A pair of really great leather shoes truly are an investment piece. They look stunning and, with the right care, will absolutely stand the test of time in terms of both quality and style. However, even with all precautions taken, accidents do happen, and sometimes your precious leather shoes or boots can be left with unsightly scruffs or scratches on the surface.
If this has happened to you – do not fear! There are actually a whole range of methods you can try yourself at home to help clean and repair marks from your leather shoes.
So, first things first…
Clean the leather shoes
Before trying any of these methods, you first need to ensure your shoes are properly cleaned. Begin by brushing your shoes to get rid of any accumulated dirt or mud, then go over the shoe with a clean, damp cloth to clean away any further stains. Always be sure to leave the shoes to fully air dry before you begin to repair them.
Removing smaller scuffs from your leather shoes
If you’re dealing with a smaller scuff on your shoes, there are a number of at-home treatments and ‘quick fix’ methods you can use. With all of these methods, we would always recommend spot testing a small, discreet (where possible) area of your shoe beforehand, to ensure the product works well with your specific colour and type of leather.
An uncoloured, unscented petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) can be used to help reduce the appearance of lighter scuffs and marks on your leather. Using a clean, dry cloth, apply the petroleum jelly to the scuff mark using circular motions. Leave the product on the shoe for around ten minutes to work its magic, then wipe away the excess with a clean cloth.
Using a hair dryer on a warm (not hot!) setting, gently heat the scuffed area of the shoe, and then gently massage the warmed leather with your hands. This quick and easy method will help reduce the appearance of any scuffs on the surface of your leather.
We all know white vinegar can be a lifesaver when it comes to home cleaning, but did you know it help you when repairing scuffed shoes too? Use a cotton ball or swab to gently apply a small amount of white vinegar to the damaged area. Dab at the scuffed area, then leave it to completely dry. Once dry, buff your shoes with colourless shoe polish to remove the scuff mark.
How to get the scratches out of leather
Perhaps you’re dealing with a deeper scuff mark or even a large scratch in your leather shoes? If so, the following steps with have your beloved shoes looking as good as new in no time!
Remove excess leather
Begin by removing any excess leather from around the scratch. On a shoe, this shouldn’t be an awful lot of material, so fine-grade sandpaper should be sufficient to clean and smooth the surrounding area.
Apply shoe wax to the scratch
Use a soft shoe wax to fill the affected area. Simply apply with your finger and gently work the wax into the scratch. Once you have filled the area, buff the shoe to remove the excess wax and leave a smooth surface. When you are satisfied the gap is filled and the surface is smooth, leave the wax to dry and harden.
Recolour the surface
Now the surface of your shoe is smooth, you can use a coloured leather polish or colourant to blend in the repaired area. Then, finally, apply a few layers of a leather sealant to protect the shoe.
Treat and protect your shoes
Following all of these tips, we would recommend treating your leather footwear with a leather specific cream such as the Dasco Waxed Leather Cream. This will help clean, nourish and revive your shoes, giving you that new shoe feeling for longer. After this, a leather protector spray such as the Dasco Protector Spray will help keep your shoes and boots safe from any future wear and tear.
For further ways to keep your much-loved shoes looking and feeling fantastic for longer, be sure to explore the full shoe care collection at Moda in Pelle.