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How to Get Rid of Scuff Marks

Jun 13, 2008
Removing Scuff Marks from Hard Floors

If you have hard flooring anywhere in your home, you probably have some scuff marks. These scuff marks are the remnants of hard rubber or plastic items that were ground into the surface of the floor - usually the result of dark-soled shoes or the rubber feet of chairs, walkers or step ladders. At first glance cleaning these things may seem like a real pain, but with the right strategy they really are quite easy.

Before trying any of the following methods, check the care instructions for your particular type of flooring to make sure that it won't become damaged or discolored.

Fight Rubber with Rubber

If the scuff is small and light, and the floor is not too porous, you may be able to get the scuff out with a regular rubber pencil eraser.

For scuffs that resist regular erasers, there are commercial 'scuff erasers' available which are essentially just regular erasers made from a harder rubber - but there's no need to buy one of these as long as you have some tennis shoes laying around. Grab an old tennis shoe and then while applying as much force as possible, press and twist the sole of the shoe into the scuff. With enough force the scuff should come right up - putting the shoe on and grinding your heel into it is the easiest way to do this (see below).

Cleaners and Solvents

If grinding the sole of an old tennis shoe into the scuff still won't remove it then there are plenty of chemical alternatives that should do it for you:

* Baking Soda Scrub: Make a paste out of baking soda and water and use that to scrub the scuff out. * GooGone: Products like GooGone and adhesive removers will break down the rubber, making it easier to clean. Be careful using products like this on granite and hardwood floors. * Lighter Fluid: Scrub with a clean, white towel dipped in a little naptha (lighter fluid). * Toothpaste: Oddly enough, scrubbing with toothpastes can also do the trick.

Have another method of removing scuff marks? Add it here using the form below!
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