How To Remove Salt Stains From Leather Shoes
How to Remove Salt Stains from Shoes
During the winter months, it's easy to come into contact with road salt. Road salt can be very damaging to shoes and cause stains if not addressed immediately.To remove stains from your shoes, treat them with a cleaning solution and white vinegar and water. Then, set them aside to dry. In the future, be proactive about protecting your shoes from salt damage.
Using a Vinegar and Water Solution
Check the material.Most materials can be cleaned with a basic solution of vinegar and water. However, the application of this solution differs if you have suede shoes. Check to see if your shoes are suede before treating stains.
- If you find you have suede shoes, get a small scrub brush. A solution should be scrubbed on rather than dabbed on.
Stuff your shoes with paper towel.Stuff the shoe immediately after you notice a salt stain. You want to begin the cleaning process as soon as possible. Stuffing your shoes with paper towel will help them retain their shape as you clean them.
- You can do this with any pairs of shoes, regardless of the material.
Prepare a solution.An easy solution for cleaning salt stains can be made with white vinegar and water. Simply mix one part white vinegar to two parts water until you have an even mixture.
- You can also use a pre-made cleaning solution for shoes if you have one on hand. This can save you some time, but be sure to check the label. You want to be certain the solution is safe to use on the material of your shoes.
Moisten a cloth with your solution.Take a cloth and dip it in the solution. Wring it out until it's slightly damp.
- Remember, if you're cleaning suede shoes, use a brush. Get a brush slightly damp instead of a cloth.
Start at the corner of the stain and move inward.Begin gently scrubbing or brushing near the edge of the stain. As the stain begins to come out, move inward. You want to clean the edges first and then gradually move in. You want to work your way to the center and then scrub through to the other side of the stain.
- Do not use too much force. You do not want to damage the shoe by scraping off any material.
Blot out any excess vinegar.Once you're done removing the stain, take a paper towel. Blot the area over the stain to remove any vinegar. Keep blotting until there is no longer vinegar visible on the stain. You may need to use more than one paper towel.
Let your shoes air dry.Never attempt to dry shoes with a blow dryer or in the drying machine after washing them. Set them in a clean, dry space and let them air dry completely before wearing them again.
- Your shoes should air dry for at least 24 hours.
Follow up treatment with a leather cream.If your boots are leather, buff on a leather cream after cleaning them. This is a cream you can buy online or at a department store. It's like lotion for dry skin. It keeps boots moisturized and prevents cracks and tears.
Preventing Future Stains
Use a stain protectant spray.Shoes are very susceptible to salt stains, especially in the winter when salt is everywhere. A protectant spray is necessary to keep your shoes resistant to salt stains.
- You can buy a protectant spray online or at a local shoe store.
- You should spray the protectant spray 8 to 12 inches away from the shoe. Add two coats.
- Check the label to make sure the spray is safe to use on your specific shoe type.
Waterproof your shoes.In months where streets are being salted, water damage is also a major concern. Take steps to waterproof your shoes to keep them safe. A waterproof spray can help create a protective layer that will minimize water damage over the colder month.
- Choose a spray that's safe to use on your specific type of shoe. It should say somewhere on the bottle which materials a spray works for.
- Make sure to read and follow the instructions of any water proof spray carefully. You usually spray it on in a similar fashion to which you would spray on a protectant spray.
Treat stains immediately.The longer you let stains sit, the worse they will be. If you notice a salt stain on your shoe, treat it right away. Putting off treating a stain can cause permanent damage to your shoes.
Video: How to clean the salt off Suede Boots
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