How to remove scuff marks from patent high heels

How to remove scuff marks from patent high heels
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Kristin Kokkersvold

Patent high heels and boots are awesome. They are durable, look great and are relatively easy to maintain. Until the dreaded scuffs appear. They can really ruin the look, especially on darker colors. So, what to do?

Fortunately, there are ways to remove scuff marks from patent shoes. Of course, the end result depends on how deep the scuffs are.

You could always take your shoes to a cobbler who will take care of the scuffs for you. But, sometimes you don’t have the time for that. Or you simply don’t want someone else laying their hands on our precious heels.

First, clean the shoes well. You can give them a good cleaning with wet wipes. Then dry them with a dry soft cloth or a towel.

The easy way

You can remove light scuffs in a pinch with household items. Like hand sanitizer for example. Add a couple of drops of the sanitizer on a Q-tip. Gently rub the scuff with circular motions for a minute or so. Don’t press a lot as you can damage the fabric.

Another option is to use nail polish remover, but that can be too strong and you should be more careful with the fabric. Save that for heavier scuffs and always opt for acetone-free nail polish removers for this.

The scuff should disappear or at least start to disappear. Repeat with another Q-tip if needed and wait a couple of minutes to see if the scuff reappears after the sanitizer dries out. Repeat again and take your time. Don’t press too much as you will damage the patent leather!

Next, is time to restore the shine. You can use various items like window cleaner, petroleum jelly or even hand cream with a soft cloth. Of course, it’s best to use a special patent leather care product. There are such you can find in clothes stores, leather stores, shoe shops, etc. Vaseline and a cloth also works great in a pinch, though.

The hard way

If the scuffs are deep and have actually removed part of the patent leather, then you have a bigger problem. You could try and mask the problem with good old nail polish. Find one that is the same or nearly the same color and gently and carefully fill the scuff mark. After you first clean it, of course.

This quick fix would work mainly if the scuffs aren’t that big or on too visible places. You can use it on the back of the shoe, the heels themselves, the very tips of the shoes, etc. The nail polish will also add some strength to the damaged place, lowering the risk of further tears.

Finally, you can even use patterned duct tape to add some new look and feel to your shoes. Yes, it is possible, as long as you pick the right style and color of the pattern. You can add just stripes or cover part of the shoe in it, effectively creating a two-tone style. Of course, if the first tips work for you and the scuffs are gone, you don’t need to go this far.

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