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How to clean salt stains from suede

Updated February 21, 2017

Salt from the roads or from perspiration leaves a white residue on suede. Suede is a soft, porous leather that is easily stained, so you must take extra precautions when cleaning salt, or any other stain, off this material. In most cases, you can remove salt stains from suede items. Whether the salt stains are on a jacket, shoes or furniture, just remember to clean the suede using a gentle touch and as little moisture as possible.

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  1. Brush the salt stains with a suede brush. You can find these brushes at many places that sell shoe cleaning supplies. Brushing loosens particles of salt attached to the suede's fibres.

  2. Dampen a cloth with clean water and lightly dab the stain. If this doesn't remove the salt stain, mix 1 tbsp of white vinegar in 237 ml (1 cup) of water.

  3. Dampen one corner of a clean, lint-free cloth in the vinegar and water solution. Wring out excess fluid from the cloth -- you shouldn't get the suede too wet.

  4. Dab at the salt stains with the dampened cloth. Wet another clean corner and dab it again. Follow with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture from the suede. Repeat this process until the stains are gone.

  5. Allow the suede to air dry. Brush the suede again with a suede brush, once the suede has dried. This must be done to raise the nap again after damp cleaning.

  6. Tip

    If the suede is dirty besides just the salt stains, follow up with a suede cleaner over the entire suede piece.


    Any cleaners, including simple vinegar and water, may discolour suede. If the suede is on an item that is very valuable, consult a professional leather and suede cleaner before attempting to clean the item at home.

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Things You'll Need

  • Suede brush
  • White vinegar
  • Cloth

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