How to Remove Scratches From Patent Leather

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Patent leather continues to be popular with dance shoes.

Scratches, scuffs and stains are bound to mark patent leather shoes; however, they do not necessarily mean it's time for a trip to the cobbler. Superficial scratches and scuffs can disappear with the proper method, and you can keep them away entirely if you combine regular care with a patent leather cleaner. By taking the time to care for patent leather, you can maintain its shine for years to come.

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Patent Leather Care

Cleaning and caring for patent leather shoes differs from traditional leather care. Regular patent leather care is the best way to fight against scratches and scuff marks. To maintain patent leather's shine, avoid abrasive materials such as brushes, which are commonly used to remove dirt from traditional leather.

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Use a damp microfiber cloth for simple, quick cleaning to remove any dust and dirt from the patent leather's surface. The softer the cloth is, the less likely it is to scratch the surface. Use a patent leather cleaner or a microfiber cloth dampened with gentle soap and water for a deeper clean. Regular cleaning will prolong the shoe's quality.

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Patent leather shoe polishes are generally unnecessary to maintain the shine. Patent leather's mirror-like finish is created by sealing the leather in a polyurethane/acrylic material, which the polish cannot penetrate.

How to Remove Scratches From Patent Leather

Before committing to a removal method, it's best practice to test the product in an inconspicuous area first. Once you are satisfied that the procedure won't damage the patent leather, you can proceed with scratch and scuff removal.

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Everyday household products such as baking soda, nail polish remover and petroleum jelly can remove unsightly scratches and scuffs from patent leather. If using baking soda, create a paste by combining 1 to 2 tablespoons with warm water. Begin by putting a few drops of water into the baking soda and mix, adding water until you form a spreadable paste. Apply the paste to the patent leather and gently rub it over the scratch with a microfiber cloth, then wipe down the patent leather with a clean, damp cloth.

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Removing scratches with nail polish remover is just as simple: dampen a cotton ball with nail polish remover and gently polish out the scratches and scuffs with small, circular motions. Use the same motion if polishing out scratches with petroleum jelly. Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the petroleum jelly and apply it to the patent leather with small, circular motions. Allow the petroleum jelly to sit for a few seconds before wiping it off with a clean cloth.

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Remove Scratches With Patent Leather Cleaner

Certain patent leather cleaners can also remove scuffs and scratches from the leather's surface. Begin by removing dust from the patent leather's surface with a microfiber cloth. Once clean, lay newspaper or some form of protection over the surface to ensure the cleaner does not stain the table or floor if it spills or drips. Once protected, apply the patent leather cleaner to a clean, microfiber cloth.

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Work the cleaner into the scuff marks and scratches on the patent leather's surface following the product's instructions. Once you remove the scuff marks, set the patent leather shoe aside and allow it to dry per the cleaner's instructions. Once dry, buff the surface using a clean microfiber cloth to restore the patent leather's shine.

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