How to care for leather boots that have salt stains? I live in a place with harsh winters and it takes a toll on my winter footwear.
Laura Smith, Racine, WI
I can imagine that you must face a lot of snow in the wintertime. In that case, here are tips on how to care for leather boots and keep them in top condition.
I hope that your winter boots are not suede because it is a material that is more difficult to clean and maintain than smooth leather. You’ll want to invest in a suede brush made of stiff metal. Brush the surface in one direction to remove dirt and spots. If you have watermarks, you will have to wet the entire shoe, blot away the stains, and let it dry. In the end, it’s best to coat suede with a silicone – based waterproofing spray and avoid any problems in the first place.
For salt stains on smooth leather just as you do when cleaning suede, you will need water and vinegar. Combine two parts water with one part vinegar and rub this into the leather to erase the salt marks. If you have scuffs, you can eliminate them with a little bit of white toothpaste.
Once your boots look clean, let them air dry. Then treat them with leather conditioner. Instead of buying a conditioner at the store, you can make your own with two parts of linseed oil to one part vinegar. Or you can also combine lemon juice with cream of tartar. This latter mixture works well at removing water stains.
More information can be found here: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-clean-leather-shoes-and-care-for-leather-boots/