How to Remove Scuff Marks from Patent Leather Shoes

Dear Budget Fashionista,

How does one remove scuff marks from patent leather shoes? I have a cream pair that has brown marks and I have a red pair that has black marks. Do I need to go to a shoe shop??

How to Get Scuff Marks Off Shoes


Don’t spend money at a shoe shop until you’ve tried this tip. Head to your local drugstore and purchase the cheapest bottle of non acetone nail polish remover you can find. Dip a Q-tip in the remover and apply it to your scuff, gently rubbing the mark off.

You could also try hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, but you need to be careful as to not remove and/or discolor the dye on your shoes.

Here’s a Great Video that gives tips on removing scuff marks from shoes

Note: Also works with regular leather shoes

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    And my marvelous shoe repair man told me to use Windex to clean my patent leather Ferragamos.

    Three other things which might work and not be so potentially damage-causing as as nail polish remover may be on some materials, try

    A) Toothpase.  Weird but often works.
    B) A regular pencil eraser sometimes works
    C) The Mr. Clean Miracle Sponge. Magic.

    The tooth paste with microfibre cloth trick really works! I used the method to remove white scruff marks on a pair of off white patent shoes! Thanks so much for the tips!

    The best, best way to remove marks from patent leather shoes is to use a kitchen-cleaning product called Glee.  As a little Catholic girl who wore white patent leather shoes all spring and summer, and black patents all fall and winter, my Mom and I tried everything.  This stuff is the best!  You can’t find it in stores any more, so I order it from Johnson & Johnson online.

    WOW!!!, I thought my black leather patent leather shoes were toast; tryed nail polish remover and elbow grease and they are like new.

    If you want your shoes all scratched up, then us mr. Cleans magic Eraser!, also windex does not work, the pencil eraser does not work.  i know because i have tried every one of these sugestions. i will try the biscuts and the Mayo next

    I just used nail polish remover on my tan patent leather stilettos and it totally made the black scuff marks disappear! Thank you!!

    Magic Eraser worked! Small amount of water on the eraser and rub GENTLY!

    rubbing alcohol!!

    Thanks for the tip. Windex def worked! I didn’t even have to put pressure to rub it off, sprayed it on, and it instantly came off when I used a Q-tip.

    I just bought a patent leather red Louis Vuitton purse, it had the smallest white scuff mark on it. I tried Windex with a Q-Tip and it totally worked.

    pencil eraser didn’t work, neither did the nail polish remover or hairspray. HELP! I don’t have Vaseline in the house, but I’m going to try the windex……

    i literally just used crest 3D white toothpaste on my pink patent leather shoes and it came right off vs the nail polish remover which did nothing.

    I tried all of these things and nothing will get the brown scuff mark of my yellow heels.


    Google directed me to your site. I’m immensely grateful for all the household options. As I’ve mysteriously scuffed my brand new neon yellow pumps this weekend.

    I’m going to try the lighter, toothpaste & vaseline first …. if I must I’ll give the rubing alcohol a try as well.

    Thanks ladies !

    Thanks for the advice. I had a nasty brown scuff mark on my new beige patent leather shoes. The nail polish removed it, so that it now blends with the shoe. It is slightly yellowed, but barely noticeable. I added a little bit of olive oil for shine afterwards. On a pair of old black patent shoes, it worked better!

    THANK YOU!!! Somehow I scuffed my new nude MK patent leather pumps and I was hesitant but desperate too….. A little nail polish remover and a q-tip worked. I barely even touched my pump and the scuff mark was GONE!!!!!!

    I have a pair of beige patent leather that were “scuffed” by my pair of RED patent leather. Nothing here helped. Am I just out the shoes??? Or does anyone have suggestions. (It’s not like a scuff but like a paint transfer!)

    Try Windex. I just sprayed some Windex on a couple of white “paint transfer” type scuff marks on a vintage black patent leather clutch and I barely had to rub and the white marks came right off.

    Did you ever find anything that took the stain out? I am having the exact same issue with my nude pair of patent leather heels that rubbed up against a pair of red patent leather shoes. I have tried the majority of suggestions on this page and nothing has worked so far. I have only worn the shoes a fee times and am hoping I can fund something. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!

    I just used nail polish on my yellow Gianni Bini pumps and it took the black scuff marks off with little effort. Thanks.

    WD-40 works better than nail polish.
    Spray small amount on a rag and wipe off.

    Great tips (and love your name 🙂

    The nail polish remover worked for me. Thanks. 

    nail polish remover worked like a charm! rubbing alcohol didn’t.

    I just tries the Windex and it made my shoes look good as new.

    Tried the polish remover on my yellow pumps, it lightens but not removed. Hope the others help. Fingers crossed

    Amazing! I had only worn them once and was devastated. Now they look good as new! I did have to rub for a while though, but they are clean again! Thanks for the tip!

    What if they aren’t “real patent leather”? 

    Windex worked on my fake patent leather shoes. awesome. took a bit of time and elbow grease but they look SO much better

    I had white scuff marks on black patent leather, windex did nothing but the nail polish remover did the trick, they look great. Thanks

    After reading this discussion board, I tried Windex first on a vintage black patent leather clutch (from a store that has been out of business since the 60s), and it worked like magic! Not only was I able to easily remove a couple white scuff marks on the black patent leather, but the whole purse looks like brand new. I didn’t even have to try nail polish remover.     

    I used Arm and Hammer Complete Care toothpaste on my orange patent leather pumps and it took a brown scuff off with no problem. I tried the nail polish remover and it did nothing.

    I just used my arm and hammer peroxicare toothpaste and it worked! None of the other remedies worked on my shoes.

    Hey there I recently bought a purple patent leather heel and it has scratches and creases any ideas how to remove them?

    I Have a Pair of Patent Mary Jane Heels and I Have like a brown scuff on The Heel and The Shoe Part.! what Can I Do To Get It Out? Or Do I Need To Just Buy Another Pair??

    Green Works window cleaner totally got the white scuff marks off of my red patent leather Coach bag. Yay!

    Oilve oil removed black marks on my nude patent leather heels 🙂

    nail polish and q-tip really works. was afraid it would mar the shine, but no. looks great-would never know anything ever happened to them

    The nail polish remover worked a treat, thank you!! Great tip x

    Hand sanitizer worked great!!

    Veronica Sewell Ward

    hi…..just bought a used red leather purse and found black scuff marks…used nail polish remover…no luck any other ideas….its so cute!

    I had some Pledge Multi Surface cleaner on the dresser next to my red patent leather Danskos. Inspiration struck as I was looking for the nail polish remover. So I figured that I’d try the Pledge and it worked like a dream! The scuffs came right off and left my shoes shiny and clean.

    Goof Off worked for me on a pair of bone patent shoes.

    Windex didn’t work…De-solv-it DID! 🙂

    Omg! I had this scuff for 2 years and its gone!! Worked great!

    Awesome! Glad to know this post helped!


    New black patents with a white scuff mark near the toe. Used an alcohol pad with zero pressure and the scuff mark came off with no damamge to the shoe.

    It worked in seconds; I am amazed, Thank You!

    Flash magic eraser so works. Receved my lil ones pink patent boots today and both boots came with a small black scuff on front ov each. And the magic eraser and a lil warm water it was off in seconds

    DO NOT DO THIS!!!! My favorite pair of 80.00 Mary Jane high heels are now RUINED for taking someone’s advice that CLEARLY has NOOO idea what their talking about. I AM LIVID!!! Followed directions perfectly, lightly applying with a q-tip (non-acetone n.p.r) and all it did was take my small black scuff and SMEAR it to the point that it is now doubled in size. I have tried everything to get this smear out and nothing is works. Thanks a lot. Don’t post things things unless your willing to pay (literally pay) for someone’s ruined item after they take your advice!! UGHHHH!!!!

    Thank you for sharing. Readers: be careful — no solution is without risk.

    I tried Vaseline and Purcell (alcohol) which did nothing on taupe patent heels. Tried white toothpaste. With time and effort it did take off the black scuff marks!

    Thanks Trish for sharing!

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