There’s a quote that’s been misattributed (Marilyn Monroe? What about Bette Midler? We may never know), but we keep coming back to this: “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” While we tend to believe that a person can conquer the world regardless of their footwear, having the perfect pair of shoes can’t hurt.
Keeping your shoes clean, clear, and scuff-free is one of the keys to having the perfect pair. Whether you’re looking to shine up your favorite pair of patent leather pumps or everyday flats, here are five of our favorite methods for how to remove scuff marks from shoes, all of which require only a few household items.
What are scuff marks?
These scuff marks are frequently caused by bumping or rubbing your shoes against something. Small, unnoticeable marks are hardly a problem. However, if you notice visible discoloration and marks, especially on your favorite pair, this can detract from their – and your! – aesthetic.
But don’t worry, you can restore your shoes to (almost) new, pristine condition using common household items. In this guide, I’ll show you how to remove scuff marks from shoes so you can wear them confidently again.
I’m here to help you get that polished, non-scuffed look back, whether it’s in patent leather shoes, suede boots, canvas sneakers, or Melissa Shoes!
How to Remove Scuff Marks from Shoes – 7 Tips for Leather & Other Fabrics
Always clean your shoes before removing scuff marks on them, regardless of the material. This keeps dirt and dust away from the scuff marks and allows for better scuff mark maintenance.
You can also clean your shoes according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A damp cloth with or without a mild detergent should help clean leather, patent leather, or vegan leather.
Clean nubuck or suede shoes with a suede brush or follow the instructions in my post on how to clean suede shoes. Do you want your shoes to be extra shiny after you’ve un-scuffed them? Check out my post on how to shine leather shoes.
And, before removing scuff marks from visible areas of your shoes, always test any cleaner or solvent on a less visible area of your shoe. As an example, consider the interior section.
That way, you can be certain that the scuff removal solution you’ve chosen is appropriate for that specific pair of shoes.
1. Make use of tried-and-true cleaning products.
The simplest way to remove scuff marks is to use cleaners like laundry or dish detergent. Simply combine a few drops of detergent with lukewarm water and dab the mixture on your shoes with a cloth. The shoes should then be allowed to air dry.
These cleaners can remove discoloration from your clothes in the same way that they can remove stains from your clothes. Avoid detergents that contain bleach or bleach alternatives because they can bleach the color out of your shoes, which is far worse than scuff marks!
It’s best to use gentle detergents that don’t contain bleaching agents and to test the mixture on inconspicuous areas of the shoe first.
2. Make use of a Rubber Eraser
Do you want to know how to remove scuff marks from nubuck and suede shoes that also work on patent leather and vinyl? A rubber eraser could be the solution!
A rubber eraser, like a pencil eraser, can also be used to control scuff mark damage. How do you use an eraser to remove a scuff mark from your shoes?
Gently rub a white rubber eraser in circles across the shoe until the scuff marks are gone. Then, gently brush away any eraser residue. To avoid the pinkish residue left by colored erasers, use a white eraser. In addition, white erasers tend to leave less debris after use.
Remember to first clean your shoes! Rubbing the dirt on your shoes may spread the dirt and worsen the discoloration.
3. Baking Soda Can Be Beneficial
Baking soda, oh the wonders it can do! Baking soda is a tried-and-true home remedy for almost anything, including removing shoe odor! Baking soda, thankfully, also aids in the removal of scuff marks from materials such as canvas and leather shoes.
Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons baking soda with warm water to make a paste, then scrub the paste over the shoes and wipe with a clean damp cloth before allowing to air dry.
Concerned that your white canvas sneakers are no longer as white as they once were? Baking soda is an excellent cleaner for restoring the luster of canvas sneakers, but it also works well on leather materials; however, always test a small area first.
4. Examine Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover, another common household item, does more than just remove nail polish. It can also aid in the removal of scuff marks from leather shoes.
Polish the scuff marks with a small amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball or cloth in small, circular motions. Strangely, the same solvents that remove nail polish can also help remove discoloration from your shoes.
Because nail polish removers contain harsher ingredients, you should avoid using them on suede shoes as they may cause damage to the material.
For the same reason, it’s a good idea to test the solution on less visible parts of the shoe before cleaning the front. This is true for any product used on a valuable item!
5. Use Rubbing Alcohol
Scuff marks on patent leather shoes can be easily removed with rubbing alcohol. Apply a small amount to a shoe cloth or rag and gently polish the scuff marks.
Remember not to soak the rag too long, as too much alcohol can damage your shoes. Unlike water, rubbing alcohol is less damaging to suede. Just make sure to test first to see if there are any adverse effects.
If you run out of rubbing alcohol, you can use window cleaners that contain alcohol as an alternative. My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s elder characters would be so proud!
6. Experiment with Toothpaste
Toothpaste, a bathroom staple, can also be used to remove scuff marks from canvas, leather, and faux leather shoes.
Scrub off the scuff marks with a small amount of non-gel toothpaste and a brush. The brush’s abrasions will help scrub the dirt away and remove the discoloration. After that, wipe with a damp cloth and allow to air dry.
Please keep in mind that whitening toothpaste, gel toothpaste, and toothpaste containing special ingredients may cause additional damage to your shoes.
>>> See more:
How to Remove Scuff Marks from Patent Leather Shoes? Try these Tricks
Patent leather shoes unquestionably elevate a look. But when scuff marks appear, they stand out even more against those gleaming leather shoes!
Fortunately, there are some common household items that can be used to restore that gleaming finish. Of course, as previously stated, a rubber eraser and rubbing alcohol can both aid in the removal of scruff marks on patent leather shoes.
More answers to your question about how to remove scuff marks from patent leather shoes can be found below:
7. Apply Petroleum Jelly
Try rubbing petroleum jelly on your patent leather shoes with a piece of cloth. After a few minutes, you should be able to wipe away the discoloration.
Petroleum jelly is excellent for preserving the leather finish on both patent leather and leather shoes. Not only that, but it also softens and prevents cracking in leather shoes. Furthermore, it can aid in the waterproofing of your shoes!
7b. Remover of Nail Polish
Nail polish remover is also effective at removing stains from patent leather shoes. Simply dab a small amount on a cotton ball and polish the shoes gently.
Remember not to over-apply nail polish remover, as this can cause your shoes to lose their glossy finish. Before using the product on the visible parts of the shoe, always test it on the less visible parts.
How to Get Rid of Scuff Marks on Melissa Shoes
Melissa shoes are made of Melfex®, a patented material. The bad news is that scuff marks on Melissa Shoes are permanent, so completely removing them will be impossible.
I’ve had firsthand experience with this, and it’s a bummer. Yes, those are my Vivienne Westwood x Melissa Shoes, which you can see above! Having said that, the cleaning tips below can help reduce the mark and keep your Melissa shoes looking their best.
Whatever method you use to remove scuff marks from Melissa Shoes, be gentle. Rubbing too hard may cause the plastic material of the shoes to deteriorate.
Use a Cloth to Polish Them
Using a soft, microfiber cloth to clean your Melissa shoes can help them last longer. To maintain the shoes’ glossy finish, gently rub the areas with scuff marks and polish the rest.
This should reduce scuff mark discoloration and keep your shoes looking great.
Make use of a Face Wipe
If you keep face wipes on hand, you can perform on-the-go damage control. Having the handy will be useful if you accidentally rub your Melissa shoes against something, resulting in unsightly scuff marks.
How should these face wipes be used? Exactly like with a cloth! Gently rub your shoes with fragrance-free wipes only – this is critical! – until the discoloration fades.
Use fragrance-free/alcohol-free wipes because the chemicals in added fragrance may damage the shoes. Also, make sure you’re using wipes with no exfoliants so you don’t scratch your Melissa shoes.
Consider using Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is a natural antibacterial and disinfectant that can also help to reduce visible marks on Melissa shoes. Simply rub a small amount of eucalyptus oil on the scuff marks to see if they fade.
Avoid rubbing the shoes to avoid damaging the glossy finish. Also, only apply a small amount of oil at a time, as too much may damage the shine.
Scuff marks on shoes can be aggravating, especially when they are visible from a distance. They will undoubtedly ruin your appearance and make you appear less put together.
You won’t have to worry about that now that you know how to remove scuff marks from shoes with common household items.
Be fashionable once more with your brand-new-looking patent leather shoes or flawlessly white canvas sneakers!
Please feel free to share these tips with your friends to help them keep their shoes in pristine condition. Please leave a comment if you know of any other methods for removing scuff marks from shoes. More shoe care posts from the blog can be found here!
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