Published on July 24th, 2015 | by Janine Giorgenti


Three Ways to Clean Snow and Salt Off Dress Shoes

Put Your Shoes on a Salt-Free Diet

By Janine Giorgenti

Snow starts off innocently enough – as a collection of snow flakes that paint a beautiful visual of winter’s natural scenery. What happens next, is the problem. Snow has a way of becoming winter’s version of the house guest that has overstayed their visit.

One of the byproducts of snow (and in many cases, ice) is the necessity to use salt on our roadways and sideways, which often produces filthy walking conditions.

Recently, many of my clients have asked me for my suggestions to clean the – unsightly – wintry mix of snow and salt off their shoes.

Here are three easy ways to clean the winter mess off your dress shoes.

1. Use Vinegar and Water.

This is my go-to solution for cleaning salt and other “muck” off dress shoes.

It’s real simple. Use two parts water with one-part vinegar in a small bowl. My suggestion is to use a dry (soft) rag and dip it into the vinegar and water solution. Wipe the full exterior of the shoes (even the unaffected areas).

To remove the water and vinegar solution, use a separate rag (drenched in pure water) to wipe the surface of the shoe.

Finish this with a dry rag (or towel) and leave the shoes in a dry area.

2. Saddle Up With Saddle Soap.

Saddle soap is an excellent product for cleaning leather dress shoes (and leather goods in general), and is made from all-natural ingredients. This soap is very kind to leather dress shoes.

Apply a small amount of saddle soap on a – preferably – moist (clean) sponge. Proceed to work the product into the shoes using small circular movements.

Use a separate (dry, clean) rag to buff the dress shoes and remove any remnants of the saddle soap.

3. Last Resort. Use a Salt-Stain Remover.

If your shoes are greatly affected, a salt-stain chemical solution may be the way to go. Though available at most shoe shops; I want to emphasize that these solutions are very strong, and should only be used if options 1 and 2 are not sufficient.

Using a damp (clean) rag, apply a very small amount of salt-stain chemical solution. Use very sparingly, focusing on the affected areas.

You will want to make sure to sufficiently clean off the remaining solution from the exterior – of your shoes – by wiping the solution using a – clean – dry rag or soft towel.

Looking for a brand new pair of dress shoes? Giorgenti New York carries Johnston & Murphy.


Call or Text Janine Giorgenti at (646) 957-6916 for more information.

About the Author

Janine Giorgenti

For over 25 years, Janine Giorgenti, renowned fashion designer and image consultant – has provided a long line of satisfied clients with unparalleled service and first class made-to-measure custom suits. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, CBS, and other top media outlets – Janine has established a clientele of some of New York’s most successful and discerning professionals – including such New York dignitaries as former New York Islanders legend Bobby Nystrom and chief economist Dr. Irwin Kellner.

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Three Ways to Clean Snow and Salt Off Dress Shoes

by Janine Giorgenti