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Salt, great for defeating ice and snow but terrible on leather or suede. Lately I’ve seen salt stains on quite a few shoes and have been asked how to deal with it. It usually looks something like this.

The best way to combat the stain is to rinse the shoes off while they are still wet. If that’s not possible the salt will dry leaving a white stain, and the longer it’s left on will begin further damaging the leather.

Yes there are products made to remove salt stains, but I’ve always used a 50/50 mixture of warm water and white vinegar. Use a soft cloth and wipe away the stain, after the shoe is dry proceed to a leather conditioner such as Saphir Renovateur then polish.

If your shoes are soaking wet stuff them with newspaper (not trees) lay them on their sides if they have leather soles and let them dry away from direct heat. Once they are dry replace the trees and use the conditioner and polish. Never polish shoes while they are wet!!!