Wow, it's chilly outside It may not be as cold where you are, but up here in Canada, it's pretty darn cold. The snow, the ice, and the mountains of salt are all here. The salt stains are a major nuisance. They attach themselves to the undersides of long coats, tires, and, of course, footwear.

If you're feeling down this winter, don't worry. Reading about how salt melts ice and how vinegar can be used as a cleaner will make you forget all about how miserable winter is. You'll be sad because you have to clean instead of happy.  

I joked. But seriously, I can be completely demoralized by salt stains, and I bet you can be too. So, let's get to the bottom of this winter cleaning conundrum with my tried-and-true tricks for removing salt stains from shoes, boots, and Uggs.

My very first YouTube video was actually a tutorial on how to remove salt stains from boots. If you're looking for some bad lighting and a good laugh, give it a look. Never throw away a good pair of boots just because they got salt stains. Use my cleaning advice instead, and those boots will be good to slog through the snow for another season.  

What about salt makes ice melt?

When it comes to our shoes and other belongings, salt can be a pain in the butt, but it can prevent us from breaking our butts from slipping and falling on ice. Why, then, do we resort to salt when we need to melt ice?  

To be fair, salt isn't enough to melt ice by itself. The combination of salt and water is effective at melting ice and stopping it from freezing again. The freezing point of water is lowered when salt is added to it. Because of this, spreading salt before a freeze is optimal. Reason being that the salt helps prevent ice from forming when snow or rain falls on it and the temperature drops. How cool is that?

And if you're wondering why on earth I'm telling you this, it's so that you can make an informed decision about how much salt to use on your driveway and sidewalk. Knowing the science behind salt will help you pick the right kind, or if you'd rather, the right kind of salt.  

However, not all road salt is the same. The environmental effects of road salt can be significant. In the past, enemies were so despised that they were literally "salted underfoot."  

Fortunately, there are eco-friendly alternatives that are better for the environment, local wildlife, and your footwear. Non-toxic ingredients are less abrasive and easier to remove when stains do occur, but I can't promise that eco-friendly options will never stain your shoes.  

Melissa loading presents into her car.

Cleaning with vinegar is something I've discussed at length. The article 7 Clever Ways to Clean With Vinegar is a great place to start if you're new to Clean My Space; you can also use vinegar to get rid of salt stains, which is a common problem.

A DIY salt stain remover that requires only a teaspoon of vinegar and a microfiber cloth can be made in a matter of minutes. Moreover, if you're thinking, this isn't a recipe, Melissa, you'd be correct. It doesn't require a recipe, there's only one component.  

Solution for Removing Salt Stains from Shoes

The process for removing salt from shoes is straightforward. The first step is to remove as much of the loose dirt and salt from the boot as possible using a microfiber cloth by rubbing or brushing. Another microfiber cloth, dampened with about a teaspoon of vinegar, is then used. Always remember that more can be added if required.  

Remove the salt from your shoes by wiping them down. You may need to put in some extra effort to remove salt stains or stains that weren't addressed right away. A toothbrush can be useful for cleaning purposes. As for your question, no, vinegar won't destroy your footwear.  

All you have to do is this to remove the unsightly salt stains from your winter boots. Yes, I did say it was simple.

Melissa cleaning shoes

It's not uncommon for people to inquire how to remove salt stains from shoes, but most of the inquiries I receive concern Uggs in particular. For the purpose of staying warm in the winter, many of us have a favorite pair of Uggs. Uggs, alas, are easily discolored by salt. Those of you who own Uggs, I have a secret for keeping them clean.  

Uggs can be cleaned in the same way as any other shoe. However, because sheepskin is naturally soft, Uggs tend to be more delicate than other types of footwear.  

The first step in cleaning your Uggs is to brush them with a suede brush designed for brushing shoes. Make sure to only brush in a vertical motion. As a result, muck and grime will be loosed.  

Soak the stained area in water next. Avoid getting the entire boot wet; instead, dampen only the area that needs attention. After that, you can go one of two ways. In order to remove stains from suede, you should use a special cleaner and apply it according to the manufacturer's directions. On the other hand, you could use a mixture of water and vinegar that is 1:1 for cleaning. With care, use a microfiber cloth to apply this.  

Read The Ultimate Ugg Boot Cleaning Guide to learn the secret to maintaining clean and odor-free Uggs.

Cleaning Tips for the Winter

The best way to avoid salt stains is to keep on top of them. It's going to be a lot more work to clean a shoe that's been sitting around for a while. When you act quickly, you can stop salt stains from setting in and making cleanup a nightmare.  

There are a lot of extra chores to do to get your home clean in the winter. On the other hand, here at Clean My Space, we're tackling these issues one article at a time. Learn our best methods for cleaning up after the winter season by reading Eliminate Winter Boot Messes and How to Wash a Winter Coat.  

As an Amazon Associate, we are eligible to earn a commission on certain purchases made through our links. com

Expert house cleaner Melissa Maker is here to help with her revolutionary 3-Wave Cleaning System, which will make your cleaning tasks a breeze.

Find Out More About the Three-Wave System of Cleaning