In the warm snowy winter, the roadway and sidewalks are covered with a thick crust of ice, which complicates the movement of both pedestrians and cars. To make traffic safer, utilities treat the roads with a special compound, so you can’t do without protecting your shoes from reagents. Leather and suede products are particularly affected.
Several techniques are known that make it easy to remove white stains from the surface of your favorite boots and protect your skin from the damaging effects of chemicals.
Winter shoe protection
A mixture of sodium chloride and sand is the most common and cheapest anti-ice agent. It is worth sprinkling the road with such a composition as ice and snowdrifts begin to melt before our eyes. It is a pity that the reagent has a destructive effect not only on snow, but also on pedestrian shoes, car wheels, building facades, communications, and the entire environment.
Leather and suede shoes in contact with salt quickly lose their original appeal. The skin shrinks, loses elasticity, a hard-to-wash white coating appears on the surface. In addition, salt negatively affects the strength of the joints, resulting in shoes “asking for porridge.”
To protect shoes from salt and reagents, the following recommendations must be observed:
- A new leather pair must be treated with water-repellent impregnation two to three times before the first exit to the street. This will create a layer that protects against moisture, and give the skin additional elasticity.
- After each walk in the dirty snow, it is necessary to wash the shoes until they are dry and the salt is not absorbed. After that, boots or boots are dried at room temperature and treated with a cream based on animal oils or natural wax.
- To protect shoes in the winter, you can use various vegetable oils – olive, sunflower or linseed. Better if the oil is odorless. Processing should be carried out in advance, several hours before leaving the house or at night, so that the oil is absorbed deep into the fibers of the material. This will prevent the penetration of the reagent into the leather coating and at the same time make the skin more elastic and shiny.
- Suede or nubuck shoes in snowy weather are best avoided. However, if there is no choice, you can treat the steam with a special spray containing oil.
The maximum salt concentration is in snowdrifts on the side of the road. Therefore, crossing the road, we must try to walk along the pedestrian crossing, bypassing the accumulation of thawed snow.
You can prevent the appearance of salt deposits on the surface of products made of smooth leather, suede, velor, nubuck, textile and membrane materials using the following means:
- Salton Professional Spray;
- Cream-balm Leather Balsam SALAMANDER Professional;
- Silver Spray.
How to remove salt stains from leather shoes?
Winter shoes made of smooth leather perfectly retain heat, do not get wet, do not require complicated care. However, not every model can adequately withstand the onslaught of salt and chemicals.
If after walking along the snowy streets whitish stains appeared on boots, you should immediately proceed to “resuscitation”:
- Wipe the leather surface with a rag dipped in soapy water. This is necessary in order to remove dirt, sand and visible traces of salt.
- The surface of the pair is treated with acetic solution. To prepare this cleaning agent, mix 50 ml of 9% vinegar and 100 ml of water. A cotton cloth soaked in a solution passes over the entire surface of the boots.
- Shoes are wiped dry, not forgetting the joints and seams.
- Boots are left to dry completely.
Leather shoes are not recommended for drying on radiators or near other heat sources.
In addition to the vinegar solution, several other improvised home remedies are known, with which you can remove traces of salt and reagents from the surface of leather shoes.
- Ammonia. The cotton pad is moistened with ammonia and rubbed the skin of the shoes, after which the shoes are dried and lubricated with a special cream.
- Castor oil and fish oil. For the preparation of detergent 1 tbsp. l oils are mixed with 3 tbsp. l fish oil and heated in a water bath until completely dissolved. The mixture is cooled and used to clean shoes from salt deposits.
- Vegetable oil. Castor, sunflower or burdock oil is applied to the dry surface of the shoe and left until morning.
- Water and alcohol. A water-alcohol solution is prepared from equal parts of alcohol and water – they clean the surface of the leather product.
Among professional cleaners, the most effective products are Salamander and Salton.
Whatever tool is used for cleaning, shoes should be thoroughly dried after processing, greased with cream and polished with a soft rag.
How to clean salt with suede and nubuck?
Suede and nubuck shoes are less suitable for use in snowy weather than smooth leather products. However, no one has yet canceled elegant suede boots and boots, although caring for them is associated with some difficulties.
Returning home in dirty, wet suede shoes wet in the snow, do the following:
- Prepare a cleaning solution by adding a little shampoo and 5-7 drops of ammonia in 0.5 l of water. Mix the mixture until a foam forms.
- Using a soft sponge, apply a foam cleaner to the suede surface and after a few minutes remove any dirt and salt residues with a clean, dry cloth.
- Smooth the pile with a soft brush or a fine comb.
- Put the steam to dry.
- Before going out, treat the surface of suede boots or boots with a special water-repellent.
If this treatment does not give the desired result, you can hold the boots over the steam, periodically turning from one side to the other. After that, you need to raise the pile with a suede brush and clean the surface of the product with a mixture of water and ammonia.
In order to remove reagents and salt streaks of suede or nubuck, you can use ordinary semolina. The places of contamination are densely sprinkled with semolina and after 5-10 minutes they are cleaned with a soft dry brush. Instead of decoy, you can take toothpowder. For this purpose, even a slice of raw potato or lemon, which is used to rub shoes to bring out salt traces, is useful.
Before cleaning suede with home remedies, you need to test the material for resistance in an inconspicuous area.
If traces of deposits and reagents remain, they can be painted with a special paint for suede surfaces, choosing a suitable shade.
Proper and regular processing with improvised or professional means will allow your beloved boots to adequately withstand the “charms” of an urban winter, while retaining strength and attractive appearance for a long time.