How to Remove Scuff Marks From Leather Shoes? – Expert Hack for Flawless Results!

by Stephanie Yankova

The pure satisfaction after you put on a brand-new pair of leather shoes is truly unmatched! Unfortunately, after a while, they begin to show signs of wear which makes them rather unattractive. Usually, the most common marks for leather shoes are scuffs and scratches on the toe cap or the quarter. Is it possible to fix them? Pause before you throw out a perfectly good pair of shoes! Here are some of the BEST ways to remove scuff marks from leather shoes in no time! 

What are the Different Types of Shoe Scuffs?

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Before you begin to treat your leather shoes, it’s good to start by identifying the type of scuffs that they have. You will be able to remove the marks with a lot more ease once you know what caused them. These are the 4 most common types of shoe scuffs:

  • Gouges (Deep abrasive scuffs) – These types of scuffs appear when you graze your shoe with a foreign object. Usually, they look as if the leather has been scratched with sandpaper. The damaged spot will be a few shaded lighter than the original color of the shoe.
  • Material Transfer – This is the easiest type of scuff to repair. They appear when your shoe gets in contact with another object. As they rub together some material transfer occurs and leaves a mark on your shoe. These marks often appear on the quarter when you walk and the inner sides of your shoes rub against each other.
  • Scratches – Just like the scuffs, scratches are caused by contact with another object. However, for a scratch to occur the object has to penetrate the leather, rather than simply graze the surface.
  • Cuts – When the leather of your shoe is cut, there is a distinct separation of a thick layer from the surface. While it’s possible for the cut-out piece to be glued back on by a professional, the mark will still be visible. There is no permanent solution for leather cuts that will make your shoe appear brand new.

Read also: How to Clean 100% Leather Shoes – Full Guide to Make Them Look New Again!

How to Remove Scuff Marks from Leather Shoes?

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If you have a mild scuff mark, the method for getting rid of it is pretty simple. With the right materials, your shoes will look brand new in no time! Here are quick and simple ways to remove the stubborn marks, so you can wear your shoes with confidence!

Method 1


  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  • Leather shoe conditioner


  1. Clean the shoes with water and let them dry.
  2. Cover the scuffed area with a thick layer of petroleum jelly.
  3. Let it sit for 1 hour.
  4. Wash off the petroleum jelly and let your shoes air dry.
  5. Once fully dry, apply the leather conditioner per instructions.

Note: This method is applicable for genuine leather shoes ONLY!

Both the petroleum jelly and conditioner are strong moisturizers. When they get absorbed into the leather, it is going to swell and therefore minimize the appearance of the scuffs.

Method 2


  • non-whitening, non-gel toothpaste
  • soft bristle brush


  1. Use water to clean the shoes and let them air dry.
  2. Use your finger or the brush to apply gently a small amount of toothpaste on the scuff marks.
  3. With the brush slowly and carefully work the toothpaste into the damaged area.
  4. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse off with water and let the shoes dry.

Note: It is mandatory for you to NOT use toothpaste with a whitening and gel formulation. If you do, it will cause further damage to the leather. 

Tips on How to Remove Scuff Marks from Patent Leather Shoes

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Patent leather shoes are a real show-stopper! The glossy finish gives them an elegant and refined appearance that effortlessly elevates any outfit. They’re usually quite affordable and low-maintenance which makes them a highly desirable option. The only downside – they get scratched easily! Don’t fret, we know the struggle and we have the solution! Here’s how you can effortlessly remove scuff marks from your favorite glossy patent leather shoes!


  • nail polish remover/rubbing alcohol
  • Petroleum jelly
  • a clean cloth


  1. Start off by cleaning the shoes with water and letting them dry.
  2. Dip the cloth in nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.
  3. Work it into the scuffed area of the shoe.
  4. Rinse off and wipe the shoes with a clean cloth.
  5. Apply petroleum jelly to moisturize the leather and add shine.

Removing Black Marks from White Leather Shoes

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You were just about to put your favorite white leather shoes on when you noticed unsightly black marks. Where did they come from? Don’t worry – they are most definitely material transfer scuffs. The good news is that they are much easier to remove than they may seem to be! Here’s how you can make your white leather shoes look brand new in just 10 minutes!


  • white vinegar
  • leather shoe conditioner (or Vaseline)
  • a clean cloth
  • soft bristle brush


  1. Take a bowl and mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
  2. Wash and dry the shoes.
  3. Carefully brush off the scuffed areas on the shoes.
  4. Take the cloth and dip it into the white vinegar and water mixture.
  5. Work the damp cloth into the scuff marks.
  6. Rinse off and dry the shoes.
  7. Apply leather conditioner per instructions.

Read also: How to Clean White Shoes Effectively? Here are 6 Proven and Simple Ways

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