Ask Valet.Winter Boot Recovery

Bean boots, $100 at L.L. Bean

  • I love my L.L. Bean duck boots, but they've really taken a beating. What will make them look like it hasn't snowed everyday in NYC?

    - Mike, New York, NY

  • You're right. Those boots can last decades if you take care of them. Between trudging through dirty slush and salt or splashing in those mysterious Manhattan puddles, boots—even those made to take a beating—come out looking battered. We called up the fine folks at L.L. Bean's headquarters in Freeport, Maine, who patched us through to the design studio. Here's their in-house method for cleaning Bean boots.


How To


Brush the dirt off.

Clean any surface grime off the leather uppers with a soft brush or cloth and finish with a few swipes of a damp cloth. Allow leather to dry completely away from direct heat.


Preserve and waterproof.

Use a natural beeswax-based conditioner to protect and weatherproof the boot. We use "Boot Guard" but Sno Seal ($5) is a good one too that's more readily available.


Restore the rubber.

Wipe the bottoms clean with a wet cloth and dry. Good old-fashioned Armor All ($6), applied lightly, can be used to restore rubber and prevent cracking and color fading.

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