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Vinyl shoe lovers buy patent footwear for its shine and classic style. If you are looking to clean dirty vinyl patent, some methods add additional shine to the footwear without damaging the vinyl shoe surface. Common household cleaning products and an old cloth diaper will transition your soiled patent vinyl patent shoes from dirty to divine.

Clean shoe with warm water, but skip the soap. Wipe shoe with a T-shirt soaked in water.

Remove black scuffs with soap and water. If deep black marks remain, scrub the shoe with a rag and mild liquid detergent. Add a drop of detergent to the cloth. Apply the detergent to the scuffs. Rub the soiled area vigorously with the rag. Wipe clean with warm water.

Let shoe dry for 30 minutes. Air-dry the shoe away from heat.

Touch up the sole of the shoes or the edges of the heel with a toothbrush dipped in shoe polish. Or fill in heel scratches with a permanent marker.

Add shine with furniture polish. Squirt a dime sized portion of furniture polish on a clean rag. Using a circular motion, rub the liquid polish into the shoe. Buff with a shoeshine towel to reveal a high gloss.


Avoid using paste, liquid or cream shoe polish. Because vinyl patent is constructed using PVC pr polymer of vinyl chloride, these products will not absorb into the non-porous vinyl patent material.

Avoid chemicals like polish remover or detergents like Comet, Ajax or Borax to clean vinyl patent shoes. These chemicals will discolor the vinyl.

Never apply rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly to vinyl shoes. The alcohol may remove the sheen off the vinyl material. Petroleum makes vinyl shoes sticky.

About the Author

Mimi Abney

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.