As we are endure the cold and snowy month of February in PA, the pesky salt stains come with it. We put down salt for own safety but getting the stains out of your expensive boots can be a pain.
Salt that they use on icy roads and walkways is very acidic. And just as you can imagine, the longer it sits on your boots, the more damage it will cause. When you first step in a pile of slush, the salt is diluted in the water but once that water dries on your boots, the acid becomes much stronger. This chemical reaction weakens your leather and fades the color of your boots so you’ll want to get it off ASAP.
Do not brush or scratch at your salt stains. You will only push the salt further into the boot or cause scratches and tears that aren’t as easy to remove. However, you will want to remove the dirt from your boots with a brush initially or a soft cloth if the dirt is not on the outsole.
Vinegar is a great way to begin. You will want to mix three parts water with one part vinegar. Next, grab a soft cloth and buff the vinegar/water mixture into the stain. Then take a dry cloth and buff even more until almost dry. Make sure you go lightly over the entire boot that was submerged in water, paying special care to the areas with visible salt stains. Even if you can’t see the salt, there still may be remnants on the boot.
Next, let your boots completely dry at room temperature.
Lastly, since the vinegar is also slightly acidic (but not as acidic as the salt) you’ll want to put moisture back into the boot with a conditioner.