How to Clean Clarks Beeswax Leather Boots

by Dan Antony ; Updated September 28, 2017

The beeswax treatment used on Clarks Wallabee and Desert Boot models keeps the shoes waterproof and supple, for years of wear. They’re sporting shoes, meaning that on occasion you’ll need to get the mud, salt and grime off of them. The heavy wax makes cleaning them fairly easy. It acts like the wax on an automobile; the dirt and water sit on the surface and slough off easily. So waterproofing is key to keeping the boots clean.

Remove the laces, and pull out the tongue of the boot.

Brush off as much dirt as you can, with a dry brush.

Dampen a soft cloth and wipe off any remaining dirt. Finish by brushing the shoes to ensure that you’ve removed all dirt.

Dampen an old toothbrush and clean any dirt out of the welt (the joint between the sole of the shoe and the leather upper).

Allow the shoes to dry. Do not place them in sunlight or near a heater; this can cause the leather to crack.

Apply a waterproof treatment. Clarks recommends using a beeswax or oil-based treatment, like mink oil. You are more likely to find a beeswax treatment at a cobbler or sporting goods store than at a drug or grocery store. .

Work the treatment into every seam and all the stitching. This is where water tends to penetrate.

Work a generous amount of the treatment into the tongue; here again is where water tends to penetrate, and where dirt collects.


  • Do not use a spray or silicon-based waterproofer. These are fine for dress shoes under normal conditions, but sporting shoes require a more heavy-duty treatment.

    These boots, which have a slight nap, don’t polish to a shine. Instead, the waterproofer will keep them looking new.

    Replace cloth laces with leather laces, and waterproof them just as you did the boots.

Photo Credits

  • Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

About the Author

Dan Antony began his career in the sciences (biotech and materials science) before moving on to business and technology, including a stint as the international marketing manager of an ERP provider. His writing experience includes books on project management, engineering and construction, and the "Internet of Things."