How to Fix Salt Damaged Leather Shoes and Boots

Shoes and boots that have become salt-stained should be cleaned immediately to avoid permanent staining to their leather material. Doing this will also prevent permanent indents from developing in its surface, which could ultimately compromise its integrity over time.

Start by moistening a regular dishcloth or paper cloth (ideally stored specifically for this task, though any will do) with water before wiping down the shoes with it.

Use a Leather Conditioner or Lotion

Wearing leather shoes and boots exposes them to high amounts of road de-icing salt, which over time can leave unattractive white stains that are hard to get rid of and may damage leather; using leather conditioner or lotion regularly will reverse any such damage and help to keep them looking their best!

To remove these stains from your shoes and boots, begin by brushing off as much dry salt and dirt from their surfaces as possible with a suede brush or regular shoebrush. Once this step is completed, use a cloth soaked with warm water soaked cloth soaked with warm water to wipe down salt stains using circular motions; rinse or replace if it becomes dirty to avoid spreading further salt deposits around. Work from top of shoe to sole edge from back to front and work through each section at a time until completed.

Once your shoes have been thoroughly cleaned, apply a coat of store-bought leather conditioner or lotion to soften and undo some of the damage done by salt. Alternatively, using olive oil could do just as well!

If your shoes have been severely damaged by winter’s snow and slush, try using a specially formulated product designed to dissolve and remove salt stains such as Saphir Salt and Snow Stain Remover, designed specifically to dissolve road salt stains. After applying with a cloth and leaving for an hour or two, buff with another cloth to remove residue before buffing to revitalize leather revitalization. After treating leather it’s important to keep moisturizing with good quality shoe cream or impregnation spray to waterproof them otherwise stiffness will return in no time –

Apply Olive Oil

As snowmelt causes street slush to collect in our streets and creates salt stains, shoes can quickly become stained with salt stains that damage leather material severely if left unattended. It is best to prevent the stain before it occurs but here are some helpful solutions on how you can treat existing ones.

A vinegar and water solution or leather cleaner is an effective way to remove salt stains from shoes. Simply dampen a soft cloth with the cleaning solution, rub over any salt stains until they’re gone, then follow up with another cloth dampened with clean water to rinse away any residual cleaning solution residue.

Baking soda can also help remove salt stains on leather shoes. Simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda in with one litre of lukewarm water in a bowl, and use this solution with a clean cloth dipped into it to wipe down your shoes; for stubborn areas you may require further scrubing with a toothbrush.

Castile soap can also help remove salt stains from leather shoes. Simply moisten a cloth with some castile soap and use it to rub away salt stains on your footwear – being sure to test on an inconspicuous area first for best results. Once done, rinse your shoes off in water and store in an esplanade away from direct heat until dry.

For suede shoes, a suede eraser can help to effectively eliminate stains. Before using an eraser on them, brush away loose dirt and dust with a suede brush; be sure to follow the grain of the surface when brushing! Once dry, leather protector should also be applied as protection from further wear-and-tear.


Salting roads and sidewalks is essential in winter conditions, but too much can wreak havoc with leather shoes and boots. Luckily, it’s simple to repair salt damage before it worsens using an ingredient likely already present in your pantry: white vinegar.

Vinegar is an effective solution to break down and dissolve mineral deposits caused by salt. Simply mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with equal parts water in a small bowl or spray bottle and apply to an area to be treated, wetting a cloth before rubbing away salt staining using this solution – repeat as necessary until staining has been eliminated – but make sure first that vinegar does not alter its original hue by testing a small area first!

Vinegar can also help eliminate any ridges or bumps caused by contact with salt, as these ridges weaken leather by creating space where water or dirt can enter, further harming it. Therefore, the sooner these ridges can be flattened the better for everyone involved.

If your shoes or boots feature suede or sheepskin materials, be wary when applying vinegar solutions. Instead, consider investing in cleaners specifically tailored towards these materials.

Once you’ve cleaned off any salt stains from your shoes or boots, place them somewhere out of sight and allow them to air-dry completely. Shoes tend to take longer as their leather needs to dry completely before using another cloth. For large pairs, stuffed with newspaper can speed up this process significantly.

Once your shoes or boots have fully dried, use leather polish to restore their shine and protect the leather from further wear and tear. Just be sure to test any product first to make sure it won’t damage them; additionally you may wish to seal them with Scotchgard waterproof sealant to further safeguard them against the elements.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an indispensable item in most kitchens for cooking and also has medical applications for treating heartburn. But did you know it can also help remove salt stains from leather shoes? Just mix two parts water with one part vinegar in order to create a baking soda solution and dip a clean soft cloth into this solution before wiping your leather away with it – voila, salt stains have vanished from your shoes!

Keep your rag wet throughout, to prevent excess vinegar from leeching into the shoes. After drying them completely, use a dry cloth to absorb any remaining moisture before applying leather conditioner – this will restore natural oils that were lost through vinegar treatment and help protect the shoes against becoming dry and cracking.

Once your shoes are clean, allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated space away from sunlight and direct heat. If your suede shoes require shaping during drying time, fill their interiors with paper or cardboard in order to maintain their form while drying.

Avoid salt stains on your shoes by regularly wiping them with a clean and damp cloth after each wear. This will prevent excess salt accumulation while helping your shoes remain clean and dry for longer.

Even without a cleaning kit for shoes, salt stains on leather shoes can still be removed by scrubbing with lemon juice or another mild cleanser such as rock salt or sugar ice melter – an organic form that won’t stain either your shoes or the environment!

Protecting leather shoes from staining and damage is of utmost importance, as the repairs or replacement can be both costly and time consuming. To extend their beauty and lifespan, it is a good idea to condition them regularly using high-quality products like leather lotion or conditioner and avoid exposure to water spots or substances which could leave damaging water spots and stains behind.