How to Remove Scuff Marks From Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Shoes get scuffed when someone inadvertently steps on them, or you accidentally scuff one shoe against the other. Scuff marks are stubborn stains, whether they happen on a shiny, polished floor or your shoes. Scuff marks leave ugly black stains from the soles of shoes when dragged across a floor or another shoe. Removing scuff mark stains from shoes is not hard as long as you use the correct procedure.

Squeeze a fingertip-size amount of non-gel toothpaste onto a clean rag. Rub the toothpaste into the scuff mark on leather shoes using circular motions.

Wipe the toothpaste from the leather shoe with a damp rag. The scuff mark, loosened by the toothpaste, should come off the shoe onto the rag. Add more toothpaste to any remaining marks on the shoe. Wipe the shoes clean with the damp rag, and dry with a soft, clean cloth.

For canvas shoes, apply non-gel toothpaste to the scuff mark and scrub with an old toothbrush. Wipe the scuff mark and toothpaste from the shoes with a damp rag. Set canvas shoes in the sun to dry.


For plastic or vinyl shoes, remove the scuff mark by rubbing with an eraser.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Rags
  • Clean cloths
  • Old toothbrush
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.