You’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about how people should be learning how to shine their shoes. And I agree! It’s an art, and it’s something that can be done at home with just a few materials you probably already have around the house.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about shoe shining so that you can learn how to do it yourself.
Gather Your Supplies & Prep
The first thing you need to do before learning how to shine shoes is to gather your supplies. You’ll need a shoe polishing kit and some polish, but you’ll also want to make sure you have all of the items that will help keep your shoes looking their best.
- Shoe trees
- A good brush (like a suede brush)
- An old toothbrush (for cleaning out the inside of your shoes)
- A bucket or sink full of warm water and dish soap (to clean off your shoes before polishing them)
Remove Dirt & Grime from Your Shoes
The first step in learning how to shine shoes is to start with a clean pair of shoes. This means that you should use a shoe brush or cloth to remove any dirt on your shoes before you begin working on them. You can also use a toothbrush if you feel like it’s necessary.
If your shoes are particularly dirty, dampen them with water first and then gently rub off any grime that remains using a soft cloth or rag. Be careful not to soak or saturate the leather too much. Just get it moist enough so that you can easily wipe off any dirt without damaging the leather’s finish or color!
Remove Old Polish
The first step is to remove any old polish from your shoes. There are a couple of different ways to do this:
- Use a rag, brush or sponge to wipe down the shoe with a small amount of polish remover. Rub hard and rub for a long time; the surface should become shiny and clear of old polish. Wash your hands after this process is complete.
- Use an electric buffer with a soft pad on it to buff off any old waxes or polishes that have accumulated on the surface of your shoe. Again, wash yourself when finished!
Apply the New Polish
Polish is the key ingredient to making your shoes look like they’re brand new. Polish is also essential if you want to get that mirror shine look. So how do you apply polish?
First, rub the shoe with a damp cloth to clean it and remove excess dirt or dust. Then apply the polish to a soft cloth and rub it into the shoe using small circular motions. Make sure not to overdo it, because too much polish will cause your shoes to be sticky and hard to clean later on!
Apply A Neutral Polish to The Entire Shoe.
Begin by applying a neutral polish to the entire shoe and spreading it evenly with your applicator. This will give you a nice base for the rest of your shining process and help you achieve that high-shine look we are going for!
Make sure not to over-apply the polish, as this can lead to messy cleanup later on. If you find yourself with excess product on your applicator, simply wipe it off with a lint-free towel before moving on to the next step.
Brush the Shoes
Now that everything is covered in polish, use a soft brush (like one used for makeup brushes) and gently brush over each surface until all excess polish has been removed from the leather.
This will remove all loose dirt and debris from the shoes. Make sure you brush in all directions, including up and down and back and forth. If there are any hard-to-reach areas, use a toothbrush or an old toothbrush head to clean them.
You can also use a shoe brush if it is available for this purpose. However, make sure that you do not use too much pressure when using the brush because it may damage the leather of your shoes. This will help ensure that all areas are protected against wear and tear, which means longer-lasting results without having to reapply as often!
Give Some Extra Love to the Toe and Heel
When you’re shining your shoes, don’t just stop at the leather. The toe and heel can also be polished to a shine, and they’ll look sharp when they’re done.
First, polish the toe with a shoe brush and then apply polish to it with a small cloth or cotton ball. You can also use a polishing brush on the edges of the toe cap if you prefer. Using circular motions, buff the polish into the edge of the cap until it matches its color with that of its surroundings.
Once you’ve finished polishing the toe cap, move onto the heel. Use an old toothbrush to get into all those nooks and crannies—you’ll be amazed at how much better your shoe looks after doing this! And as an added bonus: it’ll make it easier for you to grab onto things when walking around barefoot (if that’s something you do).
Repeat Until Shoe is Shiny Like a Mirror
Now that your shoe is clean, you can begin polishing it. There are many different kinds of shoe polishes out there on the market today, but we recommend using an acrylic-based polish for best results. Make sure to get some on the brush before starting this step!
Holding your shoe in one hand and shining it with the other will help you avoid getting polish all over yourself! Start by brushing up from the bottom of your shoe towards its toe box area—this will help remove any loose dirt particles from your shoes’ soles too!
Repeat this step until both sides of each shoe are completely coated with polish (you should see them shine!)
Note: Buffing is Key
To get a high shine you’ll want to use a cloth or rag and rub vigorously over all areas of the shoes that you’ve applied dark polish, this is known as buffing.
Rubbing vigorously in circular motions will lift the polish off of your shoe and create a brilliant shine. This is how people get their shoes so shiny that they can see their reflection in them!
Put On Your Shoes!
Now, you can put on your shoes and enjoy the shine. If you’re having trouble putting on your shoes, use a shoe horn to help guide them onto your feet. You can also use a shoe tree to keep your shoes looking good and prevent them from deforming over time.
You Can Do It Yourself!
Shoe shining doesn’t need to be as expensive or complicated as many people think, and you don’t even have to go to a professional. You can learn how to do it yourself at home with a little research and practice—and save money in the process.
Be Your Own Shoe Shiner Today!
You now have all the necessary tools to become an adept shoe shiner. The only thing that remains to be seen is how well these tools will serve you when you put them into practice. Mastering your craft is a worthwhile endeavor, and it is this focus that makes it all worthwhile in the end.