Shortly after I got home from visiting Dad in Perham, my daughter Erin pointed out the white scuff marks on my patent leather Chelsea boots. Backstory: She’s famous for being the member of the BK EK Consulting Team who spots stains, scuffs, and snags in clothes when we’re doing closet work with our clients. She’s got a visual spotlight that we’ve all come to appreciate. “This needs to go to the cleaners,” she’ll say. Sometimes the stains are tougher, and she’ll pronounce a garment unsuitable for wearing, except for in the garden—at midnight—on a full moon.
So when she put that spotlight of hers on my boots, I knew I had to deal with them pronto.
Taking advice from Miss Stain Remover
“I don’t know what to do,” I said.
“Oh, this is easy,” she said. “Just use hairspray on it and it’ll take it right out.”
Erin talks fast. It came out more like this: “Justusehairsprayandit’lltakeitrightout.”
She’s so matter-of-fact about it. She makes it sound easier than getting chocolate off the back of your jeans because you were eating chocolate while driving the car and crumbles got under your butt—something else she detects.
I needed a tutorial for cleaning the scuff marks off of patent leather
Was I ready to try this hairspray trick on my own? Nope. Too much responsibility. I wanted her to show me exactly what she does and not in a rush. Do you want to guess how long I carried these boots, a travel size can of hairspray and a clean rag around with me in the trunk of my car? Maybe three weeks! It’s hard to snag moments with her at the end of the day. She’s a very busy person. The booties and the Rx for the scuffs remained packaged together in the trunk.
But when we went down to Los Gatos for a couple of days, I knew I’d have her full attention. I also figured our client would like to see the demonstration as well, because she’s got patent leather shoes in her closet.
I brought out the boots. Do you see those white lines? They sort of look like thin chalk marks. They show up brightly in the right light.
I’ll be honest: I’ve noticed them there. My solution has been to look away. But if Erin says they can disappear, I’m all for it!
Why am I so nervous watching her apply the hair spray to the cloth?
Next she uses her index figure to rub the dampened cloth across the marks. She did this for about 30 seconds.
Then she showed me the boot. It looked so much cleaner! I mostly have the marks on one boot, but she treated them both.
See how shiny they look?
I let out a big sigh of relief. I’d been holding my breath! I love these boots. Did I think they were going to disintegrate or something? I put my The Office of Angela Scott patent Chelsea boots back on my feet and looked down. Such an improvement! I’m ready to put my three feet forward with pride. Oh wait, that’s Sophie’s paw. “Sophie, you’re in the after picture!”
Next Syd decided to walk all over my feet.
Now that I’ve seen this patent leather cleaning trick with my own eyes, I won’t be afraid to use it next on the white scuffs on my Burgundy AGL patent leather oxfords. Hairspray: it’s a wonderful thing.
Another nifty thing to know about hairspray: One day I wowed Erin and another client with my own hairspray trick. It’s where you use hairspray and a cloth to remove red lipstick (could be any shade) from a cashmere sweater. If you want to learn how hairspray saved a cashmere sweater, here you go!
What do you think? Would you try this trick? For some reason, I have a feeling you know another trick or two that you’d like to share with us. Have you removed something from something that you thought might be impossible to do? Give us all the details!