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Tips to remove salt stains from footwear

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Winters are harsh in a number of ways. The streets, highways and sidewalks are being covered with snow, sleet, hail and ice making them dangerous to everyone who walks and drives. The products such as rock salt, road salt, de-icer and sodium chloride are necessary for road hazard protection and public safety. In the meantime these chemicals can wreak havoc on winter footwear.

It doesn’t make any difference if you are outside for a short period of time or not. Whether you spend hours shoveling out your car, driveway and sidewalks you will get your shoes or snow boots covered with snow, ice and road salt while clearing a path for pedestrians or digging your vehicle out of a snow bank. Even for individuals who park their cars in the garage eventually you’ll have to get out and walk across a plowed and treated parking lot.

The snow, ice and salt can damage the surface of footwear. New boots after a few short trips outdoors can age fast. They are left with water stains, salt residue and streaks from the combination of these as your boots or shoes dry.

Tips to remove salt stains from footwear:

Once you come home from your trek to work, the store or just time spent outdoors shoveling take your shoes off and let them air dry naturally. Don’t place them near any direct heat such as a radiator and keep away from direct sunlight as well. Pull the laces loose and pull the tongue of the show or boot upwards.

The drying process will take time but in order to clean the stains road salt leaves they need to be completely dried. One way to speed up the process of getting that footwear dried faster is to stuff them with newspaper. The newspaper will absorb some of the excess wetness while picking up odors that are in those boots too.

Next is to take a raw potato and chop off a piece. Remove the peels and discard them. Then rub the raw potato over the shoes or boots if they are made of leather with a clean cloth with a little castor oil soaked into it. Rub the potato and wipe with the oiled cloth to give your footwear a new look while removing the remnants of the winter world outside.

Now if you have boots or shoes made out of suede you need to do something completely different from how you can treat a leather covered shoe. For suede mix together a cup of water and one tablespoon of distilled vinegar. Then dip a sponge or clean cloth into the solution and just wipe the stains away. After applying the solution let the shoes air dry and once dry use a suede brush to remove the stains and salt residue from the shoes that the vinegar solution will have loosened to make it easier to clean and have those boots looking new again.

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

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