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How to safely remove shoe polish

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I made the mistake of not allowing myself enough time to shine my tan Stacy Adams anaconda-print Madisons ...




... I used neutral shoe polish as there are a couple different tones in this shoe, but a white residue from that has been left in the crevices and has dried, and I'd like to know if there's a safe way of removing it. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 7
Here's what you do: liberally douse them in lighter fluid, kerosene, gasoline or other flammable fluid. Light them up and kill them with fire.
post #3 of 7
I'd try brushing with a shoe brush before doing anything drastic.
post #4 of 7

There are a few ways to remove shoe polish from shoes. 1) use a rubbing alcohol solution (i.e. 70% works, use 90% works the best but might strip the color so watch out), 2) use odorless mineral spirits (works really well, but again might strip color), 3) use a rag and brush to buff out as much as possible and wipe at them with a conditioner.  There are also brand name "stripper" solutions like Tandy Leather, etc., but they are pretty caustic and shouldn't even be handled unless you have gloves.


Are these shoes finished with polish, dye, or a coating?  If they are finished with polish or dye, you're going to have trouble getting the polish off without removing the dye.  If they are finished with a coating over the authentic leather/skin, then you'll have no trouble stripping the polish without stripping the color.  Most high end leather's are finished with coating that seals in the conditioners and allows you to polish over them.  You can also buy these finishes and apply them yourself (i.e. SKUFF Protective Coatings), so you don't have to polish your shoes, or if you really insist on using polish, can remove it without problem.


If I were you, I'd recommend testing some 70% isopropyl alcohol on a spot to see if you remove any dye or just the polish.  If you remove dye, then stop and try and buff it out.  If you remove just the polish, then your shoes are finished and you can remove the rest.  Either way, I recommend removing the polish and getting yourself an aftermarket shoe finish that shines your shoes and protects them from scuff marks.  The best one I've found is SKUFF, because it does both and lasts for years.  Plus, it comes with alcohol towelettes that you can use to clean the polish off before you apply it.


Just my two cents!

post #5 of 7
Impressive spam marketing poast, RoleyAnderson! nod[1].gif
post #6 of 7
The white gunk is simply dried polish. It can be easily lifted off with Lexol or any other detergent based shoe cleaner. Even a mixture of baby shampoo and warm water can be used to remove built up polish.

Personally I would avoid alchohol or other 'strippers' as they can indeed remove dyes from the shoes along with the wax build up.

You could also use Saphir Renovator.
post #7 of 7
brush with water mist
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