I have a pair of tan leather shoes. Yesterday, I wore them in the rain and let them air-dry over the night. Now there are these white marks on the top of both pairs of shoes.


Are the marks mildew? how can I get rid of the marks? I wore these shoes once on a wetter day, and they air-dried without any residues. Next time, how should I dry wet leather shoes?

Also, I realize I haven't taken care of these (expensive) shoes. How can I restore them to a better condition?

1 Answer 1


It seems more likely that they are salt marks, and can rather easily be removed by using a combination of water and vinegar. If unsure on how to do this you could do a google search for remove white marks on tan leather shoe. The general procedure is:

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water
  • Use a clean rag to wipe away the salt. May need to be repeated
  • Use another rag with only water to wipe away the vinegar
  • Let everything dry again, and hopefully your stain is removed

There are also chemical salt cleaners available for purchase, in which case you would follow the procedure on the product.

  • I didn't have vinegar on-hand, so I used rubbing alcohol. It worked. Thanks!
    – techSultan
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 18:55

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