How to Clean White Salt Marks from UGG Suede Boots


Barbie asked: How do I remove salt/white markings from UGG suede boots? My sister forgot to treat her boots before wearing them. Alas, she acquired dried salt marks on her new boots. We tried damp wetting and blotting, then a suede brush. Neither worked. Any hints? They are chocolate brown. We were unable to find the true material type, but do know they were a high end purchase from her son for Christmas.

You have to be careful while cleaning dyed suede. Many methods will remove a salt stain, but they will also take the color right along with it. To get rid of white salt marks without washing out the color of your UGGs, try these steps.

You Will Need:


  • Mild dish detergent such as Dawn
  • Cold water
  • Soft cloth
  • Clean soft toothbrush or Nubuck brush (designed for suede)

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Before you begin, spot test your boots in a hidden area.
  2. Mix a small amount of dish detergent in cold water. You don’t want too much soap or it, too, will leave a residue on your suede.
  3. Dip the soft cloth in the soap and water solution and pat or blot the stains on the boots. Scrubbing may remove color, so do so at your own risk.
  4. Allow to dry naturally. If spots remain, repeat as needed.
  5. Once the stain is gone and the boot is dry, use the brush to gently lift the nap of the suede to restore the original appearance.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • As soon as you get your boots clean, be sure to apply a protective product to prevent or lessen the risk of stains or damage in the future. If you live in a climate that is perpetually covered in snow, mud, or rain, using a protective spray once a week is a smart move.
  • White vinegar is commonly recommended to clean salt stains from suede. Proceed with caution!  Even a diluted 50/50 solution of vinegar and water can cause fading and dye loss in colored suede.
  • Do not use hot water. It’s more likely to cause shrinkage, fading, and may ruin the shape of your boots if you apply it over a large surface area.
  • Dry cleaning has been said to ruin UGG boots, whereas many users have reported success with a run through the gentle cycle of side-loading washing machines. Use cold water and NEVER dry in a dryer or near a heat source. This will shrink and/or misshape your suede.
  • If spot cleaning results in water lines, evenly dampen the whole boot and allow it to dry away from a heat source and out of direct sunlight. Even coverage and drying should get rid of the water lines.
  • A suede block or suede eraser may help lift heavy stains. They clean by crumbling and lifting deep down dirt. Another option is a product designed for UGG boots available from the manufacturer.



  1. Same thing happened to me. Someone told me to use black coffee. So I brewed some coffee, then took a cloth and dipped a small piece into the coffee and scrubbed the boot. I did have to do it about two times, but it worked 100% and the boot looked back to its normal black color.

  2. Why can’t you use hot water? I tried hot, it worked. I tried cold, it worked.

  3. First, brush the boots with a suede brush. Then lightly spray with a cat odor and stain eliminator that contains Oxy-Strength. Let dry and then brush.

  4. OMG! “Jaki,” thank you so much! My mom bought me black UGGs for Christmas, and wearing them in the snow a couple of times left these awful white salt marks on them! Your comment about using coffee on them saved me immensely! It worked almost immediately! Thanks!:)

  5. Just finished coffee-ing my black UGGs. They look good as new, so hopefully the color stays dark as they dry! Thanks so much for the tip- I never would have thought of it on my own. Also, I had previously used the treatment spray from the company. It didn’t seem to do much at all. :( I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence, but the next time I wore them after I’d sprayed them, it got really horrible salt stains. Maybe I just used too much spray? I’m wondering if there’s any way to keep this from happening again?

  6. Hey Khara! ^^ Did the coffee cleaning method work after drying? Did the salt marks go away after it dried? Please answer ASAP; the same thing happened to me.

  7. I have gray boots. Would using coffee ruin them? They aren’t UGGs, so would the effect be different because of this?

  8. I spilled brown shoe polish on my brown Uggs by mistake…no!

  9. I took everybody’s word for it and I do have salt lines on my Uggs, but I used Dawn and water to see if I could remove them. I just did this tonight and I will wait until the morning to see if the stains are gone. If not, I will try something else. Thanks for the info

  10. Does the coffee work for chocolate brown suede UGG boots? Let me know please ASAP. Thanks and advise!!!

  11. Absolutely the best and the easiest way to clean suede UGGs is to use a soft cloth (old towel) and warm milk! I just cleaned mine; works SOOOOOO good!!! Hope this will help you!

  12. I live in Minnesota and we have salty roads. I had salt stains on my UGGs. I used vinegar and water on mine and let them dry. No more salt stains. Really works well. Magic to my eyes.

  13. How about purple Uggs? I would think the coffee would stain and the OxyClean would take the color out. Does anyone have any experience with other than natural colors?

  14. I did exactly what the steps said and worked like a charm on grey boots! Fabulous!

  15. Please could anyone help? I got caught in very bad rain with my chocolate brown UGGs and now they are all dark, like water marked on the front. I stupidly never used the protector on them and they’re only six weeks old. I could cry. Thanks x

  16. UGG sells a boot cleaner, that I found at Von Maur- $20 for a kit. Worked well on beige boots, not so well on black.

  17. Dear Pam or anyone reading this,
    I have beige boots and I have a salt stain on them. Do you have any ideas or advice on how to get it off? I’m thinking of trying vinegar and water…but I’m not sure. One wrong move and I’ll ruin my expensive, beautiful boots. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so very much.
    Sincerely an UGG Boots Buyer,

  18. Hi, I am thrilled to see all the comments.
    I have black UGG boots that I received last year. With all the crazy snow in Chicago, the last 6 inches got me bad!!!
    I have salt stains and I had used an UGG Protector kit – worked ok, not super impressed, but now my boots have faded everywhere that I had cleaned. I have brushed and sprayed, and they look awful and old.
    Should I try the coffee? But what happens when they get wet; will they bleed?

  19. Put cold water on a paper towel, then from a spray bottle, spray the white vinegar onto the paper towel. It comes off like a charm.

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