Even when spring is in the air, signs of winter may still be all over your boots, jackets, door rugs, and winter clothes – in the form of winter salt stains. Yuck! No matter how tempting it may be just to stuff all your winter gear in the closet to deal with it next year, please don’t.

Stashing your winter stuff without cleaning it first only increases the risk of very bad salt stains that may be permanent (and even worse smells!). Instead, your best bet it to remove salt stains and wash your winter wear before you store it for spring. Check out the following tips for removing salt stains from boots, winter wear and more!

Removing Salt Stains

Since it’s easy to freak out about salt stains on leather, let’s start with start with how to remove winter salt stains from boots made of leather.


  • Use a damp cloth to wipe off as much of the salt residue as possible.
  • Combine one part water with one part distilled white vinegar, dip a clean white cloth in the mixture and wipe off stains. Repeat as needed.
  • Let leather boots air dry.

Remove salt stains from suede boots and coats using a different method.

  • Wipe away as much salt residue as you can with a DRY microfiber cloth.
  • Gently brush the salt lines with a toothbrush, keeping it light so you don’t damage the suede.
  • Mix 1 cup cold water with three drops of Charlie’s Soap liquid laundry detergent, then dab a clean white cloth in the mixture and on the salt stains. Repeat as needed.
  • Let air dry.
  • Restore suede texture by lightly buffing with a dry microfiber cloth.

Removing salt stains from washable winter clothing uses yet a different tactic.

  • Use cold water to rinse the salt off your garment as quickly as possible.
  • If salt stains have already set, soak the garment in cold water, or spritz with Charlie’s Soap Laundry Pre-Spray. Let sit overnight.
  • Wash as usual using in cool water.

Getting salt stains out of door rugs and car carpet gives you one more set of instructions.

  • Vacuum the area to remove dried pieces of loose salt.
  • Spray area with a mix of one part hot water and one part distilled white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for five minutes, then blot dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  • Allow the area to air dry, and then vacuum up remaining residue.

Dangers of Leaving Salt Stains in Place

Not only do salt stains become tougher to remove over time, but salt has an extreme drying effect that can cause permanent damage. In some cases, it can actually change the color of many fabrics if untreated for an extended period. It can also wreak total havoc on leather, causing the leather to split, crack and become ruined for good.

Now that you know how to remove winter salt stains from boots and other items, your next step is to do whatever you can to prevent permanent damage moving forward. That means washing all your winter gear frequently, no questions asked. Make washing winter items part of your seasonal routine, taking immediate action to treat salt stains on leather, suede and other fabrics that are particularly susceptible.

Keeping a keen eye on your winter wear throughout the season, and having salt-fighting Charlie’s Soap products on hand, will get you through the most blustery, messy of winters with nary a salt stain in the house. Shop Charlie’s Soap today.