How to Get Salt Stains Off Your Favorite Shoes

How to Get Salt Stains Off Your Favorite Shoes

If you live in a snowy area, you probably have a favorite pair of shoes for shoveling the sidewalk or driveway. Even so, snow melting products used on other sidewalks and in parking lots are likely to leave salt stains on your shoes. Wearing rubber boots helps, but what if you forget or are caught off guard by the weather? The steps below will show you how to clean your shoes and protect them from future salt stains.

Leather Shoes and Boots

You will need:

Salt on your shoes can dry out the leather and cause permanent damage, just as too much sodium in your diet can cause dehydration. As a result, it's critical to treat any salt stains or snow remover residue as soon as possible. 

  1. With an old, damp rag, remove as much salt residue as possible.
  2. In a small bowl, combine equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe your boots or shoes with this mixture using a clean cloth. To avoid transferring dyes from the fabric to your shoes, make sure to use a white cloth.
  3. Repeat as necessary until all of the salt residue has been removed. Place your boots or shoes somewhere out of the way to dry. Heat can cause leather to crack, so keep them away from a fireplace or heating vent. Stuff them with newspaper to absorb excess moisture if they were wet to begin with. Replace the paper on a regular basis until the boots are dry.
  4. Once dry, rub a little coconut oil into your shoes to protect them from salt stains. A light layer of oil will keep salt residue off your shoes while also preventing the leather from drying out.

Suede Shoes and Boots

You will need:

  1. Wipe away as much salt residue as possible with the dry microfiber cloth. 
  2. Brush the suede lightly along the salt lines with the toothbrush. Don't be too rough, or the suede texture will be damaged; instead, use just enough pressure to dislodge any remaining salt. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup cold water and three drops liquid dish soap. Spot-test the colorfastness of your shoes by dabbing the corner of an undyed cloth with soapy water. 
  4. If the dye does not transfer, dab the stained areas with soapy water until the stain is removed. If you rub, you risk lifting the dye and ruining the suede's nap. 
  5. Dry the shoes in a cool, dark place away from heat and light. 
  6. When they're dry, buff them lightly with a dry cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush to restore the suede's texture. 
  7. Remove other types of stains from your suede shoes, then use a suede protector to prevent future ones at least once per winter season.

Fabric or Canvas Shoes

You will need:

Fabric or canvas shoes with leather accents, on the other hand, should not be washed. So, here are a couple of quick steps you can take to remove salt stains from fabric or canvas shoes.

  1. Dislodge as much salt rime as possible with the scrub brush. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap. 
  3. Soak a washcloth in soapy water and gently rub the salt stains from your shoes. Dont saturate the shoe fabric — get it just damp enough to remove the salt residue. 
  4. To absorb excess moisture, press a dry cloth against the area you just cleaned. Your shoes should be free of stains and dry enough to wear. 
  5. Spray sneakers or trainers with a fabric sealant the next time you wash them to prevent future salt stains.

Fortunately, salt stains on your shoes are fairly easy to remove. There is no special equipment required. Just follow the simple steps above and you're good to go.

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