7 Ways to Remove Scratches from Leather shoes

Shoes take a beating. Getting a pair of sneakers dirty is one thing, but a pair of leather shoes, not so much. Owning a pair of leather shoes can be bittersweet. While the idea of owning a pair is awesome, the anxiety one faces when wearing them is another. The thought of getting a scratch on an expensive pair of leather shoes is maddening enough one may choose not to wear them because of very costly repairs.

7 Ways to Remove Scratches of Shoes

Well, guess what, it doesn’t have to be.  One can keep shoes looking sharp without taking a trip to the shoe repair shop or local cobbler by following these steps. Well, you can clean your shoes by following shoe shining tricks. But these 7 easy ways to remove scratches from leather shoes are not only quick and easy to do but are also very affordable.

1. Clean Them

Although leather can hold up very well to the daily beating, it is not invincible. Before repairing any scratch clean them first. First, one must determine if it finished leather or unfinished leather that is on the shoes.

  • Finished Leather: Use a soft brush, gently remove any caked-on dirt or mud from the shoes. Then wipe off with a clean cloth. Dampen a clean cloth with clean water and wipe the shoe. Follow up by drying the shoe with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Unfinished Leather: Same steps as above but use a saddle soap instead of water.

Another option is to use toothpaste. Using an old toothbrush place a dab of toothpaste on the scratch and start rubbing the area around the scratch. Add water to the toothpaste to allow the toothpaste to foam. Continue to rub until the scuff or scratch is gone and then just wipe off the excess toothpaste and let the shoes dry.

2. Remove any Excess Leather

Start by removing any excess leather from around the scratch. If there is enough leather around the area, one may be able to cut away the excess. If it is a small area, sand the area using fine grit sandpaper. Wipe away excess leather with a clean, soft cloth.

3. Apply a Shoe Wax

Using a soft wax, apply it into the scratch using a finger. Make sure to work the wax into the hole making it a smooth surface.  Next buff out the excess wax.

Melt the wax left over from the repair job, it can be instead of having to purchase soft wax. Just place the pieces of wax on a spoon and place in microwave to melt.

4. Test the Area

Once the wax dries, test the area making sure the wax does not rub off. 

5. Leather Maker

Apply a leather maker to the area making sure to cover the areas. This is important that way there are no seams around the scratch making sure that it has a nice and even surface.

6. Apply Leather Polisher

Next, on top of the repair, add a layer of a leather creme shoe polisher. This will allow the consistency and the look of the leather to look the same. Buff out the area using a brush. Horsehair brushes usually work the best.

7. One Last Wipe Down

Lastly, after the repaired area is dry, clean the shoes again. This time making sure to really buff out the area or the repair so that it blends in with the rest of the shoe. Now take a step back and admire the finished project.


Pretty easy and simple, Right? Remember, these steps next time you contemplate wearing those expensive shoes, because wearing them was the intent behind the purchase. Right? It was not for them to be collecting dust in a closet.

Now one can wear those leather shoes and really complete a wardrobe knowing that there is a remedy for any possible scuff or scratch that could occur. So, start enjoying those leather shoes the way they are supposed to.

Leave a Comment