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Rachel Petersen - 9/3/2020

Shoe Rehab -- How to Repair Shoes to Resell

Shoe rehab repair shoes reseller thrifting stain treatment

Shoe rehab -- ever heard of it? Many times as a reseller, one comes across a great pair of shoes, either brand or style, but they are in less than desirable condition. Do you leave them on the store shelf, or snatch them up in hopes of returning them to their former glory?

We tend to think you should grab those shoes. There's a handful to tricks you can use to make them entirely sellable, and it can actually be pretty fun to see the condition improve right in front of you.

But first, you need some tools.

Here's a short list of my go-to shoe repair tools.

Suede/Nubuck Stain Eraser
Shoe Polish
Reshoevn8r Cleaning Kit
Suede/Nubuck Brush
UGG Cleaning Kit
Fabric Comb
Nail Drill

Alright, let's get started.

These men's Nubuck leather Chukka boots had definitely seen better days. Water stains, splotches, rough leather and more. However, the brand was something I knew would sell quickly, and I knew I could make them look much better.

mens shoes thrifted repair water stains

You'd probably pass these up, right?

Nubuck can be a tricky material. It easily shows salt or water stains, can shoe scuffs or scratches and more. The correct cleaner solution is vital to making sure your rehab project works correctly. 

I love using Reshoevn8r cleaner because it is natural based and has never failed me on stains. 

Another angle -- the entire shoe body looked like this.

To recover the beauty of these shoes, I spent about 10 minutes scrubbing them entirely with the Reshoevn8r cleaner and included brush that comes in the kit. 


Scrub the shoes, use a soft rag and clean water to remove the cleaner and gently rinse the shoe. 

Wipe clean and fill the shoe with dry paper towels to allow the shoes a form to dry. 

J Shoes Volunteer Chukkas. Sold for $70 within 24 hours.

Once the shoes are dry, use a suede/nubuck brush to gently brush the nap of the leather and smooth it out. If there are remaining marks or stains, use the Nubuck/Suede eraser block to help smooth these out. 

Contrasting soles (white rubber etc) can be cleaned with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol or acetone nail polish remover. (Be careful with either of these on the shoe body itself -- it will remove any metallic paint/stain)

These shoes looked hopeless, but 10 minutes of work turned them into a $70 sale within 24 hours of listing. 

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Article credit : Rachel Petersen ( )

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