How to Get Salt Stains Out of Shoes (So They Look New)

Keep your boots looking clean and crisp all winter long by getting rid of pesky salt stains.

Published September 29, 2020
mens black shoes damaged from salt stains

After a day of shuffling around on the salty streets, you need to know how to get salt stains out of shoes and boots. Learn quick and easy methods for getting salt stains out of fabric, leather, and suede shoes or boots.

How to Remove Salt Stains From Shoes

Salt is an unfortunate side effect of winter on your footwear. Thankfully, the methods for getting salt stains out of shoes aren't as hard as you think. Learn the tips and tricks for getting salt stains out of your tennis shoes, sneakers, and other canvas shoes.

woman wearing rubber gloves cleaning salt stains from white sneakers with a brush.

What You Need

  • Dish soap

  • Bristle brush

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Towel

Easy Steps for How to Remove Salt From Tennis Shoes

  1. Use the bristle brush and microfiber cloth to rub off as much loose salt as possible.

  2. Add a drop of dish soap to the cloth and hold it under warm water to work the soap into the fabric.

  3. Wring out the cloth.

  4. Wipe down all the salty areas of the shoes.

  5. Take a towel and dry the shoes. (Stop here if all the salt was removed.)

  6. For heavily soiled shoes, you might choose to throw your shoes in the washer or give them a more thorough hand washing.

  7. Allow the shoes to dry completely.

  8. Apply a sealant, like Scotchgard, to help to protect your sneakers from further salt issues.

How to Remove Salt Stains From Leather Shoes and Boots

While a little bit of salt on your sneakers can be a nuisance, salt stains on your leather shoes or boots can hurt the material. Therefore, when it comes to salt stains on your leather shoes and boots, you want to act fast.

brown leather boots encrusted with sea salt stains

Materials to Gather

  • White vinegar

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Spray bottle

  • White cloth

  • Towel

Method for Removing Salt Stains From Leather

Try it on a discrete area of the shoe first before going to town on all the stains. This way, you can ensure this mixture does not harm your leather.

  1. Use the microfiber cloth to remove as much of the loose salt as possible.

  2. Create a 2:1 ratio of water and white vinegar in the spray bottle.

  3. Spray down the white cloth until damp with the white vinegar mixture.

  4. Rub the cloth over the salty areas until it disappears.

  5. Wet a clean cloth with straight water and wring it out well.

  6. Wipe down the shoes again to remove any vinegar residue.

  7. Dry with a towel.

  8. Consider using a conditioner like saddle soap on your shoes.

How to Remove Salt Stains From Suede Boots (Like Uggs)

Everyone loves their suede shoes in winter, like Uggs. However, removing salt from your favorite comfy suede shoes takes precision. Learn how to get salt stains out of your suede shoes and boots fast.

cleaning salt stains off suede boots with a brush

Supply List

Removing Salt From Suede Boots Quickly

  1. Take the bristle brush and try to brush away as much salt as you can.

  2. For the residual salt line, mix one tablespoon of white vinegar into a cup of warm water.

  3. Dip a cloth in the mixture and wring out any excess mixture.

  4. Dab at the salt line with the cloth until the salt marks disappear. (Be sure not to over-saturate the shoes.)

  5. Keep working your way around the shoe.

  6. Take a clean, dry cloth and dab at the areas until dry.

  7. Finish off with a quick brush of the shoe.

How to Remove Salt Stains on Suede Without Vinegar

Whether you don't have vinegar or just don't like the smell, vinegar isn't the only solution to removing salt stains. If you have a suede eraser, you can forgo the white vinegar and use the suede eraser to remove the salt marks from your boots. You simply run the eraser over the stain and voila!

The Importance of Taking Care of Salt Stains Quickly

Salt stains can be harmful to your shoes; therefore, the faster you remove them, the better. This is especially true for delicate materials like suede and leather. You want to make sure that you act quickly to wipe it away and don't let it build up on your shoes. While the thought of wiping your shoes down every night might not seem appealing, it's a lot better than forking out the cash for new dress shoes.

How to Get Salt Stains Out of Shoes

Salt is a consequence of winter. It's either that or never leaving your house. While the latter might sound fun in the dead of winter, everyone has to walk the salty streets. Keep your shoes clean from salt by grabbing the dish soap and vinegar.

How to Get Salt Stains Out of Shoes (So They Look New)