How to polish your shoes properly in the correct way?

When I first time went to the hostel, my mom called me and asked me that do I know, How to polish my shoes? Since I was not aware, therefore I searched a number of resources and applied polish to my shows. My shoes became shiny and like new. Following are steps to polish your shoes.

  1. Remove the dirt and dust from the shoes using old towel or some cloth.
  2. Apply polish using a swab cloth or a horse hair brush.
  3. Apply polish inside the grove of upper and sole using tooth brush.
  4. Apply second and third layers to get the required shade on the shoes.
  5. Buff the shoes using soft cloth or soft horsehair brush.
  6. Apply some water spry on the cloth for buffing to get good shine.

Polished and clean shoes always give a good impression of your personality. Therefore always use neat and clean shoes. However, keeping the shoes clean and shiny is not possible, especially if your way on whom you go is not clean. So it is a good habit to clean and polish your shoes each day before leaving your home. Shoe polishing and cleaning increase the life of your shoes, so keep shining your shoes so that they are long lasted.

What do you need to polish your shoes?

For polishing your shoes you need following supplies.

  • soft cloth
  •  horsehair brush
  • Wax/cream/liquid polish
  • old newspaper.

There are three types of shoe polish i.e. wax, cream and liquid form. Wax and cream based polish are heavier and they protect the shoe from water damage. However, if want to polish your shoes quickly, then you can opt liquid polishes, however, they don’t give a life lasting effect to shoes. There are different brands of shoe polishes. You can opt from the list shown below. Our best bit suggestion in case of show polish is kiwi shoe polish. {you can paste shoe polish types over here from amazon}

Steps of shoe polishing:

Following are the basic steps of shoe polishing.

Shoe cleaning process:

First step is to clean the shoe from dust, dirt or any other stains which can be removed. If your shoe is not dirty and there is only dust, then you can clean it using the soft cloth. You can gently remove the dust with help of cloth only. However, if there is dirt on your shoes, you have to remove it by a plastic brush. After removing the dirt, there will be only dust which you can remove accordingly.

Polish applying process:

                Before applying the polish, it is a good practice to unlace your shoes so that you can apply polish in a very good way. If you don’t unlace the shoes, then your laces will be ruined and your shoe surface beneath the laces will not be polished. Once you have unlaced the shoes, then take a small amount of polish on the soft cloth and apply it in a circular way on the shoe surface. Please apply polish quantity in a way so that there is no layer left on the shoe otherwise it will be making stains on your cloths. Further, the line between the sole and the top area of the shoe need some way to apply the polish inside the grove. For this purpose if the grove is deep then you can apply the polish using an old tooth brush. Please note that the most worn areas of your shoes will require more polish ie heal and toe. Wait for a while so that the first layer of the shoe polish becomes dry. Then apply another layer of the shoe polish accordingly. You can apply further layers of the polish if you want to acquire deep color. once the polishing process is completed, you can remove extra polish from the surface of the shoes your hard stroke of the brush.  I forgot to mention that kindly cover the inside of the shoe by placing a piece of old newspaper, so that pieces of polish, dust and dirt are caught by the piece of the newspaper. It is further advisable to place a newspaper sheet on the surface of the floor or table on which this polishing process is being carried on.

Shining process:

Now it’s the time to shine your shoes. Just apply the soft cloth strokes on the shoe and the shoe will start shining. You can have another horse hair soft brush which will be only for the purpose of shining only. You can apply some water spray on the shoe for best results. Your shoes are shining and are just like new.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good brands of shoe polish?

Though there are a number of brands available in the market offering good quality of shoe polish. Following are the well-known brands.

Kiwi shoe polish: It is one of the well-known brands, offering good quality shoe polish. This polish can be purchased from almost all retail stores. It is a budget option. A shoe polish kit is also available from this brand.

Saphir: Saphir is known as one of the best quality shoe polish. It can be purchased from a good retail store.

Allen Edmonds: It is a quality shoe polish and is a bit expensive from kiwi and Saphir.

Should I buy a show shining kit?

If you are beginner and have not polished shoes previously, then I would suggest you to buy a shoe polishing kit which is available from most of the brands. The shoe polishing kit consists of all the required supplies required for shoe polishing.

How to remove old polish from the shoes?

Dip an old cloth in alcohol or acetone and rub it in a circular way on the shoe  surface. You can wait for a while after application of alcohol to the shoe. Rubbing of cloth on the shoe surface will soon start polish removing. You will see it on the surface of the cloth if it is white color.

How much time it take to shine my shoes?

Simple shoe polishing can be done in 5 minutes. However, if you want to have a great shine, then you require time after each layers of polish and thus it may take from 1 to 2 hours.

How many layers of polish should I apply?

The shoe after polish should  be giving a glossy wax look, for which you need at least three layers. Time must be given between each layer for its drying process. After drying for a few minutes, you can apply cotton cloth for glossy shining.

What is the difference in shoe cream and shoe wax?

A wax polish is for shine purpose basically while a cream in the polish serves the purpose of nourishment and recoloring.

How long the polish will last?

It greatly depend on the way you use your shoes. If you are using your shoe in an office environment then the shoe shine will remain for a day, however, if you using your shoe out door then the shine may disappear in  minutes if the environment is dusty and dirty.

How long should shoe polish dry before buffing?

15 minutes

The shoe polish normally take 15 minutes to dry at the average. You can give it more time for good results, however 15 minutes are enough.

how often should you polish your shoes?

Once a week

However, it greatly depend on your usage. In office environment you just have to apply a soft cloth every day for its shine. However, in case of dusty and dirty environment you have to apply polish more often.

should you polish new shoes?


Because new shoes have received just a warmish coat and it is always a best practice to apply  a polish coat before using.

how to polish shoes without shoe polish?

If you don’t have polish and shoes need it. You can do one of the following hacks.

  1. Olive oil is a good alternative. Just apply olive oil on shoes after cleaning it and buff it gently.
  2. After eating, banana, you can use its peel for shoe polishing.
  3. You can use petroleum jelly for this purpose as well.

How do you soften old shoe polish?

Using the double boiler method, heat up the polish pot gently, till it melts.

How do you make homemade shoe polish?

You can use one part of lemon juice and two parts of olive oil for making a home-made shoe polish.

Is shoe polish edible?

Shoe polish is made of some toxic ingredients which is not good for health. It can be absorbed by the skin. Some shoe manufacturer claims that their shoe polish is non-toxic. However, care should be taken while applying shoe polish. It is a good practice to use gloves while applying shoe polish.

How do you polish cloth shoes?

  1. Clear the surface of the cloth shoes from dirt and dust using some small horsehair brush.
  2. Mix dishwashing liquid in water and apply it using a tooth brush to remove any stains
  3. Apply normal water using a clean tooth brush.
  4. Wait to dry.

How to clean inside of shoes?

Apply some detergent liquid inside the shoes with the help of tooth brush. Then wipe out the inside with the help dry cloth.  Wait for some time for drying the shoes.

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