Shoe polish is a lifesaver for old shoes as long as it stays confined to the leather parts only. If it gets on your clothes, on the rubber sides of your shoes, or the floor, then you have a serious problem.
Its sticky and oily nature makes it worse if you just to rub with a damp cloth, especially if the surface stained is of a liquid-absorbent nature. You have to know the right cleaning techniques for different materials.
How Do You Remove Shoe Polish From Plastic?
The quickest approach would be to get a regular soap and wash it off with warm water. However, it is a good idea to remove the excess polish with a paper towel or napkin before you start washing unless you want to create an even bigger mess.
Just be careful not to spread it even more while doing so. Press the paper towel on the stained area lightly, and then lift it fast as if you just accidentally touched a hot stove.
How Do You Remove Shoe Polish Stains from Plastic?
Removing shoe polish from plastic is easier when compared to suede, clothes, or rubber since it does not absorb liquid as much as other materials do. Mix 1 part of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), and 2 parts of water in a small container.
Get a white fabric towel and soak in the solution. The reason we use fabric material is that the paper versions tend to leave paper residue. Gently rub the stained plastic with the fabric towel. Rinse with cold water afterward.
Make sure you test your cleaning mix on a small corner first to avoid any discoloration or damage on the plastic. In addition, you should remove any excess shoe polish either by scraping with a plastic knife or by lightly pressing a paper towel on the stain.
This step is important to prevent making bigger stains during the rubbing. If the stain is due from a paste shoe polish, then you definitely need to get rid of the extra polish before you start.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of the special properties vinegar has to remove shoe polish stains from plastic. Vinegar is great on salads, but it is also an effective cleaning agent, especially on durable materials. There are many different vinegar remedies for cleaning a variety of household items.
Mix equal parts of cold water and vinegar in a bowl or cup. You can soak a white towel into the solution and rub of the stain. Alternatively, you can spray the solution onto the stained area, and then wipe off with a paper towel. Rinse with cold water and let it air dry.
How Do You Remove Shoe Polish from Rubber?
The rubber parts on the bottom sides of a leather shoe are most vulnerable to shoe polish. They can get stained easily while you are trying to maintain your shoes. It is important not to allow the shoe polish stain to dry. Turn it into a habit to clean immediately while it is still fresh.
For thorough cleaning, start by washing off the stained part with regular soap and warm water. This is usually enough to take out most shoe polish from rubber. Rinse the excess soap with water when you are done.
You are lucky if the shoe polish stain is only in one spot. If there are several stains scattered all over the place, then you need a more detailed cleaning method. Rubbing alcohol is the perfect solution for tough shoe polish stains.
However, always remember to take out the excess polish before you start. Use the plastic knife or paper towel method described above. Do not ever rub the excess polish paste on the stained area with a damp cloth; you would rather feed the monster instead of removing it if you do so.
Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing 1 part of rubbing alcohol and two parts of water to remove shoe polish stain from rubber. Get a white fabric towel and soak in the mix. Make sure you test the mix on a small corner on the rubber in order to avoid damaging it. Being extra cautious never hurts.
If everything looks good then press the soaked towel on the stained areas a few times until nothing comes out on the towel. Now, we get to the best part; it is time to clean the shoe polish stains completely. Mix some regular powdered detergent and water in another bowl.
You must continue to add detergent until you obtain a toothpaste consistency. Feel free to use a toothbrush in order to apply the solution on the rubber. Leave it on the stain for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wipe off with fabric towel. Rinse with cold water afterward, and let the rubber air dry.
How Do You Protect Plastic and Rubber from the Effects of Alcohol?
You must use the right kind of alcohol to protect the plastic and rubber from the effects of alcohol. This is important if you want to keep your rubber and plastic items for longer. Isopropyl is the main ingredient in rubbing alcohol, and it is the best when dealing with plastics and rubbers.
Rubber and plastic both belong to the same family of polymers. They have similar characteristics. However, plastic is always easier to clean and maintain due to its non-absorbent nature, but it is not 100% waterproof.
You can easily damage and shorten the lifespan of rubber and plastic items if you tend to clean them often with rubbing alcohol. It is ok to use it once in a while for cleaning but you should not turn it into a regular thing. Plus, rubber can easily lose its elasticity if exposed to alcohol too much.
A baking soda and water mixture is more appropriate for regular cleaning of these materials. Consider rubbing alcohol for only tough stains. It is an effective solution when it comes to hard to remove stains like shoe polish.