How To Remove Paint From Shoes [3 Quick Ways]

January 25, 2022
by Jack Lyons

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Whether you have had a long week, achieved a breakthrough at work, or simply feel like treating yourself, a new pair of shoes always leaves you feeling good. 

Many psychologists actually believe that we make our initial judgments on people based on the shoes that they are wearing, so it's only natural that we care so much about our shoes. 

A good pair of shoes could be the difference between whether or not you land that new job or whether or not you get a second date, so it's important that you look after your shoes. 

There is nothing more frustrating than being super excited about a pair of new shoes and then, in the blink of an eye, watching them get ruined. Unfortunately, there are many, many different ways that shoes can be ruined, but one of the most common is by spilled paint.

Spilled paint can be really difficult to remove from any surface, especially shoes. Whether you've been painting with the kids or repainting the office walls, accidents happen. The most important thing is that you know how to remove paint from shoes and make them look brand new.

Shoe Material

Before deciding which paint removal route to go down, it is important to really think about your shoe's materials. For instance, the best removal techniques for leather boots will vary greatly from that of canvas pumps. 

It is also important to remember that a shoe can be made of multiple materials, and you may need to care for each one differently. Therefore, to be safe, after choosing one of our tips, it is a good idea to have a google and double-check that it is compatible with the particular shoes in hand. 

Consider Whether The Paint Is Wet or Dry

Before beginning to use any particular strategy, it is important that you figure out whether the paint is wet or dry. This may sound obvious, and let's face it, if you have just spilled paint, it's going to be wet. 

But, maybe you've picked your little one up from nursery and noticed their shoes or perhaps you have just gone into the kitchen and noticed the horror; in these instances, you might not be too sure.

Try to avoid touching the paint as it can be bad for skin rather, try to make a judgment by looking at it or by poking it with something else (gently), perhaps a tissue. 

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Use Dish Detergent Powder

Person removing paint from shoes

One way of removing paint from shoes which arguably doesn't receive enough credit, is by using dish detergent powder. This might sound odd, but as long as the paint marks are soft and dry and preferably from acrylic paint, this method can help reduce markings or even get rid of them completely. 

To begin, you should dab the paint with a wet cotton wool ball or pad to soften the mark further. You then use a knife or metal file to remove the paint from the shoe.

This might sound simple enough, but unfortunately, you will probably still find that your shoes have some paint on, so at this point, it's time to use the dish detergent powder. 

Mix the dish detergent powder with water to create a normal liquid consistency; you should then use a sponge to start rubbing the detergent onto the affected area of the shoe. Hopefully, this will remove any slightly tougher stains. 

End the process by leaving your shoes to dry overnight; hopefully, they will look like a brand new pair of shoes in the morning. 

Use The Shower

This might sound slightly odd, but using the shower can be a great way to remove paint from trainers. This is because showers provide you with a base, a waterproof environment and most obviously, water. 

Showers release water in a high-pressure way so, if you point the showerhead directly at the shoes, there is a good chance that the combination of water and pressure could remove at least some (if not all) of the paint.

It is good to use an old sponge to try and remove some of the tougher parts. 

Use Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Cleaner 

This one might sound oddly specific, but Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Cleaner is actually a really effective tool for this job. To begin with, simply clean the shoe with warm water. After this, try to clean the paint off the shoe with a toothbrush. 

To achieve this, wet the toothbrush and move it in circular motions all over the shoe (focusing on problem areas). Hopefully, this should remove at least some of the paint.

Once you have completed this step, apply some Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Cleaner to a dry cloth and once again use this to try and remove any leftover stains or markings. 

Once you have finished the process, wash your shoes once more with warm water and leave them out to dry. 

Final Thoughts on How to Remove Paint from Shoes

There are countless different ways to remove paint marks from shoes, and we have only listed a few above. However, before you even begin to try any of our suggested paint removal techniques, you must consider some things, such as the material of the shoe. 

If you use a cleaning method that is not suitable for that particular material, the results could be detrimental, and we all know that shoes are not cheap, so try your best to avoid this.

Secondly, you need to consider whether the marking is new and fresh or whether it has already dried onto the shoe. 

It will have only just happened in most cases, so the paint will still be wet. After considering these factors, decide which technique is right for you and your shoes and make sure that you have all of the products and materials you need to complete it. Whichever route you choose to take, good luck.

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