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How to Get the White Out of Leather Shoes That Is Caused by Snow & Rain?

Updated November 21, 2016

Leather is a material that is commonly used in furniture, accessories, briefcases and shoes and is made from the skin of cow, sheep, goats or pigs. It is a very absorbent material that can stain easily when exposed to rain, snow or other substances, such as salt left on streets and sidewalks during the winter. This can leave a white residue on leather shoes, which can be cleaned effectively with a few tools. Consider applying a layer of stain protectant to leather shoes once a year to help protect the shoes against exposure to stain-causing substances.

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Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe away dirt, salt or other debris on the shoes. Gently buff the surface of the shoes with a soft brush to bring up as much of the stain as possible.

Mix together ½ cup water and ½ cup white vinegar and dip a clean, soft cloth into the mixture. Do not saturate the cloth. Use the cloth to gently rub away the white stains on the shoes.

Repeat until the stains are gone. Use a clean, soft cloth to gently buff the shoes dry in circular motions.


Consider using a leather conditioner after the shoes have been cleaned to keep the leather soft.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth(s)
  • Soft brush
  • Water
  • Vinegar

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.

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