How to remove shoe polish stains from clothes

If you have to choose between a new pair of shoes which is shiny and looks good or an old one which is worn out and scuffed then most probably you would opt for the former one. However shoe polish is that magic potion which can transform an old and scuffed pair of shoes into a sparkling new one as well.

However, when this magic potion makes its way to your clothes instead of your shoes then, you don’t feel that good about it. After all who would feel good when their clothes get ruined by polish stains?

Yet, these polish stains on your clothes are not totally hopeless. If you know how to pull the strings, you can end up with clothes as good as new, free from all unsightly polish stains. Following methods will enable you to effectively remove shoe polish stains from your clothes.

Method One (For removing Paste Shoe Polish Stains from Clothes)

            Begin treating this stain as swiftly as you can, because the lesser time it will have to set in, the easier will its removal be.

Things that you will require:

·      Plastic Knife
·      Sponge/cloth
·      Cold water
·      Liquid dish washing detergent
·      Chlorine bleach/color safe bleach
·      Hot water
·      Dry cleaning solvent
·      Clean, lint free cloth

Steps that you need to take:

1.   Remove extra shoe polish on the cloth by using the knife.

2.   Blot the shoe polish stain with a sponge or clean cloth so that any excess polish from the stain can be removed. Yet be careful in doing this, so that you don’t end up spreading the stain further.

3.   Make a cleaning solution of cold water and liquid laundry detergent.

4.   Apply this solution on the shoe polish stain and tamp it.

5.   Let this cleaning solution set in the stain for some time.

6.   Afterwards, launder the cloth in the hottest water possible. You can make use of chlorine bleach or color safe bleach, according to the fabric’s requirement.

7.   To entirely get rid of any shoe polish stain remnants on clothes, it is strongly recommended that at the end, a dry cleaning solvent may be made use of.

8.   Blot the solvent on the stain with a clean, lint free cloth and keep blotting until all the remnants of the stain are absorbed in it.

9.   Afterwards, launder the cloth.


Tamp the detergent solution on the stain, instead of rubbing it in. You have to hit the stain quickly, so that it gets out of the fabric; whereas rubbing it will only grind it further on the spot, making it harder to remove.

For removing Liquid Shoe Polish Stains from Clothes, you can adopt the following method.

Method two (For removing Liquid Shoe Polish Stains from Clothes)

The following method will help you to remove stains incurred from liquid polish. This method will also be the most successful if you treat the stain as quickly as possible.

Things that you will require:

·      Absorbent white paper towels
·      Cold water
·      Rubbing Alcohol
·      Two small bowls
·      Powdered laundry detergent
·      White terrycloth towel
·      Liquid laundry detergent with bleach

Steps that you need to take:

1.    Use paper towels to blot the cloth. The paper towels will absorb the polish stain. Keep doing so and replacing the towels, until no polish appears on the towel.

2.   Take a small bowl and make a solution of one part rubbing alcohol and two parts cold water. If the cloth you are dealing with happens to be durable white cotton, then undiluted alcohol can also be made use of.

3.   Soak the white terrycloth towel in the alcohol solution and blot the stain with it. Primarily, check on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure that it doesn’t get harmed by the alcohol.

4.   In the second bowl, make a paste of powdered laundry detergent and cold water.

5.   Apply this paste on the shoe polish stain, and let it set in for some time.

6.   Launder the cloth like you normally do, but don’t forget to read the instructions on the tag. For laundering the cloth, make use of liquid laundry detergent. If the fabric is safe for bleach use, then make use of color safe bleach as well, during laundering.

7.   Once the cloth has been laundered, carefully check for any shoe polish stain remnants before placing in the dryer.


 Do not put a stained garment in the dryer. Otherwise heat from the dryer will further set the stain.


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