Uggs a quick brushing after wearing them will help to keep them from becoming dingy by removing dirt, dust, road salt and other grime before it can build up. Brushing also helps to restore the nap, keeping Uggs from looking matted and sad.
Use a suede and nubuck eraser to quickly remove stains from Uggs, including road salt rings and stains from food and drink spills.
Uggs are prone to creasing, especially along the toe box, leaving the shoes looking rumpled and old. To prevent this, insert crease protectors when not wearing the shoes. “You can also stuff the boots with paper to help them maintain their shape while they dry,” Frej Lewenhaupt, co-founder and CEO of Steamery, says.
How to prevent and eliminate odors in Uggs
Uggs are notorious for developing funky odors, but some simple preventative and odor-eliminating products can help keep the smells at bay and address them when they happen. “You can combat odors in Uggs using various DIY and store-bought solutions,” Ehm says. “These include putting charcoal shoe deodorizer packs, dryer sheets or cedar blocks directly into the boots; spraying the interior with shoe deodorizing spray; or using a UV shoe sanitizer.”
Deodorizing balls for shoes are a good way to prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up over time. Drop them into your shoes after you take them off to prevent shoe odors from becoming overwhelming.
When odors do build up in Uggs, a spray deodorizer like FunkAway is the best choice for quickly nuking them.
For those who like to bring a bit of high-tech flair to their fabric care efforts, a UV sanitizing wand can also be used to prevent and eliminate odors in shoes.