Gentle Care: How to Safely Remove Road Salt from Leather Shoes

Gentle Care: How to Safely Remove Road Salt from Leather Shoes

It's that time of year again.  Yes, the holidays are here, but so is the ice and road salt.  It stains leather shoes and can dry them out causing cracks.  It is important to remove it, but it can be tricky to get off you favourite pair of leather shoes.  

Leather is a sensitive material, and you should take some precautions to avoid damage. Always test the method in an inconspicuous area.  Below are several methods to remove road salt from your shoes. 

1.  Baby Wipes: 

Baby wipes are usually gentle and can be used on leather. Choose a fragrance-free and alcohol-free option.

2.  Warm Water and Soap:

Use a mild soap and mix it with warm water. Gently wipe the salt stains with a cloth dampened in the soapy water, and then wipe with a clean, damp cloth.

3.  Brushing or Scrubbing: 

Use a microfibre cloth, soft brush or toothbrush for scrubbing, and be gentle to avoid scratching the leather.

4.  Vinegar and Water Solution:

Use a mild solution(generally one to one ratio of vinegar and water), and test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather to ensure it doesn't cause any discoloration. This is not ideal and is not recommended for patent leather.

5. Baking Soda Solution:

Baking soda is generally safe for leather, but it's best to mix it with a small amount of water to form a paste. Gently apply the paste to the salt stains, then wipe with a clean, damp cloth. This is not a good method for patent leather as it can scratch. 

6. Commercial Salt Stain Removers: 

Choose a product specifically designed for leather. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

    Always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or retailer for your specific leather shoes. Additionally, after cleaning, it's a good idea to condition the leather with an appropriate leather conditioner to keep it moisturized and prevent it from drying out or cracking.

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