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How to remove marks on my brown leather shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Shoes go through a lot of abuse as they conquer the elements each day. If you have noticed that your leather shoes are looking worse for the wear and want to remove marks from your shoes, you can easily do so with a few simple household products. Use a pencil eraser and white vinegar to clean brown leather shoes, black leather shoes and any other type of shoe made of leather, suede or man-made materials. However, no matter what type of shoe you are cleaning, be sure to do a spot test just to make sure the material isn't affected by the cleaning solution.

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  1. Rub the surface of the shoe with a clean towel to lift the fibres and loosen the dirt. Make sure the shoe is completely dry before trying to remove marks from your shoes. If they are slightly damp, allow the shoe to dry before you begin.

  2. Rub a clean art gum eraser over the mark on the shoe. If you don't have an art gum eraser on hand, try using a simple pencil eraser instead. The eraser can help to lift or loosen light scuff marks on your shoes.

  3. Mix 1 cup of lukewarm water and 1 tbsp of white vinegar in a cup or bowl. Dip the edge of the towel in the water, and then wring it out so it is only slightly damp.

  4. Dab the mark with the vinegar-soaked towel. After you dampen the spot with the vinegar solution, rub the spot gently with the towel or with a scrub brush.

  5. Allow the shoe to dry. Though it may smell slightly of vinegar, this smell should dissipate in a day or so.

  6. Tip

    If the stain persists, gently rub the spot with a fine grit nail file. Do this very carefully, as you will be removing a small part of the leather.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean, dry towel
  • Art gum eraser
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

About the Author

Melissa McKean is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. McKean has an expertise in web and SEO copywriting and has worked on both B2C and B2B lead generation and e-commerce websites to improve search engine rankings and usability. McKean has a bachelor's degree in advertising from Kent State University.

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