Shoe polish stains can happen quickly, and because the shoe polish is designed to stay on your shoes it is really hard to remove these stains.
Below are step by step instructions for how to remove shoe polish from clothing, other washable fabric, upholstery and carpet.
However, I should caution that some of these stains are just impossible to remove, so to make the possibility of that as slight as possible treat the spot or mark as quickly as possible.
The reason speed is so important is because the shorter the amount of time the shoe polish is on the surface before treatment begins, the less time it has to set.
Step 1: Remove as much excess shoe polish as possible, being careful not to spread it around further.
Step 2: Apply liquid laundry detergent which contains enzymes to the stained area and tamp it.
Hint: Tamping the stain means to hit it quickly, to almost try to hit the stain out of the fabric, but it does not mean to rub the area, which will only grind the spot in further, making it more difficult to remove.
Step 3: Let the cloth soak in a solution of cold water and liquid laundry detergent, with enzymes, for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Launder in the hottest water the fabric will allow to get out the stain, and either chlorine bleach if the fabric will allow it, or color safe bleach if not.
Hint: Make sure the stain is gone after washing, but before you place in the dryer or you may set it.
If this does not remove the stain, continue on to the next part of the directions. Do not dry the fabric in the dryer.
Step 5: Sponge the spot with dry cleaning solvent, using a clean, lint free white cloth.
Step 6: Blot at the spot until the dry cleaning solvent is absorbed.
Step 7: Repeat steps 5-6 until the stain is removed.
Step 8: Repeat step 4 above, laundering the fabric.
Step 1: Remove as much excess shoe polish as possible, being careful not to spread it further.
Step 2: Sponge the spot with dry cleaning solvent, using a clean, lint free white cloth.
Step 3: Blot the upholstery until the dry cleaning solvent is absorbed.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 until the stain is removed.
You can get more information on how to clean upholstery here.
The instructions for removal of stains caused by shoe polish from carpet is the same as for upholstery, in case you have shoe polish spilled on carpet.
Make sure you do not pour the dry cleaning solvent directly to your carpet, but instead apply a more measured amount of the solvent onto a cloth and then blot this onto your carpet.
The reason for this is that dry cleaning solvent can, over time, dissolve the backing of your carpet, so you don't want to use more than necessary.
Further, when you have removed the stain also make sure to remove the excess solvent from the carpet by using a detergent solution to blot at the carpet to dilute the solvent, and remove some of it from the carpeting.
However, if you don't have luck with the dry cleaning solvent, you can also do something additional with the carpet stain, which is to mix a solution of one tablespoon of ammonia, one tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and two cups warm water to use as a stain removal solution.
Perhaps you don't want to make your own stain remover, but instead want to use something designed to remove these spots and spills.
Here are some articles and reviews on this site where a particular product has been mentioned as working on these spots:
Dry Cleaning Solvent
Folex Carpet Spot Remover
Tide To Go Pen
You can also share your own stain remover reviews here for other removers that work on this, or any other spot.
I'm always looking for more tips and ideas for how to remove stains. You can share your stain removal tip here, and the best ones will be added to the site.
Are you a stain magnet like me? If so, check out the A to Z Stain Removal Guide which gives directions for how to remove over 100 types of stains from all kinds of surfaces.
Bottom photo courtesy of douglemoine
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
I'd love to give you a gift! When you subscribe to my free weekly newsletter you will receive a free printable laundry stain removal chart that you can reference as needed.
I hope you enjoy this gift, and stop by again soon!
A-Z Guide: Instructions For Removing Over 100 Types Of Stains
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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