How to Shine Your Shoes (2)
Shining the shoes takes a few simple steps, but the interval between those steps can vary depending on drying times and setting times for the products involved. Even with the wait time in between the steps, the results are always worth the effort involved.
Use your shoe brush to remove dirt, and dust from the surface of your shoes. If you have substances like dried mud on your shoes, you may want to take them outside and carefully tap the soles and sides against a solid surface to knock such things loose. After that, follow with the brush to remove loose dirt and dust, then use a damp cloth to finish the cleaning step.
Remember that you want to avoid making the shoes any wetter than absolutely necessary, since you need to make sure the leather is completely dry. If you’ve needed to use enough moisture that you leave the leather feeling damp, allow the shoes to dry fully before you continue.
Apply your shoe polish in a thin, even coating all over the shoes, using a circular motion. If you have a difficult time reaching into creases, seams and crevices with your applicator, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reach these areas.
Allow the polish to dry on the shoes for at least 15 minutes (or according to package directions if longer). The result should be a dull-looking finish at this stage.
Use your shoe brush again to remove the excess (now dried) polish. Obviously, the object isn’t to completely remove the polish, but to make sure that the polish is thinly and evenly spread over the leather surface. Then, take a soft cloth and buff the shoes using small, circular motions to a glossy shine.
The result should be a gleaming finish that makes the shoes look like new.
Polishing in a Pinch
Okay, so sometimes you find yourself needing to polish your shoes, but you don’t have products specific to the purpose. You may be traveling and not have your shoe shine supplies with you, and it’s not really practical to go out and buy a whole new kit. Whatever the reason you need to “make do”, there are a number of things you can use to polish your shoes in a pinch that you can find in most households.
I know that the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of banana peels and shoes is the pratfall comedies where someone slips on a peel left on the floor. But the interior of a banana’s peel contains extremely emollient fruit oils that make it a wonderful polish and conditioner for leather.
Simply use a damp cloth to remove any dust and dirt then rub the shoes with the inside of the banana peel. Finish it off using a dry cloth to buff the shoes to a shine.
Lemon and Olive Oil
Take one-half teaspoon of lemon juice and add three drops of olive oil to it. Use a small piece of cotton cloth and apply the mixture all over the shoes. Use a dry cloth to buff the mixture into a smooth look.
The mixture of lemon and olive oil helps break-down wax built-up from previous polishing, and redistributes it to aid in the polishing effort.
A good “quick-fix” for polishing your shoes in a pinch is petroleum jelly. Rub a little petroleum jelly onto the shoes with a cotton cloth, and buff it to a high shine using a dry cloth. The petroleum jelly is great for softening leather and preventing cracking. It also helps to provide extra moisture protection in damp weather.
How to choose and combine shoes