Do you have a vintage-related query? Then meet the expert ready to help you. editor and vintage expert Lena Weber will be tackling your vintage problems in a brand new column every week. This week reader Michelle wrote in desperate to remove the scuff marks  from her Sixties plastic bag.

Michelle asks: “I would love to know how to get scuff marks off patent leather or plastic shoes and bags of all different colors. I’ve got a lovely red Trophy Queen bag with black scuffs I can’t get clean.”

Lena says:  “There are various scuff mark removal products you can buy in shops but – especially for removing stains from plastic – I tend to use home-made scrubs (saying that, Mr Clean Magic Eraser is pretty amazing).

“It might sound odd but have you tried an ordinary eraser? If that doesn’t help, mix together some baking soda and water for a solid past and rub it onto the stain using an old toothbrush. Ordinary toothpaste could also work!

“I once managed to get rid off the nastiest black marks on white Sixties shoes using an ordinary nail varnish remover but don’t try this if your bag is badly scratched or very delicate. If you do use the nail varnish remover, rub your bag with vaseline afterwards to prevent it from cracking.

Good luck and I hope this helps!”


7 Responses

  1. Ruth

    What a great tip! I didn’t even realise you could remove scuff marks. I am going to give this a go, thank you 🙂

  2. VintageAgent

    Wonderful article. I love cleaning up vintage shoes. This will aid in my pursuit. I also use CIFF, quite caustic but has huge potential, also on paintings, but one must use with care. 🙂
    Great to have found your site. You were plugged on Radio 6 / London Fashion week chat, good times 🙂

  3. Maartje

    I tried it all- unfortunately nothing worked on my plastic 60ies purses. nail polish remover damaged the purse.Thanks for giving me some new ideas though.

  4. Emily

    You could always try vodka and toothpaste… I know that’s supposed to remove permanent marker from wood work. I haven’t tested it out, though (I never had the need).

  5. susan

    THEN TRIED MY DE SOLVE IT UNIVERSAL WHICH WITH A LITTLE FIRM RUBBING AND A CLEAN CLOTH WORKED! Was very surprised ‘re magic eraser microfibre eraser which works on scuffs on skirting boards and is brilliant didn’t work
    Normally use it for sticky labelled and really hard to remove stains

  6. Elizabeth Sheiman

    The magic eraser worked like a CHARM! It took the scuff right off after a few quick scrubs. Thanks so much for the marvelous advice

  7. Rosie

    I have just cleaned a dirty 1950’s cream vinyl vanity case that had lots of black marks on it. I tried various cleaners/solvents etc with hardly any result. I then rubbed in toothpaste using micellar water skin cleaning wipes….amazing! The case looks like new!