Remove Scuff Marks or Heel Marks from Flooring

How to Remove Scuff and Heel Marks from Hard Surface Floors.

Getting Scuff and Heel Marks Off Hard Surface Flooring.

Removing Scuff Marks from Hard Surface Floors

Chances are if you have any hard surface flooring in the home, you have or have had, scuff marks (or heel marks).

Scuff marks are black streaks left behind from items with a hard rubber bottom like shoes, some toys, furniture, ladders, etc.

Most often cleaning scuff marks requires more than just a simple mopping but the good news – they’re usually never permanent.

Removing scuff marks from hard surface floors can be accomplished with a few different methods, depending on the type of flooring you have. With a little careful work, you can get your floors clean without causing damage.

Tips to Remove Scuff Marks or Heel Marks

Here are some tips for cleaning scuff marks from floors. Prior to removing marks, clean the area to remove any dirt and debris so you don’t end up with any accidental scratches.

Always test new cleaning methods in an inconspicuous spot first if you have any concerns.

  • You can use products that are petroleum solvent or other solvent based cleaners. Use them as they are directed by the manufacturer.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are really helpful. These are ideal for cleaning up scuff marks on flooring. Wet them, wring them out and gently apply a bit of pressure to the scuff mark, be sure to keep it wet. Rinse thoroughly when finished then dry. This is not recommended for bare or polished wood floors.
  • WD 40 can also help remove scuff marks. Spray the stain, let sit a few minutes then wipe the area up with a clean paper towel. Rinse with clean water.
  • You can also use a large sized pencil eraser on some flooring. These will easily pull off the scuff marks making them easy to remove.
  • Using a tennis ball and applying pressure can also remove marks.
  • For extra tough stains, try using TSP. Use according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should be done carefully and only when you are wearing gloves. Do not use this on any painted surface, wood surface or semi gloss area.

Removing Scuff Marks from Wood Flooding

Hardwood floors are beautiful and can be expensive and some chemicals can damage the seal and cause the wood to become compromised. When using these types of cleaners, follow the directions provided.

Warm Water

If the scuff mark just happened, quite often a rag wet with warm water will do the trick. You can even add a drop of Dawn dish detergent. Rinse with clean water to remove detergent residue and dry.

Pencil Eraser

Carefully using a pencil eraser can be a good tool to removing scuff marks. Gently rub over the mark until gone. Wipe up eraser residue.

Goo Gone

Goo Gone can quickly remove heel marks. Simply apply a little to a clean soft cloth and gently rub until the mark is gone. Rinse the area with a clean rag and water when done.

Removing Scuff Marks on Waxed Floors

If you have waxed floors in your home, you may be able to remove scuff and heel marks just by washing the floor with a little extra pressure.

The tips we suggested above may work or they may not. You can use them only if you actually know they will not damage the wax floor that you have. Here are some additional tips for help in this type of flooring.

  • Make sure to clean up scuff marks and heel marks as soon as possible. They should not be allowed to remain on the floor as they will become harder and harder to actually remove.
  • Use liquid wax, cleaning fluid or turpentine to clean scuff marks. Apply the solution to a terry cloth and then apply to the area.
  • After the stain comes clean, you may need to go back and reseal the floor by waxing it again. This is especially true if the wax is compromised in the process.

Getting Scuff Marks off Linoleum

Linoleum is durable and easy to maintain and removing scuff marks should not be much of a problem.

Baby Oil

Apply baby oil to a clean rag and rub on the mark. Let sit for a few minutes then come back and wipe it away. Rinse when finished.

Tennis Ball

Apply pressure using the tennis ball to remove the scuff mark. You can also try the pencil eraser, WD40, and Goo Gone on linoleum.

Removing Scuff Marks from Tile

As with the other methods listed above, you can try using a pencil eraser, a tennis ball, WD40, and Goo Gone.


Toothpaste may also help remove scuff marks by applying a small amount to a clean cloth and using a small but firm motion to remove the mark. Rinse with clean water when finished to remove toothpaste residue.

Baking Soda

You can make a paste (the consistency of toothpaste) with 2 tablespoons baking soda and warm water. Apply to clean cloth and gently remove scuff mark. Rinse with clean water and dry when finished.

Preventing Future Scuff Marks

Consider using area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to reduce the likelihood of scuff marks and place furniture pads under the legs of heavy furniture to prevent them from scratching the floor.

If you take your time and read instructions you should be successful cleaning scuff marks and heel marks of hard surface floors.

If you have any doubts at all, contact the retailer where you purchased the flooring.