How to Get Oil Out of Nubuck Shoes

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Talcum powder or chalk dust

  • Oil-absorbing block

  • Nubuck cleaner

  • Soft brush


Act quickly. The longer you allow the oil stain to sit, the more difficult it will be to remove.


If the oil stain is severe, do not attempt to remove it on your own. Take your nubuck shoes to a professional leather cleaner.

Nubuck is a soft and velvety leather similar to suede. Not only is it expensive but also easy to damage. It is no wonder that getting an oil or grease stain, such as lotion, onto your new pair of nubuck shoes may seem like a small disaster. The good news is that you may be able to successfully treat these oil or grease stains on your own.

Step 1

Apply a light coating of an oil-absorbing powder over the stain. Jeff Bredenburg, author of "2,001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets," recommends talcum powder or chalk dust as safe for use on nubuck. Allow the shoes to sit for several hours or overnight, then brush the powder off with a soft brush.

Step 2

Use an oil-absorbing block especially made for use on nubuck. This will save you of some of the mess and hassle caused by using a powder. Simply press the oil-absorbing block against the stain. Once you have removed it, use a soft brush to restore the nubuck's nap.

Step 3

Use a nubuck cleaner. The authors of "The Book of Tips" suggest applying the nubuck cleaner directly onto the stain, then brushing the area with a soft brush. For the best results, refer to the instructions on the product's packaging.


Sophie Levant

Sophie Levant is a freelance writer based in Michigan. Having attended Michigan State University, her interests include history classical music, travel, and the German language. Her work has been published at eHow and Travels.