America may look great, but in Chicago snowed two times this year. Yes, winter is coming, my dears! Besides Santa, cheers and jingles, we also have plenty of snow and people who try to melt it down so we can drive and walk. And the best way to melt snow on the road is salt.

I don’t mind about this salt melting process we discovered – I think is cheaper for the state economy – but somehow, this salt ends on our boots, making them look horrible and worn up. As a matter of fact, this road salt we carry into our homes, leaving it on wooden floors and carpets. More precisely, damaging them because salt is corrosive.

However, the same corrosive process happens to our shoes if you don’t remove the salt stains immediately. But how we do that? Because brushing them with a shoe brush won’t work! Already tried that!

It seems that vinegar is the most fearful enemy of salt and it has the secret in cleaning that road mess out of our shoes. So, after trying to clean my leather boots with vinegar (and it worked perfectly) I decided to share the information and steps I took with you. Have to get prepared because winter is coming!

1. Wipe off as much salt residue as you can with a soft, lightly damp cloth.

2. Combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a small bowl. Using a clean cloth, wipe your boots or shoes with this mixture. Be sure to use a white material, so you don’t transfer dyes from the fabric onto your shoes.

3. Repeat as needed until you’ve removed all of the salt residue then allow your boots to air dry. (Heat can cause the leather to crack.) If the shoes were wet to begin with, stuff them with newspaper to absorb excess moisture. Replace the paper frequently until boots are dry.

4. Protect your shoes by rubbing a little olive or coconut oil onto them. Oil helps to repel moisture and keep the leather supple.

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