How To: Clean Up Winter-Weathered Shoes

image_6 (3)I like to wear nice shoes, but winter always likes to mess with that. Heavy snow and salt can be a worst enemy for anyone with decently snazzy footwear, but have no fear. There’s plenty of super easy tips & tricks for how to get rid of pesky salt stains that winter likes to annoy us all with.

The best part is, most of this stuff you’ll easily have on hand. There’s no need to go all out on fancy products to fix up your shoes when most of the stuff you need is just sitting right in your bathroom. image_2 (3)You’ll need:
Body Wash/Soap
Shoe Brush
Spray Bottle (Optional)

First, take your shoes and the shoe brush, and scrub off any salt or dirt that you can. A lot of the salt and sand will brush right off with a little elbow grease.

image (3)Then, using the towel, mix together some soap & water. Apply that to the shoes, and clean them up the best you can. I’ll be honest and say that this step worked on one pair of my shoes, and not the other. They were both brown leather loafers, so I’m not sure what was so different about them that caused the other one to stain a bit. If you’re trying this out, perhaps do a little test area at the back of the shoe, or keep in mind how your shoes react to water. On these shoes, though, it worked perfectly fine.

image_3 (3)After you’ve cleaned up your shoes with the soap & water, break out the vinegar. Make a mixture of half water, half vinegar and mix it up in a spray bottle. You can also just put this in a cup and use a towel to dab it on to the shoes. Add the vinegar directly on to the salt stains that remain, then wipe it clean with a dry towel.

Lastly, the conditioner. This step seemed the absolute weirdest to me, but after a bit it made sense. Both the salt and the vinegar that have been on the shoes are going to dry them out, so adding conditioner can hydrate & smooth things out. Fairly liberally add the conditioner right on to the shoe. Then, with a dry towel, wipe it clean. This step makes quite the difference, and makes your shoes smell good, too!image_4 (3)The shoes I was cleaning up were already a bit stained from years past, so they still look a little patchy from their years of being riden hard & put away wet. However, taking these steps to clean them up a bit really made a big difference. Look at this outrageous side by side of the shoe I cleaned up next to the one I hadn’t touched yet.

image_5 (3)I mean, come on. For taking 20 minutes and using things I got from my bathroom & kitchen, that doesn’t look half bad. So while winter is taking its time getting the hell out of here, get a jump start on spring cleaning by saying goodbye to winter’s salty shoe traces. Then, when all the snow is finally melted, you can bust out your best shoes and turn heads with how gosh darn clean they are. Damn, Fangirl.










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