1. Scuff marks
- Use a permanent marker in the shoe’s matching color. Gently alternate blotting the scuff with the marker and a tissue. Reapply several times to seal color.
- Use a clean pencil eraser to “erase” the scuff mark.
- Toothpaste and dish detergent also work when applied to a cloth and rubbed gently over scuff marks. Use a clean cloth to dry.
- Believe it or not, the inside of a banana peel is an excellent, inexpensive buffer for scuff marks!
2. Water damage
- Remove the inner sole (if removable).
- Stuff the shoe generously with newspaper, which will absorb the moisture. Leave overnight or for at least 12 hours.
3. Salt stains
Salt causes white color stains on leather shoes. Remember to spray your new shoes with leather protector when you purchase them to avoid this. However, salt stains can still occur. Treat salt stains with the following combination:
- Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of warm water.
- Moisten a clean cloth with the vinegar solution.
- Wipe the salt stain gently until the spot disappears.
- Rinse with a clean cloth to remove the vinegar solution.
4. Dull patent leather
- Prepare the shoe by wiping it with a clean, lint-free cloth.
- Create a solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water. Mix, apply to a cloth, and gently clean the shoes. Let the solution seep into the leather for about 2 minutes, then rinse with a cloth dampened with just water.
- Wipe dry, then shine the shoe with petroleum jelly. Apply with a firm, circular motion. Allow to dry 1-2 hours.
- Buff with a dry cloth and restore the patent leather shine.
5. Water damage on suede
- Brush the damaged suede with a soft back and forth motion.
- Dab a bit of vinegar onto a clean cloth and gently work at the stain, being careful not to completely saturate the suede.
- Hold the shoes over a steaming pot of water, but do not allow the shoes to get wet. Steam helps the nap of the suede to stand back up. You can also use sandpaper in a circular motion to restore texture.