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How to Remove Grease From Nubuck Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Remove grease stains from nubuck leather shoes to restore their appearance and extend their usefulness. Nubuck leather is sanded smooth in a process similar to making suede. Nubuck is made from the outside of the leather rawhide instead of the inside, which gives it more strength and durability than suede. Save money by reviving a pair of nubuck leather shoes that you have stopped wearing because of a few grease stains.

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  1. Remove all the surface grease from the nubuck shoe by scraping the soiled areas gently with a plastic spoon.

  2. Pour the lemon juice and cream of tartar into a small bowl and mix them into a paste with the bristles of a toothbrush.

  3. Apply the paste liberally to the grease spots in a circular motion and allow it to dry.

  4. Flake off the dried paste with your fingers to evaluate how much of the grease was removed. Make more paste for a second application if the grease remains.

  5. Buff the nubuck back to a uniform smooth appearance by gently sanding the surface with an emory board.

  6. Tip

    Persistent grease marks that cause discolouration of the nubuck's surface can be masked by conditioning the leather. Products are sold that are intended specifically for suede and nubuck leather.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic spoon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • Small bowl
  • Toothbrush
  • Emory board

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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