How to Clean Salt Off Suede Boots

Suede boots are a popular type of footwear due to their style and durability. However, during winter or in snowy conditions, salt is often used to melt ice on sidewalks and roads.

How to Clean Salt Off Suede Boots

This salt can end up on your suede boots, leaving unsightly stains that can damage the material if not properly cleaned. The main  advantage of knowing to clean salt off suede boots is that it can help prolong the lifespan of your favorite footwear.

Salt stains are not only unsightly, but they can also damage the delicate material of suede if left untreated for too long. By learning how to properly remove salt stains from suede boots, you can ensure that your shoes remain in good condition and last for years to come. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to clean salt off suede boots in this blog article.

Step by Step Processes for How to Clean Salt Off Suede Boots

Step 1: Inspect  the Salt Stains

The first step to cleaning salt off suede boots is to carefully inspect the stains. Look for any hardened or crusty areas and note how large the affected area is. This will help you determine which cleaning method is best for your boots.

Step 2: Brush Away Any Dried Salt

Using a suede brush, gently brush away any dried salt from the surface of your boots. Make sure to brush in one direction to avoid damaging the delicate material. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl. This solution is gentle enough for suede but strong enough to remove salt stains.

Step 3: Dampen a Cloth with the Cleaning Solution

Dip a clean cloth into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess liquid. The cloth should be slightly damp, not soaking wet. Using the damp cloth, dab at the salt stains on your suede boots. Be gentle to avoid spreading the salt and making the stains worse.

Dip a Clean Cloth Into the Cleaning Solution

Step 4: Let it Dry

Allow your boots to dry completely. Do not use any heat sources to speed up the drying process as this can cause damage to the suede. Once your boots are dry, use a suede brush to gently brush the entire surface of both boots. This will help restore the texture and remove any remaining salt residue.

Step 5: Apply Suede Protector

To prevent future salt stains, apply a suede protector spray to your boots. This will help repel water and salt, keeping your shoes cleaner for longer. If the salt stains are particularly stubborn, mix 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water in a bowl. Dampen a cloth with this solution and gently dab at the stains. Let it dry and then brush again.

Step 6: Try Rubbing Alcohol

Another option for tough salt stains is to use rubbing alcohol. Apply a small amount to a clean cloth and gently rub the affected area. Be careful not to saturate the suede. If the salt stains have dried and hardened, mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stains, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently brush off.

Step 7: Seek Professional Help

If all else fails, take your suede boots to a professional cleaner who specializes in leather and suede. They will have specialized tools and products to effectively remove salt stains without damaging the material.

Take Your Suede Boots to a Professional Cleaner

By following these steps, you can easily and effectively clean salt off suede boots and keep them looking like new. Remember to always be gentle when cleaning suede and to never use harsh chemicals or heat sources.

Tips for How to Clean Salt Off Suede Boots

  1. Wearing gloves while cleaning is advisable to protect your hands from any harsh chemicals.
  2. Always test a small, hidden area of the boot before applying any cleaning solution or product to ensure it does not cause damage.
  3. Do not rub vigorously or use excessive force as this can cause discoloration and damage to the suede material. Instead, gently blot or dab the affected areas with a clean cloth or sponge.
  4. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any salt residue on the surface of the boots. Avoid using wire brushes or abrasive materials as they can cause irreversible damage to suede.
  5. Allow the boots to air dry naturally, do not use direct heat sources such as hairdryers or heaters, as this can cause shrinkage and further damage to the suede material.
  6. If the salt stains are particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat the cleaning process multiple times. However, do not over-clean as this can also cause damage to the boots.
  7. Once the boots are completely dry, use a suede brush or a clean towel to gently restore the soft texture of the suede. This will help revive and maintain its original appearance.
Use a Suede Brush or a Clean Towel

Overall, it is important to handle suede boots with care and avoid contact with salt as much as possible to prevent excessive cleaning and potential damage. Regularly brushing off any dirt or debris and treating stains immediately will also help maintain the quality of your suede boots.

Are There Any Special Techniques for Cleaning Salt Off Suede Boots?

When it comes to cleaning suede boots, there is always a concern about potential damage from water and harsh chemicals. This becomes even more of an issue when trying to remove salt stains, as traditional cleaning methods can result in further damage.

Well, the first step is prevention. Wearing protective sprays on your suede boots before heading out into salty conditions can help repel salt and prevent stains from forming in the first place. However, if you already have salt stains on your suede boots, here are some techniques to safely remove them:

1. Brush It Off

Before attempting any cleaning methods, use a suede brush or clean toothbrush to gently brush away as much of the dried salt as possible. This will prevent further damage to the suede and make the cleaning process easier.

2. Use a Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the salt stains and let it sit for a few minutes before gently blotting with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the salt stains disappear.

3. Try Rubbing Alcohol

If the vinegar solution doesn’t work, you can also try using rubbing alcohol. Dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently blot the salt stains. Be sure to test this method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage your suede boots.

You Can Also Try Using Rubbing Alcohol

4. Use a Commercial Suede Cleaner

If the above methods don’t seem to work, you can also opt for a commercial suede cleaner. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and test the product on a small area before using it on the entire salt-stained area.

Remember, patience is key when trying to clean salt off suede boots. Rushing or using harsh chemicals can result in irreparable damage to your beloved boots. So take your time and use gentle techniques to effectively remove salt stains without harming your suede boots.

How Can You Prevent Salt Damage on Your Suede Boots in the Future?

Salt is a common, yet sneaky enemy to our beloved suede boots. It can leave unsightly white stains and damage the delicate material if not properly taken care of. While knowing to clean salt off suede boots is important, it’s equally crucial to prevent any future salt damage from occurring.

Here are some tips on how you can protect your suede boots and keep them looking pristine.

1. Be Mindful of Where You Wear Your Boots

The first step in preventing salt damage on your suede boots is to be aware of the environments you’re wearing them in. High-salt areas such as snowy streets, sidewalks and parking lots can significantly increase the chances of your boots getting exposed to salt. Whenever possible, avoid walking through these areas or take extra precautions such as wearing protective shoe covers.

2. Apply a Protective Spray

Before wearing your new suede boots, it’s recommended to treat them with a protective spray specifically designed for suede materials. This will create an invisible barrier that repels water and salt, making it easier to clean off any residue later on.

3. Wipe off Excess Salt Immediately

If you do happen to walk through a salt-covered area, make sure to wipe off any visible salt residue with a clean cloth or brush as soon as possible. The longer the salt sits on your boots, the more damage it can cause.

4. Use a Vinegar Solution for Tougher Stains

In some cases, simply wiping off the salt may not be enough to remove the stains. For tougher stains, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and lightly mist over the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes before gently blotting it with a clean cloth.

5. Brush and Condition Your Boots Regularly

Regularly brushing your suede boots with a soft-bristled brush can help prevent any salt build-up and keep the material looking new. Additionally, conditioning your boots with a suede-specific conditioner can help maintain its softness and protect it from future salt damage.

Regularly Brushing Your Suede Boots

6. Store Your Boots Properly

When not wearing your suede boots, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place away from any direct sunlight. This will prevent any potential salt exposure and also help maintain the integrity of the material.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your suede boots looking fresh and free from salt damage. Remember to always be mindful of where you wear your boots and take preventative measures to protect them. With proper care, your suede boots can last for many seasons to come. 


The main  disadvantage of cleaning salt off suede boots is that it can be a time-consuming process. Depending on the severity of the salt stains, it may take multiple rounds of cleaning and drying to fully remove the salt. Additionally, using too much water or harsh chemicals can damage the delicate suede material, leading to discoloration or stiffness.

In conclusion,  knowing how to properly care for your suede boots is essential in maintaining its quality and prolonging its lifespan. One of the most common problems that suede boot owners face is salt stains, especially during the winter season. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to clean salt off suede boots. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

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Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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