Kicks and Trips May Scuff My Shoes, but Those Marks Will Not Defeat Me

There is NOTHING worse than coming home from a great night out and finding scuffs on your brand new patent leather shoes. And why is it that we can NEVER remember how it happened? Did I step on myself? Did I trip? Did I scrape my shoe against a tire? All we are left with is what we believe to be a destroyed pair of shoes.

A colleague emailed me this morning asking how to remove the scuffs from her new patent leather shoes. (The shoes she wore on our epic awards night.) With no immediate answer, I did a little research; and MF, it appears as if all is not lost! Several online shoe lovers have posted their solutions.

Acetone-free nail polish remover (most popular online suggestion). Dab some acetone-free nail polish remover on a cotton ball and wipe over the scuff mark to remove it. Be careful not to let the nail polish remover sit on the surface of the shoes for an extended period of time, this will risk compromising the patent leather. Rub petroleum jelly or baby oil over the area to keep the patent leather from drying out.

Similar suggestions: Rubbing alcohol, make up wipe, hand sanitizer

Baby oil. Dab baby oil on a cotton ball and rub the scuffed area. Wipe with a clean damp cloth.

Similar suggestions: Petroleum jelly, mineral oil, vegetable oil

Toothpaste. Using a cloth, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the scuff and scrub in a circular motion. Add more toothpaste as needed. Wipe the paste off with a clean damp cloth and dry.

Similar suggestions: Baking soda and water

Pencil eraser. Try erasing the scuff as you would a pencil mark.

Similar suggestions: Rubber band

Miscellaneous bathroom items. Try shaving cream or Nivea cream (not the lotion) to clean and polish patent leather.

Miscellaneous cleaning solutions. Try Mr. Clean magic eraser, Comet or Ajax, Goo Gone or Fast Orange (a hand cleaner that mechanics use to clean grease and grime off their hands).

Let the science experiment begin!

I took the pair of patent leather shoes I wore today and inspected them for scuffs. I knew of a few, but discovered more. I also discovered a stain or tarnish on the buckle. The perfect specimen!

First I tried baby oil. No dice.

Then I tried toothpaste. Just plain weird. No luck.

Then I tried the most popular solution – acetone free nail polish remover. Bingo! It removed all scuffs and after a little elbow grease, the tarnish/mark on the buckle. Unfortunately, there are a few marks on the white part of my shoe that are more like ‘bruises’ – indented, under-the-surface, dark spots – that I was unable to remove. If my shoes were an apple, I would simply cut the spots out and move on.

No worries, though, this Mama is not going to cut or toss a perfectly good pair of shoes over a few little marks. Thank you, fellow shoe lovers, for your scuff removal suggestions!

Disclaimer: Mama’s Shoes does not endorse any of these methods! There are many types of patent leather. What may work for one doesn’t work for another. If you’re attempting this for the first time, try testing on a small area at first to make sure there aren’t any adverse chemical reactions.

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One thought on “Kicks and Trips May Scuff My Shoes, but Those Marks Will Not Defeat Me

  1. I am laughing so hard, I’m crying!!! Best post yet and I’m pump…d to see what you come up with next!!!

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