Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shoes, and the end of the North East winter

I polish my shoes regularly, but salt stains still appear all winter long. I will not get into the stuffing with newspapers, or the shoe-tree splinting (both good ideas), but I did some casting about for solutions for the problem (pun certainly intended).

Note: do not attempt to polish OVER the salt stain.

There were plenty of "Anti-salt Stain" mixtures available at the drugstores and shoe stores, but one suggestion I found that works is a solution of water and mostly vinegar. A quick wipe with some white vinegar, and the stain disappeared instantly, drying in moments, and allowing me to polish them back to luster, leather and finish unharmed.

Before you suggest that I am in the pocket of Big Vinegar, let me say that I used less than one teaspoon for four pairs of shoes. It really does work.

If you have salt stains on suede shoes, I suggest being a bit more sensible beforehand in that case.

Not just for winter, this technique will serve my thoroughly white-washed Top-Sider sailing shoes as well, which get crusted with salt to point that the eyelets oxidize to a brilliant green.

I can only assume that in our world of pre-torn, pre-faded, and pre-thread bare style manufacturing, we can all look forward to being offered $1200 pre-salt-stained shoes at some point in the future.

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