Getting Rid of Salt Stains on Shoes

One of the most annoying things about the winter is the salt stains that end up on your boots. There is really no way to escape them, as roads, drive ways and sidewalks all get coated in rock salt after being ploughed and shoveled. And while you can ignore the salt stains that form on your shoes and boots, they will eventually end up looking messy and not very professional, especially if you work in an office and have to adhere to a dress code.

Treating your leather boots and shoes with a protecting spray, like those used to keep them getting water-damaged, will go a long way, but what about the pairs that have already been stained? No worries — they can be cleaned with a few simple household products. Here’s how:

For leather boots and shoes pour one tablespoon of white vinegar into one cup of water. Mix together well. Soak a cotton ball or pad in the solution, and wipe it over the stains to remove them. This works really well, because the vinegar contains acetic acid, which will dissolve the salt deposits almost immediately — although if you have a lot of built up stains, it may take a few swipes to remove them all. Set the shoes or boot aside and let them air-dry overnight before wearing them out.

If the stained boots are made from vinyl or have plastic sides, like those made for young kids, all that you need to clean the salt off is a glass of warm water filled with a few drops of dish soap. Dip a cotton pad or ball into the soapy liquid and wipe the boots until the salt is gone. Dry with a soft towel, or let them air dry overnight. This method also works for canvas shoes, for those of you brave enough to wear them out in the snow!


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