How to Remove Rubber Turf Marks From Soccer Shoes

Dirty black leather football soccer boots on white

Though artificial rubber surfaces provide an even and streamlined playing field, the leather uppers of your soccer cleats may still suffer from scuffs and marks. Taking care of your cleats, which includes removing turf marks, can keep your soccer shoes looking their best throughout the season. There are numerous techniques for removing scuffs from leather uppers; it may take trying two or three different methods before finding the one that works best for your particular pair of shoes.

Wipe off any scuffs on the soccer shoes with a dry, clean white cloth immediately following the game or practice session. Some turf marks will be light or superficial and will easily come off right away. Store the cleats in a mesh bag for the ride home; the mesh allows airflow, which helps the shoes air out and breathe during transport.

Clean the darker or more severe marks on the cleats as soon as you return home. Delaying the cleaning process can cause the dirt and turf to set into the leather, making it more difficult to remove the marks.

Stroke a pencil eraser or artist's eraser gently over the rubber turf marks. This method works best with light or superficial marks. Rub the marks softly to avoid removing a layer of material on the shoes. If that doesn't work, move on to the next step.

Dampen a clean cloth with warm water. Rub the wet rag over the scuffs on the soccer shoes until the marks are gone. If the marks are still visible, grab a toothbrush.

Scrub the marks with a toothbrush and a small amount of non-gel toothpaste to clean the shoes. Rub the spot gently using a circular motion until the marks are gone. Wipe the toothpaste off of the shoes with a clean, wet cloth.

Cover the marks with shoe polish or refinishing spray if no other methods have removed the scuffs from the shoes. Stuff the shoes with newspaper to keep the insides dry. Apply the polish or spray as directed by the manufacturer. Use thin coats of polish or spray for an even finish. Allow the shoes to dry between coats.


Use a toothbrush to remove mud and dirt from the studs and blades.


Avoid placing the soccer shoes in the sun to dry. Sun drying can cause the leather to crack and shorten the life of the cleats.