How to Shine Those Shoes!
Gather your shoe shining
supplies (see the Things You'll Need below).
Stock up at a drug store, a shoe store, or shoe
repair shop. Buy liquid and wax shoe polish in the
color of your shoes. Wax takes a bit longer to use,
but it gives a much better finish and a higher
Brush the shoe briskly
to remove any loose dirt.
Apply the polish. If
using the liquid shoe polish, glide it over the
shoe. When using the can of wax polish, a puff is
included inside the can for you to use. Apply the
polish in circular motions till the shoe looks
Let the shoe dry.
Brush the shoe with
the larger brush in a side-to-side fast action.
Make sure you shine the entire shoe, sides and back
Buff the shoe with the
soft cloth on the front in a brisk back and
forth motion, until it shines. Do the same with the
back of the shoe. The sides are more difficult, so
use a brisk wiping motion with one hand instead.
When both shoes are buffed, set them in front of
you and see how nice they look.
Put all your shoe shining
supplies in one location, preferably in a box
that holds them neatly together, so that
everything's ready for the next time.
Method This requires polish, water, shoes, and a
Add a little bit of water to
the cloth and clean the shoes of dirt and old
Apply a drop of water and a
tap of polish to the rag and spread in a circular
motion, evenly coating the dry shoe. (Not too much
on one side)
Once the polish has been
added, gently massage the shoe with a damp
Repeat steps 2-3 several
times. Be sure to be gentle, and patient.
If you have many shoes of
various colors, you might want to purchase neutral
polish instead of investing in so many
In between polishing the
shoes, a quick brushing will restore the shine and
remove the dust and grime that accumulates when
Use the wax for a heavier
shine, and in between the liquid will do. The wax
preserves the shoes, and will not allow the rain to
You can achieve an even
better shine with most waxes by applying them with
a wet cotton ball or bit of cotton waste, squeezed
almost dry. With the harder waxes (Kiwi, for
example) an adequate finish can then be achieved
with the brush alone. Softer ones require the
buffing cloth and spit-shining--which really isn't
worth the trouble once you've mastered the cotton
ball method. On well-maintained shoes, a good shine
can take as little as three or four minutes.
Use matching liquid shoe
polish on the outside and upper soles of the shoes
as well as the leather heels.
Shoe polishes contain
alcohol. Leather is no different than your skin. If
you put alcohol on it, the alcohol will dry it out
and continual use will lead to cracking. There is
more alcohol in liquid and hard waxes than in creme
polishes, so use accordingly.
Polishes build up on leather
(and may cause a haze to develop) so it is best to
occasionally use a saddle soap and leather
conditioner to clean the leather.
Silicone sponges used
continually instead of polishes can build up and
cause a haze to develop. Use only on trips or
Shoe polish is messy, so put
down some newspaper to protect the surface under
your shoe shining effort.
This technique is effective
for basic good looking shoes, but for a real "hard"
or "military" shine, using a brush and buffing
cloth will actually make your shoes worse. A hard
shine can only be achieved by spit-shining (more
often water than spit as spit is bad for the
polish) or fire shining.
Liquid or wax polish
Storage box for supplies