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Salt Water and Leather Shoes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I soaked some leather shoes in salt water. How can I save them from becoming hard and unwearable? I was walking along an ocean breakwater and had to pull out an unconsciencous diver out of water. The swells were upwards of 6ft and crashing on me, so I was completely soaked. Luckily, my electronics survived, but what is the correct care for the shoes? Currently, I have placed newspaper inside to soak up the water. Should I attempt to dry them with a blowdryer, put them in the sunlight, or let them dry naturally?
post #2 of 6
just guessing here but it might be a good idea to wash the shoes in potable water to get as much salt out of the shoes as possible. i suspect that stuff can't be good for the leather. i don't have any advice for what to do next, but i'm sure someone else has some thoughts.

nice save, btw.
post #3 of 6
bravo on your heroism!
post #4 of 6
Good job on the save! You should blot the shoes with clean water to get the salt off there, then probably towel dry them and let them finish drying with good trees inside. Do not use heat to dry them - let them dry naturally. I don't know if you should totally soak them in clean water to get all the salt out or what, but at least clean the uppers with water. You may want to use some Lexol or AE cleaner/conditioner once they start to get dry.

And next time, wear a wetsuit or something.
post #5 of 6
I'd suggest a gentle rinse in distilled water, followed by air drying with shoe trees inside. Once the surface of the leather on the uppers has dried to the touch, you can hit it with Lexol protectant but DO NOT RUB.

The inside of shoes get wet and salty by nature (unless you are some kind of freak whose feet don't sweat). I'd worry primarily about getting all the salt off of the uppers before it damages the leather. If the uppers are already drying off, I'd skip the distilled water rinse and go right to Lexol cleaner and then protectant. Again, don't rub until they are totally dry or you may do more damage to the leather.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your kind comments. I'm hoping it will be a life saved, but I suspect it may simply be a body for the family. I'm hoping the headline in the paper reads "Tourist diver misreads conditions; alive" rather than "Tourist diver misreads conditions; dead".

As to the shoes, thanks for the advice. I bathed them with water and a wash cloth so I hope they turn out alright. At least they were workhorse casual shoes rather than anything really expensive.
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