Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Salt Stains From Your Leather or Suede


Leather and suede shoes can easily become damaged during winter months, when road salt accumulates on the shoes as you walk from place to place. Several retail shoe-cleaning products remove these stains effectively, but many times these contain harsh ingredients that are not eco-friendly. Instead, use a mild remedy that will remove the salt stains without causing harm to the environment.


  • Simply cleaning the leather or suede with a damp cloth will many times remove the salt stains, requiring no additional work. Simply moisten a cloth or sponge, wring out to eliminate any excess water, and gently rub over the leather or suede surface. Repeat as necessary, until the stains are gone. If stains remain, follow up with the mild cleaning solution mentioned below.


  • Vinegar is a natural element that works to clean and disinfect. When diluted, this element is safe for leather and suede, and will remove salt stains with ease. In a dish, mix a solution of 1 cup warm water, and 1 tbsp. white vinegar. Dip a cloth in this solution, and rub over the stains until they diminish. Repeat as necessary until all stains are gone, and the shoes will look brand new again.

Dish Detergent

  • Liquid dish soap works perfectly as a mild cleaning agent that removes salt stains on suede and leather. In a dish, mix 1/2 cup water with five drops liquid dish detergent. Dab the tip of a cloth or sponge in this solution, and lightly rub over the salt stains until they are successfully removed.

Rubbing Alcohol

  • Rubbing alcohol also works to remove salt stains from leather and suede. Make a diluted solution of 1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp. rubbing alcohol. Dab the edge of a cloth in this solution, and rub over the suede or leather surface until the salt stains have been removed.

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