Protecting your leather boots in the snow

A thick covering of snow has transformed London into a pristine winter wonderland, and Londoners have responded by doing their best impressions of polar explorers: gloves, hats, layers (don’t forget the layers), and snow boots. Councils have gritted the roads, and while this helps to minimise the disruption to the capital’s travel network, the salty slush it creates can wreak havoc on your nice pair of leather or suede boots.

If this happens to you, first brush off any remaining salt residue with a toothbrush. Then soak a rag in a solution of 250ml water and a tablespoon of white vinegar, wring it out so that it is damp, and wipe it across the marks several times. As ever, it’s a good idea to check it won’t mark the material first by testing it on an unseen area.

Allow the boots to air dry completely. You can also steam the boots over a pan of boiling water while brushing the fabric with the toothbrush (being careful not to scold yourself with the hot steam). When dry, apply a specialist leather or suede protector cream to the boots to protect them against further damage.

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