How to clean doc martens

Doc Martens are a favorite for both men and women. They are rugged, stylish, and versatile. However, like any other shoes, they can dirt and dust easily. Follow these cleaning tips to keep your Docs looking new and pristine!

Since Doc Martens are made of durable materials, they can take a lot of wear and tear. But just as with any other footwear, they need to be cleaned properly in order to keep them in good condition. Here are five steps that will help you clean your Docs effectively:

clean doc martens

Doc Martens come in various materials, including patent leather, regular leather, and Wonder Balsam wax. Each material requires specific cleaning methods to prevent damage and maintain the boots’ quality. By following the instructions provided for each type, you can effectively clean your Doc Martens without compromising their appearance or longevity.

Cleaning Patent Leather Docs

Patent leather Doc Martens have a glossy finish that requires careful cleaning. Follow these steps to clean patent leather Docs:

  1. Prepare a cleaning kit consisting of a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and mild soap.
  2. Remove any dirt or debris from the boots by gently wiping them with a damp cloth.
  3. Use a patent leather cleaner recommended by the manufacturer to clean the boots thoroughly. Apply the cleaner using the soft cloth or sponge and follow the instructions provided.
  4. Once the boots are clean, buff them gently with a dry cloth to restore their shine.
  5. Finally, re-lace the boots if necessary, ensuring the laces are clean and intact.

Cleaning Leather Docs

Cleaning leather Doc Martens is slightly different from cleaning patent leather ones. Here’s how to clean leather Docs effectively:

  1. Start by scrubbing the soles of the boots using a solution of dish soap and warm water. Use a brush or sponge to remove dirt and grime.
  2. Wipe the soles with a damp rag to remove any soap residue.
  3. If the laces are dirty, swirl them around in a bowl of soapy water and rinse them thoroughly.
  4. Use an old nail brush to gently remove dirt or mud from the surface of your shoes. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as it may damage the leather.
  5. For any paint stains on your leather Docs, clean them using mineral spirits. Apply a small amount of mineral spirits to a clean cloth and gently rub the affected area until the paint is removed.
  6. After removing any stubborn stains, proceed with regular cleaning to remove excess residues and cleaning products.

Cleaning Wonder Balsam Wax Docs

Wonder Balsam wax Docs require a different cleaning approach. Follow these steps to clean and maintain your Wonder Balsam wax Docs:

  1. Take the sponge out of the Wonder Balsam tub and scoop out a small amount of wax.
  2. Apply the wax generously all over the boot, paying extra attention to creases, the tongue, and the inside leather.
  3. Work the wax into the seams using your fingers, ensuring all areas are covered.
  4. Leave the boots to dry for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Once dry, give your brushed-up boots a quick spray with Dr. Martens Ultra Protector for added protection or use Dr. Martens Shoe Freshener to eliminate any odors.

Removing Common Stains

To keep your Doc Martens looking pristine, it’s important to know how to remove common stains. Here’s a simple method to tackle scuffs and marks:

  1. Apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste to the scuffed areas.
  2. Work the toothpaste into the boot using a shoe brush or a clean cloth.
  3. Wipe the area clean and dry, ensuring the scuff mark is no longer visible.

General Cleaning

Regular general cleaning helps maintain the overall appearance and condition of your Doc Martens. Follow these steps for routine cleaning:

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap.
  2. Dip a brush into the soapy water and gently scrub the soles of the Doc Martens.
  3. Rinse the boots with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  4. Stuff the boots with crumpled paper to help them retain their shape while drying.
  5. Allow the boots to air dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.


Properly cleaning your Doc Martens is crucial to extend their lifespan and keep them looking fantastic. Whether you have patent leather, regular leather, or Wonder Balsam wax Docs, following the appropriate cleaning methods will help preserve their quality and appearance for years to come.


  1. Can I use regular shoe polish on my Doc Martens? It’s recommended to use the specific cleaning and maintenance products provided by Dr. Martens to ensure the best results and avoid any potential damage.
  2. Can I machine wash my Doc Martens? No, machine washing is not recommended for Doc Martens as it can damage the materials and structure of the boots. Stick to manual cleaning methods as described in this article.
  3. How often should I clean my Doc Martens? The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you wear your boots and the conditions they are exposed to. As a general guideline, aim to clean them every few weeks or whenever they appear dirty.
  4. Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process? It’s best to allow your Doc Martens to air dry naturally. Using a hairdryer or any direct heat source may cause the leather to dry out too quickly and potentially crack.
  5. What should I do if my Doc Martens get wet? If your Doc Martens get wet, gently remove any excess moisture with a clean cloth and stuff them with newspaper or paper towels. Allow them to dry naturally, avoiding direct heat.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.

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