How To Remove Deep Scratches From Leather Shoes?

Some men wear leather to look like the dapper Dorian Gray or always well-suited Barney Stinson. Some men prefer to be a little tougher and wear their leather to look more like bad boy James Dean or the anarchic outlaw Jax Teller. Some men look up to James Bond as a blend of both toughness and elegance or John Wayne for soft-spoken ruggedness.

As for the ladies, a high-end high heel will almost always be made of patent leather. Of course, there’s the odd motorcycle mama who won’t part with her black leather either. Scratches are neither renegade nor elegant. What’s more, leather shoes are extraordinarily expensive.

Let’s say your good leather shoes got scuffed at the Duchess’s ball or in a bar fight or a fight at the ball, whichever fits your lifestyle. Maybe you inherited some well-used leather as part of an estate. Or perhaps you found some second-hand boots that were being practically given away at a low price due to some scratches. Can you fix this?

remove scratches from leather shoes

Can You Fix Scratched Leather?

Sometimes. There is an industry built on restoring damaged leather but if the damage is minimal and you’ve got that DIY spirit, you fix it yourself with ordinary items. Always remember to test an inconspicuous area first.

Light scratches can usually be fixed with leather oil or conditioner or a dab of petroleum jelly might do the trick. Deep scratches first need to be cleaned. Distilled white vinegar, olive oil or colorless shoe polish can all be utilized to further fix it up.

How Do You Get Deep Scratches Out Of Leather Shoes?

Remember that you can’t really get rid of a deep scratch, only hide it. You may have to paint them to get them to blend in. A permanent marker could work for black boots. A good bugging with boot polish will work wonders.

How To Fix Scratched Faux Leather Shoes?

Imitation leather is harder to damage than the real deal and easier to fix. After you’ve cleaned and spot tested your shoe you can fix the scratch using Modge Podge and/or Shoe Goo, paint, paintbrushes, paper towels, shoe polish, shoe spray, and a nail clipper or fine-grain sandpaper:

  • First, use the clippers or sandpaper to get rid of any material that is sticking out or hanging off the shoe. You want this area to be as smooth as possible.
  • Using a small paintbrush, dip the tip into the paint. You won’t need a lot. Less is better so that you don’t cause the paint to transfer unevenly.
  • Paint the scratches using smooth strokes. Let it sit for a minute or two. Wipe your brush off on your paper towel to get rid of clumped paint.
  • After it dries, add another coat if you think it necessary. Use only a little paint at a time so bubbles don’t form.

How To Fix Scratched Suede Leather Shoes?

The solution is as close as the nearest pencil and toothbrush! Use the toothbrush (one that no one uses, of course) to sweep away any dirt that could be trapped on the fabric. Remember to brush in one direction instead of back and forth. You can then gently rub out the marks using the eraser on the pencil.

How To Fix Scratched Patent Leather Shoes?

Get yourself some petroleum jelly (rhymes with gasoline), some mineral oil, Silicone-based patent leather conditioner, and a few soft cloths. Follow these steps and your patent leather will be good as new!

  • Dab a bit of petroleum jelly onto the patent leather to aid in the removal of scratches and for shine. Petroleum jelly can also prevent the leather from cracking in cold weather.
  • Pour a little mineral oil on a soft cloth and rub it into the patent leather scratches to get rid of them.
  • Use another soft cloth to apply a silicone-based patent leather conditioner to get rid of scratches. This can also aid in preventing more scratches. This protects your leather and also brings on a high gloss.

One more tip that works, though it might not sound kosher, is to clean patent leather with milk. This will make it look almost new.

How To Fix Scratched Oiled Leather Shoes?

This is a rather expensive leather but surprisingly easy to maintain. You can simply rub scratches out with a damp finger. The leather can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap.

How To Fix Scuff Marks on Leather Boots?

Toothpaste can work. If your shoes are made out of leather, patent leather, synthetic leather or rubber you can use toothpaste to get rid of scuff marks. Use a toothbrush to apply the toothpaste and brush in a circular motion. Use a bit of water to help it foam up. Rinse the toothpaste off (water, not mouthwash!) and dry it off. Yes, you can use baking soda instead.

What Is a Leather Filler?

This is a shoe repair product formulated to repair scratches, tears, and holes. It can often be lightly sanded to smooth out the surface if necessary. You can often mix in a dye colorant so that it will match the leather.

How Do You Fix Gouges In Leather Shoes?

Some professionals can do this for you, but the price would be nearly as much as the shoes themselves. You do it yourself. You will need rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, garment glue, liquid leather repair, leather conditioner, and soft cloths. You then follow these instructions:

  • Use alcohol soak swabs to thoroughly clean the damaged area. Let it dry before continuing.
  • Examine the gouge. Figure out the shortest distance between any two edges of the gouge. Apply a little bit of garment glue to the inside of the damage. Pinch the area closed and hold it with your fingers until the glue has set.
  • Apply the liquid leather repair using a soft cloth. Rub it in a circular direction over the gouge. Keep adding the substance until every bit of the tiny cracks have been filled and the original damage is coated. Let the shoes dry.
  • Use another alcohol-soaked swab to smooth down the repaired surface. Wipe away any areas that look like they’ve over-treated or have a heavy contrast to the original leather.
  • Use another soft cloth to wipe the shoes down with the leather conditioner. Scrub in a circular motion.

What Causes Leather Shoes To Crack?

Unhappy childhood, stressful lifestyle, chemical imbalances, genetic predisposition…oh, no, wait, that’s what causes people to crack. Leather cracks because it is porous and traps dirt and oils easily.

Such irritants can break down the dye and texture on the surface of your shoes. This is what causes cracks and discoloration. A lack of moisture can make things worse. This is why you should always condition your leather.

How To Fix Cracked Leather Shoes?

Conditioning leather will keep it from cracking. However, you can fix up a cracked leather item by following these easy steps. You will need some soft and dry brushes or cloths, a shoe dauber, leather cleaner or saddle soap, mink oil or neatsfoot oil, a spoon and leather conditioner:

  • Use the brush or cloth to dust off the surface. Use a small, fine-bristled brush like a shoe dauber to apply leather cleaner or saddle soap to the cracks. Once the leather is clean, it should be soft and flexible.
  • Dab the cracked spots with mink oil or neatsfoot oil. Utilize a gentle pressure to smooth the oil into and over the cracks. You can use a cloth or the back of a spoon works very well.
  • To keep it from cracking again, rub in the leather conditioner. Add conditioner once a month to keep it looking good.

Can You Sand Leather Shoes?

This is the first step in refinishing leather. it cleans it, buffs out defects and creates a smooth surface. Sanding the surface lets the color dye seep efficiently into the leather. Moisten a 600-grit piece of sandpaper and make small circles over the whole surface of the leather piece. Smooth over the cracks and other spots that have been damaged.

Is Olive Oil Safe For Leather?

Oh, this stuff is great for saddles and baseball gloves but not for fine leather shoes. While it may temporarily make the leather more supple, it can stain like anything. And it will make your shoes smell like Caesar salad. It may be fine to use on black shoes that don’t show stains easily but not for light-colored leather. Mink oil and shea butter are better choices.

Would Mink Oil Fix Scuff Marks?

Mink oil can make scuffed shoes look new. This natural substance is a great lubricator for leather and it protects the leather. Before you apply the mink oil to the shoe, make sure it’s clean first. Use a clean, soft cloth to evenly rub the mink oil into the leather.

Let the mink oil penetrate the leather and then wipe off the excess. Once dry, you can polish them. Do keep in mind that mink oil can darken leather so only use it on dark leather, to begin with.

Does Shoe Polish Cover Scuff Marks?

Sometimes, a good polishing is all your shoes need. Make sure the polish you use matches the leather. Just rub it all over the scuff mark with a lint-free cloth. Make sure you get it even all over the surface and let it dry. If you don’t have any polish you can use toothpaste, nail polish remover or sprays and erasers made for the very purpose of taking out scuff marks.

How Do You Condition Scratched Leather?

Conditioning the leather can keep it from getting scuffed to start with but bad scratches happen. After you’ve fixed a scratch, you can add conditioner as a means of keeping the damage from getting worse. Most of the methods above call for a soft, clean cloth but you can just glop this stuff on with your fingers. (Uh, maybe wash your hands when you’re done.)

Just make sure the surface is good and smooth first. Make sure the scratches are all filled in. Rub the conditioner in there and let it dry for fifteen minutes. You should buff out the cream using a horsehair shoe polishing brush.

How To Protect Leather Shoes From Scratches?

First of all, avoid water. Nothing ruins leather faster than water. But don’t let them dry out either! You should regularly moisturize your shoes using a high-quality leather conditioner.

A creamy polish not only makes the shoes look good; it protects them from damage. Beeswax will do a good job of protecting your shoes without seeping into the leather. Remember to remove the laces before doing anything to the shoe itself.


Whether you want your look to be debonair or rugged or a little of both, leather does the job. Leather is a tough material but not indestructible, particularly if it’s something very soft like suede or nubuck. It’s also very pricy! You can’t always go out and buy a new leather item just because the old one got a little scuffed.

It’s environmentally sound, too! You may have heard that the three R’s are reduce, reuse and recycle. Well, there’s a fourth one called repair. Fixing leather items, yourself is not just good for you, it’s good for the entire planet!


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