How to Clean Salt Stains on Your Carpets, Leather Shoes, and Clothes

Written by
Life Maid Easy Team
Published on

Salt stains are a common problem during the winter months. These stains usually form on shoes, clothes, and carpets. The culprit of salt stains is the salt found in solutions commonly used for deicing roads, pavements, bridges, and tarmacs to melt the ice or snow on the surface.

Since salt stains are something you can’t avoid during winter, it’s best to learn how to get rid of them efficiently and like a pro.

Salt Stain Pro Tip

When should you remove a salt stain?

Professional cleaners advise to do it when the stain is still fresh. Don’t wait until a stain appears! After being outdoors and walking around in slush, give your footwear a quick clean and wash your clothes when you get home.

Deicing agents usually contain sodium chloride (salt), magnesium carbonate, and calcium carbonate. When these seep into leather or fabrics, these materials can weaken and disintegrate. This is because the longer you leave salt stains on your leather shoes or boots, clothing, and carpets, the bigger the damage they cause.

Luckily, with the help of tools you usually have lying around at home, you can quickly get rid of salt stains.

How to Remove Salt Stain from Carpets?

Salt stains aren’t too pretty to look at, and you wouldn’t want unsightly spots on your carpets, especially when you are welcoming guests to your home or customers in your office or shop.

  1. Use a vacuum to remove any dry bits of salt.
  2. Mix equal distilled white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle, bucket, or bowl.
  3. Spray the stained area with the solution. Ensure not to oversaturate the spot and let it soak for about five minutes.
  4. Gently dab the area with a paper towel or a clean, dry rag to blot the stain. Change paper towels or rags if they get too wet already. You can also use a wet-dry vacuum.
  5. Air-dry the carpet to make sure you get rid of all the moisture. You can use a fan or open your windows to dry it faster and eliminate the vinegar smell.
  6. Vacuum the carpet again to bring back its high texture.

For tougher salt stains, repeat the spray and dab process. However, if it seems like the extent of the damage is too big, it’s best to call our team of professional cleaners.

How to Remove Salt Stains from Leather Shoes

  1. Prepare a mixture of 1 cup cool water and one teaspoon distilled white vinegar in a small bowl. Dip a cotton ball into the solution, then wipe it over the stained area on your footwear.
  2. Air-dry your shoes. Make sure to keep them away from direct heat. Some footwear (particularly those made from real leather) can take up to 24 hours or overnight to dry.
  3. Use a clean, dry cloth to buff your shoes when your footwear is completely dry.
  4. If the salt marks remain, repeat the process until you completely remove the stains.

How to Remove Salt Stains from Clothes

  1. Rinse your stained garments in cool water as soon as you can.
  2. For salt stains that have set in and dried, gently brush off as much of the salt as you can using an old toothbrush with soft bristles. Then, soak your clothes overnight. Remember to use cold water.
  3. Read the care instructions on the label of your clothes.
  4. Wash your garments in cool water following those care instructions.

In case of stubborn salt stains on clothes, use a mixture of 1-quart water, one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, and a clean rag to dampen the stained area. Then you should use a dry cloth and gently dab on the spot, after which you should wash your stained garments following the necessary care instructions.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Expert Help

If you aren’t sure how extensive the salt stain damages are to your carpets, shoes, or clothes or are hesitant to touch the stains because you are dealing with a particularly expensive or sensitive type of fabric or material, call on the experts to avoid unnecessary headaches.

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