How to Fix Scuffs on Leather

The other day I was minding my own business, when the curb leaped out of nowhere, grabbed my foot, and slammed me to the ground. Either that or I didn’t lift my foot high enough, stumbled awkwardly for what felt like several minutes, and then hit the pavement. Hard.

Not only did I land flush on my left knee making it embarrassingly hard to walk, but I also tore my brand new jeans that I specifically bought for work and completely scuffed the toes of both my good brown leather boots. The jeans, well, I’m probably just going to have to buy a new pair and find a way to make these distressed, but the boots I knew would be an easy fix.


I’ve taken leather boots to a cobbler before for a reboot (lolz), but my favorite guy happens to be in Arizona and I was feeling impatient. So I decided to risk it and try a home remedy.

Read on to see what I did and how it turned out!

After reading through a couple of methods I decided to go with the simplest one – good old water and baking soda. Here’s what I did:

Step One: Get two clean cloths, a bowl of water, and a bowl of baking soda.

Water & Baking Soda
Get a bowl of water and baking soda plus two clean, dry cloths.

Step Two: Take one of your cloths, dip it into the water and then into the baking soda. Gently rub the cloth over the scuffs in a circular motion, wetting the cloth and reapplying the baking soda as needed.

Scrubbing Boots
Gently rub the damp baking soda mixture into the leather.

Step Three: When you feel you have thoroughly cleaned the leather, take your second cloth and dip half of it into the cup of water. Clean off all of the baking soda with the clean damp cloth then use the dry side to wipe off the excess water. If you feel like there is a lot of baking soda debris in your water, dump it out and get fresh water.

Wet Boots
With a damp cloth, wash off all of the baking soda. Let dry.

Step Four: Wait for your boots to dry! Once they are, you should see a significant difference in their cleanliness.

Before and After Boots
Before & After

So how did it work on my boots? I think pretty well! Part of the reason I think they didn’t clean up perfectly is because I had really done some damage to the leather treatment. I will definitely need to either get some shoe polish or take them to my cobbler (I’ll probably do the later over Thanksgiving). But either way, I’m not going to be shy to wear them to the office because they really do look better in person than they do up close in the highly lit picture above.


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