How Do You Remove Scuff Marks From Leather?

Despite trying your best to keep your leather shoes clean and polished, sometimes it is impossible to keep them from getting scuffed.


how to remove scuff marks from patent leather shoes


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Whether it’s a crowded sidewalk on your walk home, a party in a tight room, or just a random accident, scuffing leather shoes is surprisingly easy.

Worse, once leather shoes are scuffed, it’s hard not to notice the scuff marks and thy tend to accumulate dirt and grime quickly.

Thankfully, it is easy to learn how to remove scuff marks from leather shoes using either products you already have around the house or commercial products specifically designed for the task.

Even better, the same methods that work on leather shoes are great for getting rid of scuff marks on leather furniture or any other leather items you own.


What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial

Option 1: Household Items

If you plan to use items you already have around your house to remove the scuff marks, look for any of the following: toothpaste, nail polish, dish detergent, baking soda, a pencil eraser, or petroleum jelly.

Nail polish and toothpaste are particularly effective since they work on both synthetic and real leather, while the others tend to work better on real leather.

Although any pencil eraser will do, finding a new one without graphite rubbed into it already is best.

Option 2: Commercial Products

There are a number of commercial products on the market designed specifically for removing scuffs from leather.

If you are using a shoe scuff remover, be sure the specificity of the product matches the type of leather you are planning to use it on, since mismatches can lead to shoe damage.

Shoe wipes, shoe polish, and magic eraser pens are all good options for any type of leather shoe.

In addition to removing light scuffs, these products will also polish your shoe and remove any dirt from them.


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Household Products

  •  Toothpaste: When using toothpaste to remove scuff marks, it is best to add a little bit of water to the toothpaste so that it becomes foamy and easier to rub onto the boot. Scrub the toothpaste onto the scuffed area in a circular motion, then rinse it off with water and reapply at least one more time.


  • Nail polish: Make sure to use only non-acetone nail polish, as acetone can damage leather. Dip a cotton ball or Q-tip into the nail polish, then gently dab it onto the scuff before switching to a gently rubbing motion. Apply as needed until the scuff is gone.


  • Dish detergent: Mild dish detergent can be very effective for getting rid of scuffs. Simply add a few drops of detergent to a moist rag, then scrub away at the scuff mark until it is gone.


  • Baking soda: Pour a spoonful of baking soda into a bowl of water and mix it up into a thick solution. Dip a toothbrush or a fresh cloth into the solution, then use this to scrub away at the scuff mark. Continue dipping into the solution and scrubbing as needed until the scuffed area disappears.


  • Pencil eraser: Use an eraser as you normally would to erase something – simply rub it back and forth against the scuffed area until the mark disappears.


  • Petroleum jelly: Dip a clean cloth or cotton ball in petroleum jelly, then use this to scrub the petroleum jelly into the scuff mark. Once you are finished, use a clean, moist rag to clear away the excess petroleum jelly.


Commercial Products

When using commercial products, it is best to follow the instructions for your specific product.

Often, they will come with materials to clean the shoe or the scuffed area before you apply the scuff-removing product.

In the case of shoe polish, apply the polish as you normally would, but scrub extra hard around the scuffed area and consider applying a second coat of polish.


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In the future, you can also reduce the chances of scuffing your boots by taking a few easy preventative measures.

Protective shoe sprays do an excellent job of preventing scuffs and keeping dirt from building up on your leather boots.

Regular cleaning also goes a long way towards keeping small abrasions from developing into full-blown scuff marks.

These preventative measures are especially important if you use your boots frequently or for heavy-duty uses.

Scuffed boots can be an eyesore, especially if you are heading to a formal event.

But thankfully, removing scuffs from leather boots is easy, whether you choose to use items you already have around the house or commercial products specifically designed for cleaning leather boots.

If you found this article helpful, we would love to know what solution worked for your scuffed boots in the comments section. Plus, we always appreciate your sharing the article with friends so they can benefit as well.

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