Tips For Fixing Scratched Leather Shoes
Shoes are an important part of your style, and there’s nothing quite like a quality pair made from leather to complete your look. Leather shoes are also an investment, but they are not totally invincible and can get scratched and scuffed over time.
If your favorite leather brogues are looking a little tired, even after you have read our ultimate guide to leather shoe care, then help is at hand. Before consigning your scuffed shoes to the trash can, why not check out your cupboards for some instant and easy to do scuff-busting home remedies. With a little know-how and effort, you can get your scratched or scuffed leather shoes looking buff in no time.
Check out our top tips to fix up those leather shoe scratches.
Clean Your Scuffed Shoes First
Before you do anything, make sure your leather shoes are clean so there’s no ingrained dirt in the scratched or scuffed surface. If you are using professional cleaning products, check first to see if your shoes are treated or untreated and use the right specialist cleaner.
For a simpler approach, remove any caked-on dirt with a soft brush and then wipe the leather upper with a clean, soft cloth. If the scratch has left a rough edge, carefully trim away any tiny loose strands of scuffed leather. Then dampen the cloth (either with water or distilled white vinegar) and gently wipe along the grain of the leather, before leaving to dry. You are now ready to repair!
If It Is A Minor Scuff Or Scratch
If it’s only a minor surface scuff on your leather shoes and you need to ‘fix and go’, then here are some cool scratch busters to try:
Eraser – Yup, a good old rubber eraser could well save the day when it comes to a light surface scuff. An eraser will work on most leather shoes and is particularly effective on suede. However, for it to work properly, use a white or light-colored rubber and going gently is key. With a light pressure, carefully rub the eraser over the scuff, then wipe away the tiny rubber particles with a dry cloth. Repeat gently until the scuff has gone.
Hairdryer – Turn up the heat and use a hairdryer for a really quick fix for very minor scuffs or marks on leather shoes. Go for a medium warm setting and blow the air over the scuffed surface. Then, with clean hands, gently massage the warmed leather or buff with a soft, clean cloth. A combination of the heat and massage should slowly start to reduce the scuffed appearance of the leather. To test if you have the right heat, use your own hand – if it is too uncomfortable on your skin, it is too hot for the leather, so reduce the setting.
Petroleum Jelly – To melt a superficial surface scuff back into the leather, grab a pot of petroleum jelly! Making sure it doesn’t have any added color or fragrance which could damage your shoe, apply a small blob of jelly onto a soft cloth. Using circular motions, rub it into the surface of the scuff, then leave for around 10 minutes before wiping off any excess and leave to dry. Now buff your shoes to a scuff-free finish.
Toothpaste – Raid the bathroom cabinet and de-scuff those leather shoes in the time it takes to clean your teeth. This technique is for smaller scuffs rather than deeper scratches but works really well to polish out minor surface marks on leather, patent leather as well as synthetic shoes.
Simply put a very small blob of plain white toothpaste onto a toothbrush, dampen the paste then gently scrub the scuff in small, circular motions until the mark has gone. Wipe off any excess toothpaste with a damp, clean cloth and allow to dry. Now buff the surface for a minty clean shoe!
For Deeper Scratches
If the scratch has penetrated the leather, you’ll need a little extra help and there’s a good range of shoe repair and finishing products out there. Before using, it’s important to still carefully clean your leather shoes but opt for a specialist leather shoe cleaner if you can to bring out any deeply ingrained dirt without damaging the surface. Now choose your scratch-fixing product – leather glue, re-coloring balms, leather markers, cream conditioners or polishing pads for example – and follow the instructions to the letter. If in any doubt, take your scuffed leather shoes to a professional – so if it’s a really deep scratch or tear seek out your nearest shoe repairer pronto!
Keep Your Leather Shoes Scratch-Free
So, now you’ve rescued your leather shoes and they are totally scuff-free, take a few simple steps to keep them that way. A good shoe brush and leather shoe polish or on-the-go wipes are good addition to your shoe cupboard. And a quality shoe polish – colored or clear – is an essential to revitalize your favorite footwear and keep them looking like new.