Homeowners sprinkle sodium chloride, better known as ice melting salt on their driveways, sidewalks, walkways and stairs to melt the slippery ice and prevent a slip and fall injury. Road crews spread salt over the roads to melt ice and help cars to gain traction and avoid accidents. As the salt melts the ice, it turns to water. The salt mixes with the water and cannot be detected. Walking over salt-water covered sidewalks, sloshing through winter puddles or crossing salt covered streets leaves salt deposits on your leather-shoes, boots, jackets and purses. As the shoes, boots, jackets and purses dry, white stains form. The white stains are salt deposits. Itmust be cleaned off the leather-surface or it will eat away at the leather, make the leather hard, crack, split  and ruin it. Removing the salt-stains and salty-residue will restore your leather-items and keep them from developing salt-related damage.


Place the shoes, boots, jacket or purse on a ragor thick layer of newspaper to dry. If the leather-item is overly wet, stuff them it newspapers or tissue paper to absorb the moisture. Do not place the leather-items on carpets or hardwood floors, as it will also damage these surfaces. Let the leather-items air dry. Do not use a hair dryer or other heat source to speed up the drying process.

After it has dried, gently brush away excess surface salt with a soft bristle brush. You can use an old soft nail brush or soft scrub brush. Use an old tootbrush around the area where the shoe meets the sole.

Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar into 1 cup of warm water.

Dip a clean, soft rag or cotton ball into the mixture.

Wipe the salty areas. After each swipe, use a clean area of the rag or a new cotton ball to keep from spreading salt to other areas of the leather. Continue to wipe the leather i
tem until the white   stains disappear. Dip the old toothbrush into the white vinegar and water and gently rub the salt stains aout of the area where the sole meets the shoe.

Let the shoes, boots, jacket or purse air dry.

Inspect the leather-items for any missed stains or stubborn salt stains. If there are any remaining salt stains, wipe them away again with the vinegar and water mixture.

After the  , boots, jacket, purse or other leather-items dries completely, apply a coat of saddle soap with a soft rag to condition and protect the leather from new salt stains.

 White vinegar will work to dissolve the salt without causing harm to the leather.

This method works on any leather-item from leather shoes to leather car seats.

Salt is highly corrosive and needs to be removed from the surface of leather as soon as possible.

Salt, left on the surface of the leather will cause the leather to crack, split and peel.

Keeping shoes, purses, jackets and other leather-items salt free will extend their life.

Keep a pair of rubber boots, galoshes or old shoes at your office or in your car in case the weather turns unexpectedly nasty.

Mix up a small bottle of vinegar and water and take a few cotton balls with you in your purse just in case your leather-items get splashed with salty water when you are out. You may not be able to remove all of the salt, but you will remove some.