How to polish shoes

A well-polished shoe is not less important than an excellent presentation in a formal meeting. It is said that shoes represent your personality. That means shoes are an important part of your attire. So, you can’t overlook the shiny look of your shoe. You need to acquire a good polishing technique to make it shine. This is the part where we help you by suggesting essential products and guidelines for polishing a shoe efficiently.

Things you will need to polish shoes:

 A wax / cream / liquid polish

 Horsehair Brush for shining

 Shoe Polish applicator

 Cotton Balls

 Soft cloth

 Chamois

 Old toothbrush

Now follow the instructions:

  • The first and foremost part for polishing a shoe is to select the products you are going to use. Different types of Shoe polishes are available in the market. Most of them come in wax form. Rest are available in liquid, spray and cream form. Cream and Wax polishes are better than liquids. They are comparatively thick and protects leather shoes from stains and water damage. But if you are in a hurry, use liquids. Liquids are easy to use and take less time than wax or cream. (Besides,) they dry very quickly.
  • There are different shades of every color. If your shoe is black, use the darkest shade. If you can’t tell the difference between various shades, choose the closest one you can find. But make sure that it is made for polish shoes. Once you use that shade, you will have to use that particular polish in future. Otherwise using different shades each time can fade the color of your shoes. There is also a Neutral Polish available on the market which works on a variety of shades and colors. Try using that if you are facing difficulty finding the perfect shade.
  • Decide whether you want to use an old cotton T-shirt or a polishing brush to apply the wax or cream. It is better to use a soft bristle brush to apply the polishing agent. These brushes come with different shoe polishing kit. But an old t-shirt will also work.
  • A horsehair shoe is must to apply the polish over the shoes equally. It has comparatively softer and longer bristles than the brush mentioned above.
  • You will have to use a soft and lint-free piece of cloth or chamois for a shiny finish. Chamois is a soft piece of leather. You can use a cotton t-shirt as an alternative.
  • Cover the place where you want to polish your shoe. Polish wax can cause a permanent stain on the floor. Use newspaper or a used cloth to cover the floor.
  • Clean your shoes before starting to apply the polish on it. Removing dirt is important. Otherwise, the polish will trap the dirt. Use the horsehair brush to remove the debris and dust. You can also wipe the dirt from the shoes with a cloth. Make sure to remove the laces before start polishing.
  • Dip an old cloth or polishing brush in the polish. Apply the polish to the shoes gently. Make sure you coat the upper evenly. Pay attention while using it in the heel and toe. Don’t forget to keep an old toothbrush near you. It will help you to reach the hard-to-reach areas.
  • After applying the polish in one shoe, keep it aside to dry and start to work on the second one. Give each shoe about 20 minutes to dry. After the first layer of polish dries, add an extra layer of wax over the previous coat of polish for better color. Remember, it’s better to use multiple layers of polish rather than a single heavy layer. Use the minimum amount you need. Don’t use too much polish in one shoe. Otherwise, it will spread bad fragrant all day.
  • Remove excess polish by quick and short strokes with a horsehair brush after the layers get dry. Be careful while doing so. You won’t want to get stains on your shirt. Make sure you brush both sides evenly. You can get a shiny upper once you have finished. Follow the next steps carefully if you want better-polished look than this.
  • Fogging Technique: Some people likes breathing on their shoes as fogging a mirror buffing to enhance the shine. You can do this process on the shoe butler if you have one.

    Spit-Shine Technique: Military personnel uses this technique to make their shoes shine like a mirror. After the base layer of shoe polish, spray some water. Then apply the second coat of polish with an old cloth

    Fire shining technique: Heat the shoe polish until it melts. Use the melted shoe polish for a better and brighter shine. Once you finished applying several layers of shoe polish, heat the surface with a lighter for the glaze. Don’t let the fire touch your shoes. Just heat it with the lighter. After the last coat of polish(,) buff the upper using cotton ball or soft piece of cloth for achieving a glass like shine.

This is how you get the perfect shine and finishing for your shoe. By following the instructions given above in the right order, you can achieve the perfect look for a formal meeting or casual party. So, stop worrying about your shoes because now you know the best way to polish them.

  • Updated June 10, 2017
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