How to Remove Salt Stains From Suede

If you're interested in learning how to remove salt stains from suede, it's important to understand what makes salt such a difficult stain to remove from suede. Suede is a leather product, often produced from goat, sheep, or deer skin. It is a comparably softer and more porous material than other leathers, and therefore should be maintained with care. If you get stains on your suede they should be removed immediately, salt especially.

Remove Salt Stains from Suede

Salt Gets on Suede During the Winter

Since suede leather is used for boots and shoes, the fabric is more vulnerable to salt stains when walking on sidewalks during the winter. If the salt stains are left on the suede, it can ruin them forever. The salt will corrode the suede and eventually eat it away.

During the winter months salt is used on stairs, driveways, walkways, roads, and sidewalks in order to melt large quantities of ice. It makes it safer to walk, but unfortunately walking through that salt will damage your shoes. If you keep your suede leather shoes polished, they run a lesser chance of needing suede salt stain removal during the winter months, but having additional protection might not be enough.

Removing Salt Stains from Suede

Getting the Mixture Right

When you remove salt stains from suede, it is important that you mix one cup of water with one tablespoon of white vinegar. Any other ratio will damage the suede potentially and will not work to remove salt stains from suede materials.

Removing salt stains from suede requires that you dip the new toothbrush or a towel into the solution and wipe away the salt stain from the suede. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary to remove the stain.

Letting it Dry

Once you are satisfied with the suede salt stain removal, you can let the leather dry. If you want to speed up the drying process after the suede salt stain removal, you can place the pieces in front of a heater, but not on a very high temperature or the leather could be permanently damaged. If you do use a toothbrush, then it is advised that you engage in removing salt stains from suede in a careful manner because scraping the suede too hard can permanently damage the leather.

What Not to Do When Removing Salt Stains from Suede

Mink oil should never be used to prevent or remove salt stains from suede. It will create a greasy surface on the leather. After removing salt stains from suede, keep the shoes or boots out of direct sunlight. If they are exposed to too much sunlight it will leave the suede damages. Also, if there are metal pieces attached to your suede boots or clothing, keep them dry in order to extend the life of the metal.

Using the Right Motion

It is best to always use a circular motion when removing salt stains from suede, whether you use a nylon scrubber, wash cloth, or toothbrush.

Treating Ugg Boots

For Ugg boots, you must be careful not to wash out the color of the boots when removing salt stains from suede. You should test a smaller area prior to removing the whole of the salt stains. Mix cold water with dish detergent for these boots alone but be careful not to mix too much detergent or you will be left with residue on the boots. The boots should be blotted or patted to remove the salt stains from suede and allowed to dry naturally.

Post-treatment Options

No matter which suede boots you have, apply a protective product to them once you remove salt stains from suede in order to reduce the risk of future damage or stains. This is particularly useful if you reside in climates prone to excessive rain, mud, or snow. During winter months, you should use a protective spray at least once per week.

Also, avoid using a diluted solution of the water and vinegar which is more than the aforementioned recommendation or your suede will fade and you will lose coloring. Do not use hot water ever because it will cause fading, shrinkage, or even ruin the overall shape of your boots particularly if applied in larger areas. If you do have Ugg boots, avoid dry cleaning and never leave them near a heat source or in a dryer because this will lead to misshapen suede.

There are times when spot cleaning in order to remove salt stains from suede can result in water lines. If this is the case, then you should evenly dampen your entire boot and then allow it to dry away from direct sunlight or a heat source, especially if they are Ugg boots. The total coverage and drying process should rid the boots of the unwanted water lines. Also advisable is the use of a suede block or the use of a suede eraser to lift away heavier stains.