How to Get Scuffs Off Patent Leather

by Melissa J. Bell
Light-colored patent leather shows scuff marks more easily than darker colors.

Light-colored patent leather shows scuff marks more easily than darker colors.

Polished patent leather accessories, such as purses, belts and shoes, can make any outfit pop. In addition to its many charms, however, patent leather shows scuff marks more clearly than other materials. That coveted shiny surface reflects light beautifully, and as a result, highlights even the tiniest imperfections. Keep your accessories, whether real or faux patent leather, looking smart with regular care.

Gently work at small scuff marks with a regular gum eraser. Some marks come away easily under pressure.

Apply a small amount of toothpaste or shaving cream to the scuff. Buff the area gently with a soft cloth to prevent scratches.

Spray a small amount of glass cleaner onto a soft cloth and wipe away scuff marks. Work the cleaner into the leather with a cotton swab if necessary.

Work non-acetone nail polish remover into dark, difficult scuffs with a clean, soft cloth.

Gently sweep the corner of an eraser cleaning sponge, found in the cleaning supplies section of most stores, on stubborn scuffs. Use little pressure, as the texture of the sponge can scratch the leather.

Polish the scuffed area with petroleum jelly, lip balm, mineral oil or cooking oil. These substances not only help remove scuffs, they add moisture to the leather and can prevent cracks from developing.

Select a patent leather repair kit in the same color as your accessory. Some scuffs, such as those left by another patent leather object, will never come off and instead require covering. Apply a thin layer of paint over the scuff to conceal it.

Paint over a permanent scuff mark with a matching nail polish color. Cover the polish with a clear coat to match the glossy texture of the patent leather.

Items you will need

  • Gum eraser
  • Toothpaste or shaving cream
  • Soft cloth
  • Glass cleaner
  • Cotton swab, optional
  • Non-acetone nail polish
  • Eraser cleaning sponge
  • Petroleum jelly, lip balm, mineral oil or cooking oil
  • Patent leather repair kit
  • Nail polish


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About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images