Removing stubborn snow and water marks

It’s the same story every year: right on cue at the start of winder, you discover ugly lines on your leather shoes. Now’s the time to tackle snow and water marks. Water stains on leather aren’t only unsightly – they have long-lasting effects if they’re not fully removed. But how do water marks like this appear on leather shoes and, more importantly, how can they be removed?

Winter is a challenge for your footwear. The temperature changes constantly, they come into contact dampness and road salt, and all of this really puts them to the test. If you act quickly, white salt marks can be removed using warm water and a lint-free towel. Home remedies like vinegar or other such products are too damaging for leather – don’t use them! Once you’ve finished removing the salt marks, the shoes have to be dried out completely and carefully looked after. Normally, snow stains go hand-in-hand with damp shoes, so use a good-quality wooden shoe tree to maintain the shoe’s shape. Untreated wood absorbs moisture.

If you want to make sure that your shoes aren’t always covered with salt marks during the winter, never put them on a heater, otherwise leather grease and tanning salts will rise to the surface. Collonil offers a suitable shoe cleaner to treat snow and water marks. This not only makes the marks disappear, but protects and cares for the shoe in a sustainable way.

No more snow and water marks with the right waterproofing

Properly waterproofed shoes are resistant to water. However, over the winter the protective layer is quickly work away due to exposure due to road salt and condensation penetrating the leather. Before the first real day of winter, get your shoes out of the wardrobe and waterproof them several times. It’s important to find the right balance between spraying the shoes and leaving them to dry, which will allow your winter boots and shoes to resist snow marks.

Thoroughly cleaning your shoes before applying the waterproofing spray will make it more effective. The best time to waterproof your shoes is once they have been dry-cleaned and treated with shoe care products. Spray on several coatings keeping an even distance between the cannister and the shoe to allow the protective layer to be as effective as possible. Pay close attention to the seams between the shoe and sole, as dampness penetrates this area particularly quickly.

Water marks on leather

A little splash is all it takes for a large mark to appear on your new leather back. No need to panic, though; there are a lot of ways to counteract this sort of accident. Fresh air is usually all it takes to remove water marks from leather.

Water marks on coated smooth leather are nothing to worry about as the finish prevents dampness from penetrating the leather deeply. However, things are a bit more complex when it comes to porous types of leather, as water is bound to seep in. People often turn to household fixes to get it back out again, but who really wants a whiff of onions every time they open their bag for weeks to come? A better and more sustainable option is to use a specialist cleaning product for suede leather, which is good for the material and makes sure that water won’t get back in in the future.

Of course, it’s better if water marks never appear on leather in the first place, and thoroughly waterproofing your leather goods helps make sure they won’t. Even if your new leather back gets caught in the rain or your water bottle leaks, no visible marks will be left behind.

Care tips


Step 1: Dry your shoes

To prevent your shoes from warping as they dry, use a wooden shoe tree, like the FORMA. This has the added benefit of the wood absorbing moisture.

Dry your shoes in a warm, well-ventilated place and avoid placing them on direct sources of heat such as radiators.


Step 2: Cleaning

Brush suede and suede leather down before and after cleaning them with the NUBUK BOX to maintain the texture of the leather.

Remove water and snow marks using SHAMPOO DIRECT, suitable for use on any type of material. Use the sponge applicator to apply it directly to your shoes and before lastly wiping off dirt and residues with a damp cotton towel such as the POLISHING CLOTH.


Step 3: Waterproof

Once you’ve cleaned your shoes, top up the waterproofing. Apply waterproofing sprays outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms. Spray the CARBON PRO spray evenly, holding the cannister around 30 cm from the shoe. Allow to dry for at least twenty minutes and then apply another layer. This spray is suitable for use with all materials.


Step 4: Care

Care for soft leather using WATERSTOP COLOURS. This cream brightens colours, and nourishes leather while keeping it supple. For suede leather choose NUBUK + TEXTILE.