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Liquid dry-cleaning solvent can be purchased separately or as part of a home dry-cleaning kit. Apply a small amount of the solvent to a sponge and gently blot the shoe polish stain. Once the stain has been removed, rinse the area with clean water or club soda. Blot up as much of the water or club soda as possible.
Dishwashing Detergent and Ammonia
Mix 1 tablespoon of mild liquid dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 2 cups of warm water. Apply it to the shoe polish stain using a sponge. Blot carefully to avoid spreading the stain. Once the stain is lifted, rinse the area with clean water or club soda.
Use a spot remover that contains a grease-removing solvent such as trichlorethylene or petroleum naphtha. Spray directly on the stain or apply the spot remover to a sponge and gently blot at the stain. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label. Rinse the stained area with clean water or club soda and blot carefully to dry.
Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 cup of water. Spray the mixture directly on the stain, or apply the cleanser to a sponge and blot carefully at the stain. Once the stain has lifted, rinse the area with clean water or club soda and blot gently to lift out any excess moisture.
Use a citrus solvent directly on the shoe polish stain. You can either spray the citrus solvent directly on the stain or apply it to a sponge and blot carefully at the stain until it lifts. Rinse with clean water or club soda, and blot completely to remove the moisture.
Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
Apply standard household isopropyl rubbing alcohol either directly to the stain or to a sponge and blot at the stain. You do not need to dilute the rubbing alcohol. Once the stain has lifted, rinse the area with clean water or with club soda and blot carefully to remove the excess.
Mix 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and 3 tablespoons of warm water. Apply this mixture directly to the shoe polish stain or to a sponge and blot at the stain. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach certain dyes, so this is a method best suited to lighter-colored rugs. If you are in doubt, test the solution on an inconspicuous area. Rinse thoroughly with clean water or club soda once the stain has lifted.