There’s nothing like a crisp, pressed suit combined with newly shined leather shoes. But, it takes some work to keep this smartness up every day. If you don’t keep up with maintenance, your shiny shoes may lose their luster.
If your shoes are looking a little worse for wear, you may be tempted to visit a professional shoe polisher. But, this costs money (sometimes, a lot!) Luckily, there are alternatives, such as learning how to shine your shoes yourself.
Understanding how to shine your own shoes is a crucial skill to have, especially if you’re ever caught off guard by a last-minute occasion. Once you learn how to do this, you’ll realize it’s extremely simple and doesn’t take long at all.
Our helpful guide will help you transform dreary looking shoes into a gleaming pair in no time. Stick around as we cover all you need to know about polishing shoes, such as the materials you’ll need and a step-by-step explanation to advise on which shoes can and cannot be polished.
Polishing Shoes At Home
If you want to keep your shoes stylish and sharp for as long as possible, investing in a variety of excellent shoe polishing tools is a wise investment that will save you both time and money.
The main tools you’ll need are:
- Soft cloths
- A shoe brush
- A leather cleaner
- Shoe polish
To clean and condition your shoes, you will require the use of a cotton, soft cloth. If you have no such cloth, you can use an old T-shirt. Simply cut it into squares or strips and this works just as well.
You should try and use a top-quality horsehair brush. These are great for shoe shining because of their rough, coarse bristles, allowing you to reach into the nooks and crevices of your shoes. Just b e ready to use the brush twice.
The first instance will be for buffing and cleaning the shoes, followed by applying the cleaner.
Using a leather cleaner and conditioner simultaneously can help your shoes look smarter and help them last longer. The cleaner performs exactly what it says on the package, whereas the conditioner keeps your shoes’ leather from getting brittle or breaking.
Of course, you will need good-quality shoe polish to finish the job. This is where you pay close attention to your shoes so they appear like new. You must make sure your wax-based polish color completely matches the color of your shoe.
If not, they will not match with the polish and look even dirtier. This is straightforward for black shoes, but for browns and other colors, you should take your shoes to a store and ask for a color match.
We recommend a wax-based polish since it provides shine and accentuates shoe color. Cream, on the other hand, tends to add no shine.
How To Polish Shoes – Step-By-Step Guide
So, let’s get down to business and start polishing those shoes to bring back their former glory.
First, you need to prepare your shoes. Preparation is essential for efficiently shining your shoes. Remove the shoelaces and place them aside to avoid getting polish on them.
Now, you need to buff and clean your shoes.
Start by buffing any debris or dirt from your shoes with your coarse brush. Before applying any polish, you must ensure that you get into all the nooks and cracks to ensure your shoes are fully cleaned.
Before scrubbing your shoes, moisten your soft cloth, or old T-shirt, a little with water. Use the cloth to clean your laces as well, as dirt can accumulate on them.
Now, it’s time to condition your shoes.
Here, you need to use some leather conditioner to thoroughly clean and prime your pair of shoes. Place a little amount on your soft cloth (or T-shirt), but only enough to spread a thin coating over your shoes. Allow this to soak for about 15 minutes.
This is the business stage! It’s time to polish your shoes.
To polish your shoes, you will need a clean, soft cloth. Apply a thin amount of polish to your rag and begin rubbing it in gently, using circular movements.
Do this until the shoe is entirely covered. If your footwear is still looking dull, apply a second coat before letting it dry for 20 minutes.
Although polish is the best way to brighten shoes, there are various techniques to brighten them without polish. You can use natural chemicals such as olive oil. However, such chemicals have varying degrees of success, as well as failure.
This depends on your shoe’s, though, as well as their reaction to certain ingredients. To be extra cautious, we recommend that you go with store-bought shoe polish.
This penultimate step involves buffering your shoes, once again.
This second buff should be performed after your shoe has been polished, and all treatments have been absorbed. Give your footwear a vigorous scrub, but be extra careful to remove any excess polish. You should notice the shine beginning to show.
Finally, it’s time to polish your shoes to their elegant finish.
This is the most important step in your shoe polishing journey. Do this correctly and you can enjoy a mirror finish.
Using a soft, damp, clean cloth, and a bit of extra polish, press it into your shoes using circular motions. Only use enough to apply another thin coating. Your boots should now be sparkling and bright.
If your shoes are looking rather dull, you can transform them with just a bit of effort. Using the right materials, and a bit of patience, your shoes can look like brand-new. If you do it correctly, you may be able to use them as a mirror!
Let us know if you have any polishing tips below.