How to Take Road Salt Out of Suede Shoes

by Melissa King

On icy winter days, many cold-weather cities sprinkle roads with salt to melt the ice and make the roads safe. That's good news for commuters but bad news for your suede shoes. Road salt makes suede shoes look warped and dried out, and the ice and snow don't do them any favors, either. Before giving your shoes up as a lost cause, try treating the salt stain with plain vinegar.

Brush the nap of your shoes with a suede brush to remove as much road salt as possible.

Combine one part white vinegar with two parts water. Stir well.

Dip a washcloth in the vinegar solution, then wring it out.

Dab the salt stain with the cloth. Work your way from the outside of the stain to the center.

Moisten another cloth with clean water, then blot the treated area to remove excess vinegar.

Blot the shoe with a dry cloth, then allow it to air dry. Once dry, use circular motions to brush the shoe using a suede brush and to make the nap look like new.

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Items you will need

  • Suede brush
  • Vinegar
  • Cloths


  • If you must wear suede shoes out in wet weather, apply a waterproofing spray first.


  • Avoid wearing suede, leather or other delicate items outside when the weather is bad.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images