How to Get Rid of Salt Stains on Shoes

Though salted roads and sidewalks may be a welcomed sight on icy days, the fact of the matter is road salt damages footwear and can leave unsightly white stains on the surfaces of your shoes. Fear not, however, because there is a simple and inexpensive way to get rid of these salt stains, which will keep your shoes looking new for longer.

To bring your salt-stained shoes back to their former glory, you’ll need a few things – warm water, white vinegar, and a couple of gentle washcloths. Simply dilute one tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of warm water and use this solution to wet one of the washcloths. Dab and gently rub the stained area with the wet washcloth until the salt stains have been removed. Using the second washcloth, dab away any excess moisture to help speed up the drying process.

After you’ve dabbed away the excess moisture, simply let the shoe air dry at room temperature. Avoid drying your shoes over a vent or in the dryer as this can be damaging to certain types of materials like leather. If once the shoes are fully dry you still see some salt stains, simply repeat the cleaning and drying process until you are satisfied with the look of your shoes.

While this method is safe for leather and most types of fabrics, be cautious when cleaning suede or other sensitive materials using this method. When in doubt, rub the diluted vinegar solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe to make sure the materials will react favorably to the cleaning process.

If salt-stained shoes are getting you down, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s a simple and cost-effective way to deal with the problem that uses nothing more than a few common items that you most likely already have around your home. By simply using warm water, vinegar, and a couple of gentle washcloths, you can easily clean salt-stained shoes and return them to their former glory.