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UGGs have been controversial ever since they came on the market back in the early 2000s. Should they be worn with socks? Should they be worn in the summer with shorts, a crop top and a trucker hat a la Britney Spears? Or should they be reserved for wintertime only? Do they function like house slippers or are they meant for the outdoors?

Never has a single shoe style been so controversial…or alluring. Because the one thing we can all agree on is the fact that UGGs are just so damn comfortable. These fuzz-lined boots are hassle-free, ultra-warm and oh-so-cozy.

But because UGGs are so readily accessible, it’s easy to continuously wear them and forget they need cleaning. Add the fact that the cleaning process can be quite tricky, and you can go months without giving your precious boots so much as a pat-down with a paper towel. But that’s bad news friends and here’s why: Considering the fact that they’re made from sheepskin, suede or a combination of both, UGGs are susceptible to water, mud, salt and grease stains which means that cleaning them on the reg is essential. In fact, the materials are so sensitive that even leaving your favorite pair in high temperatures while wet can cause shrinkage.

The easiest way to keep your UGGs protected if you don’t have the time to clean after each wear is to use the UGG Protectant which the company sells directly. However, if you’ve waited a tad bit too long to show your boots some TLC or are all out of Protectant, read up on some alternative tips for how to clean UGGs below.

RELATED: Ask a Fashion Editor: Is it Ever OK to Wear UGGs?

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Marisa05/Twenty20

How to Clean Water Stains off UGGs

If you got caught in the rain or were walking in mounds of snow and your UGGs got wet, it's easy to think you can just soak them in water in order to clean them. But this is a huge no-no. Here’s an easy method for getting rid of water stains, courtesy of Clean My Space.

What you’ll need:

Steps:

    1. Prep your boot. Use the suede brush to gently give your boot a good once over. This loosens the nap and gets rid of any surface dirt.
    2. Use sponge to wet the boot. Dip the sponge in clean, cool water and moisten the entire boot. Make sure you’re not drenching the shoe with too much water, just use enough to make it damp.
    3. Clean with suede cleaner. Using the sponge, clean your boots with suede cleaner. (A one-to-one mixture of water and white vinegar will also do the trick).
    4. Rinse with cotton cloth. Dip your cotton cloth in some clean water and run through your boot, removing the suede cleaner.
    5. Stuff the inside with paper towel. To ensure that your boots maintain their shape as they dry, stuff them with paper towel so they stand straight.
    6. Let air dry. Do not, under any circumstances, put your UGGs in the dryer or use a hairdryer as this may ruin the shoes for good. Instead, find a spot away from the sun or any other form of direct heat to let your UGGs dry at room temperature.

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Boston Globe/ Getty Images

How to Clean Salt Stains off UGGs

If you’ve been walking around in the snow, you don’t only have to worry about the water stains, but there’s also the issue of salt stains at hand. According to the pros at How to Clean Stuff, you want to ensure that the method you use to remove salt stains doesn’t simultaneously wash out the color off your boots. In addition, the experts recommend testing this method on a smaller portion of your boot to see how it reacts.

What you’ll need:

Steps:

    1. Add small amount of soap to the cold water. Make sure you add just enough soap to get the job done—too much and you’ll have a soap stain to battle.
    2. Dip the soft cloth. Again, you want to make sure you’re not transferring excess water onto the boot and creating another stain.
    3. Pat or blot stains. It’s important to go about this step gently because harsh scrubbing may remove color off your boots.
    4. Allow to air dry. Place your UGGs in a cozy spot away from direct sunlight or any heat source.
    5. Brush as needed. After the boot is dry, restore the nap of your boots to its original appearance using the toothbrush or Nubuck brush.

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Boston Globe/Getty Images

How to Remove Dirt/Mud from UGGs

So that puddle you accidentally stepped in turned out to be muddier than expected. Don’t worry—removing mud off your boots is quite simple.

What you’ll need:

  • Suede brush
  • Soft sponge
  • Pencil eraser
  • Water
  • Suede cleaner

Steps:

  1. Let the mud dry. Simplify the cleaning process by allowing any wet mud to completely dry out.
  2. Brush out as much as possible. Use the suede brush to gently remove any surface dirt left behind. Make sure you brush in one direction, so you don’t ruin the nap.
  3. Rub out stubborn stains with the pencil eraser. Use the eraser to spot rub any matted or shiny stains.
  4. Wet stained area. Gently dab or blot all stained areas with water to loosen the nap.
  5. Apply suede cleaner. Dab a bit of cleaner to your sponge, dip it in water and apply to the stain in a circular motion.
  6. Allow to air dry. No matter how big or small the dirty area, it’s better to let your shoes air dry so they maintain their appearance.

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Boston Globe/Getty Images

How to Remove Grease Stains from UGGs

So you were cooking in your beloved UGGs and accidentally spilled some olive oil on them. Here’s a clever solution to help nix those grease stains.

What you’ll need:

  • White chalk or corn starch
  • Paintbrush
  • Suede cleaner
  • Cotton cloth
  • Water

Steps:

  1. Use chalk to color over stain. White chalk (not color chalk) is known to absorb grease, so apply as needed and let sit overnight. Note: If you don’t have any chalk handy, sprinkling a bit of corn starch over the stain gets the job done too.
  2. Wipe powder off. Using your paintbrush, gently wipe off the chalk as much as you can.
  3. Clean your boot as usual. To remove any chalk debris, put some suede cleaner on a cotton cloth, dip it in water and apply to the stain in a circular motion.
  4. Allow to air dry. As always, you want to make sure your boots retain their shape, so allow them to dry at room temperature.

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Josie Elias/Twenty20

How to Clean Inside Your UGGs

Now that we’ve taken care of the exterior, it’s time to take care of the inside of your fuzzy boots. Whether you wear your pair with or without socks, the inside of your shoes can get sticky with sweat and quickly become a hub for bacteria. Avoid any smelly feet or trips to the podiatrist by making sure you’re as attentive to the inside of your UGGs as you are to the outside. Here’s a quick and easy method from A Clean Bee for keeping the inside of your boots fresh and clean.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • Wash cloth
  • Gentle liquid soap
  • Soft toothbrush

Steps:

    1. Deodorize your shoes. If your boots already have an odor, sprinkle some baking soda inside. Let sit overnight, then pour out before you begin cleaning.
    2. Dampen wash cloth in water, then add soap. Instead of creating a soap and water solution, dampen the cloth first, then put soap on top. This way you’re applying the soap directly onto the stain.
    3. Gently scrub the fleece. Apply pressure as needed. For moderate stains, a gentle scrub will do the trick. However, if you have a tough stain on your hands, you might need to go a bit harder.
    4. Use toothbrush if needed. If you’re battling a particularly stubborn stain, enlisting the help of a soft toothbrush might be a good idea.
    5. Wipe clean. Rinse and wring out your washcloth thoroughly first. Dampen as needed before removing soap from inside the boot.
    6. Let air dry. As always, the best way to retain the coziness of your UGGs is to let them air dry.

RELATED: How to Wear UGGs Like it’s 2021 (And Not 2001 at the Galleria Mall)

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