So, living in the great white north we all seem to succumb to the sometimes shunned fashion trend of the fur-lined boot. In the past couple years I have come to love my Hunter boots for rain, and my Sorel boots for snow, but sometimes I still like the warm cozy feel of sheepskin on my toes and UGGs come out of the closet!
My first pair of UGGs were beautiful. I was really in LOVE with them! They were a real investment for me about ten years ago when my husband’s business was new and I was making peanuts working for Gap Inc. as a retail manager. I adored them (I didn’t have children yet, so I mean I really loved them like they were my babies). I took care of them, made sure they were kept clean and protected with UGG waterproofing/protectant spray. I was careful where I wore them, worried that they would remain fresh and new looking.
One day I came home to find that my garage door opener was not working (dead battery). I hopped out of the car and ran around to the deck door, which I knew was unlocked. As I approached the door I saw the craziest thing, and it didn’t even register – there was fuzz everywhere. I was sure the dogs had dug into the couch. In a panic I burst into the upper level living room as the culprits scattered in a flurry of paws and claws.
It wasn’t the couch at all – it was my UGGs! I was totally blown away by the amount of fur one pair of boots held. The house was COVERED in snowy sheepskin. Bad dogs. I mourned the loss of my UGGs, literally mourned.
Since then I have acquired a few additional pairs of the cozy boots. They typically make their appearance in the late fall and hang around through the snow and ice. One thing that us UGG owning Minnesotans have experienced is the dirty, salt encrusted boot. This usually happens during a warm day (we are talking just above freezing here, now people), when the snow melts and creates a soupy slush that is completely unavoidable. Dry Cleaners make a pretty penny offering cleaning services which cost at least $50 or more. It’s crazy, but a necessary evil, unless you just give up and toss ’em in favor of a new pair.
I have had some great success in cleaning and restoring UGGs to their former glory. It’s hard to find tips on how to do this with good results, so I thought, with the onset of full on MN fall, I would share my process. Hopefully you avoid tossing your boots and instead try for a refresh!
- Dirty UGGs
- UGG Cleanser
- Big Sink with warm water
- Wash cloth you are willing to dispose of if necessary
- Older towels (at least two) you don’t mind possibly coloring/staining with UGG dye
- Gloves, to cover hands if washing dark-colored boots
- A large newspaper
- Sheepskin brush and Protectant spray
UGG Cleaning Kit available HERE
How to clean Dirty Uggs:
- Soak/rinse UGGs completely in the warm water – DO NOT worry about the color leaching out of the boots for darker colored UGG. This is normal and wearing gloves can be helpful in keeping the dye off skin.
- Repeat the soaking rinse.
- Take the washcloth and gently rub the exterior grain, especially in areas where you noticed lots of salt or organic residue.
- Clean each section of boot with the cleanser and the same washcloth
- Rinse in warm water.
- Repeat rinse.
- Wring boots to remove excess water.
- Place boots on towel covered hard surface. Using the other towel press the boots to remove additional moisture until they begin to feel less wet and more or less “damp”.
- Here is the trick in retaining the shape of the boots – stuff with newspaper. literally all the way into the toe, push as much dry crumpled newspaper as possible into the boots to give them shape. Make sure they are standing upright.
- Allow to dry for 2-3 days.
- Replace newspaper if boots do not seem to be drying.
- Once completely dry, brush with UGG Sheepskin brush.
- Spray boots with protectant.
I hope this helps you avoid having to purchase new boots for at least one winter! And remember, dogs like UGGS, but more as chew toys than for any particular fashion sense!
They can really be waterproofed? Seriously? The ARE popular in Seattle, but folks here wear flip-flops in January so I never assumed them to be practical for our weather.
@stillunwinding, they can be sprayed with a water resistant protectant, but they would still take on water if you stepped repeatedly in puddles (which you may have a lot of in the great northwest!). Wish we could wear flip-flops in the winter! 😜
Even if we had your weather, there would still be flip-flops out in Seattle. I think some people here never learn to tie shoelaces.
Too funny!! I’ll send my middle kid out there! He’s still working on that skill! And he loves flip-flops. No wonder…
Thanks for this great advice – last winter was my first in MN and I was shocked to see how much it hurt my beloved Uggs. I’m currently on the prowl for a pair of Sorels for the colder, snowier times – what style would you recommend? I tried the Joan of Arctic and Caribou, both comfortable but as usual I can’t come to a decision….
I have the Joan of Arctic II, which I love for MN winters. They are warm, but on trend. I am in love with the shale color. I have black, but plan to add shale and/or go for the Conquest Carly in black. The price tag of the Joan of Arctic II is really good for a warm winter boot. Only $150, and they will LAST year after year. Check them out here – free shipping and returns, so you can try them out without having to go out in the cold! go for 1/2 size down unless you are planning to wear a really thick sock. XOXO