How to Remove Shoe Polish From Shoes

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Less is more when it comes to applying shoe polish.
Less is more when it comes to applying shoe polish. (Image: filipw/iStock/Getty Images)

A gleaming pair of shoes adds polish to even the most laid back jeans and T-shirt look, so keeping your footwear looking its best should be on your wardrobe to-do list, right alongside ironing and laundry. But before you grab the rag and polish to give your shoes a brand-new shine, it's essential that you remove the old finish first. Otherwise, you could end up with messy, uneven-looking results.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Shoe brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover

Remove the laces from the shoes, and set them down on a sheet of newspaper on a flat surface to catch any debris.

Position a shoe brush at the tongue of the shoe, and sweep it down until it passes over the toe. Repeat, working your way over the entire surface of the shoe to remove any surface dirt and build up. Use a soft-bristled shoe brush to avoid damaging the fabric.

Soak a microfiber cloth in non-acetone nail polish remover. Smooth it over the polished area, in large circular motions. Non-acetone nail polish remover will dissolve the polish without damaging the fabric, while the microfiber cloth attracts excess dirt and oil. Repeat until all polish has been removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the shoes are deeply stained, take them to a shoe repair shop for best results.

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