How to Shine Shoes with Yuya Hasegawa of Brift H
How to Shine Shoes
Well-shined shoes are an essential accessory to any sharp outfit, and will make a good impression when you walk into a room. There are several methods of shining shoes -- from a simple buffing with a chamois cloth, to military-style spit shining, to dare-devilish fire shining. Read below to find out which method appeals to you.
Simple Polish and Shine
Gather your shoe shining supplies.Properly shining your shoes will require certain supplies, which you can purchase altogether in a specialized shoe shining kit or you can piece together individually. The non-negotiable you will need include a tin of shoe polish, a horsehair shoe brush and a soft cloth.
- Tins of shoe polish are available in a variety of colors, from browns to blacks to neutrals. Try to get a polish that's as close to the original color as possible.
- Polishes are also available in both wax and cream varieties; cream polishes feed the leather and make it more supple, whereas wax polishes make the shoes more water resistant. If possible, get a tin of each and alternate between the two with every second polish.
- The soft cloth can be a specialized buffing cloth, such as a chamois or "shammy", or just an old t-shirt.
- Optional extras include a polishing brush (used to apply the polish), a toothbrush or some cotton buds, sole dressing and a leather cleaner and conditioner.
Prepare your work space.It is important to prepare your work space so you can avoid getting shoe polish on any furniture or flooring. Shoe polish can be extremely difficult to remove, so you don't want it anywhere but on your shoes.
- Lay down some newspaper or old paper bags on the floor or work surface and grab a cushion or pull up a comfortable chair -- shoe shining can take some time.
- If you're planning on doing a very thorough job on your shoes, it is probably best to remove the laces before you polish. This way you can easily get at the tongue.
Clean the shoes to remove any dirt.Before you begin polishing, rub down the surface of each shoe with your horsehair brush or a dampened cloth to remove any dirt, dust, salt or other debris. This is important, because if any debris is left on the surface of the shoes it might scratch the shoes as you polish.
- Leave the shoes to dry completely before moving on the next stage.
- If the shoes are very dirty or worn out looking, you may want to clean them more thoroughly using a leather cleaner and conditioner before polishing.
Apply the shoe polish.Using an old t-shirt or polishing brush apply an even layer of polish to the surface of the first shoe. Use a circular motion to really work the polish into every part of the shoe. Pay extra attention to the toe and heel, which may need an extra layer of polish as these areas tend to get the most wear.
- If you are using an old t-shirt or cloth for this step, try to wrap the cloth tightly around your hand and use your index and middle finger to work the polish into the shoe.
- You may also want to shine the section of the sole between the heel and toe which doesn't touch the ground, as this may be visible as you walk.
- Use a toothbrush or cotton bud to work the polish into hard-to-reach areas, such as the edges of the upper and the crevices in the vamp.
- Once you have finished polishing the first shoe, set it aside on the newspaper and begin the same process with the second shoe. Allow each shoe to dry for about 15 minutes before moving onto the next step.
Remove the excess polish with a shoeshine brush.Once the polish is dry, you can begin to remove the excess with your horsehair shoeshine brush. Brush the entire shoe vigorously, using short, even strokes. Remember that the movement should come from your wrist, not your elbow.
- This step is necessary to remove the extra polish, while the heat generated from the quick strokes helps the rest of the polish to sink in.
- While an old t-shirt or cloth can be used for most of the steps in the shoe shining process, a proper shine brush is necessary for this particular step, and cannot be replaced by anything else.
- Make sure to use a different brush for each color of polish. Otherwise you run the risk of adding the previous color to the current shoe. Especially when the previous polish is darker than the current.
- You may want to use a clean cotton bud or toothbrush or cotton bud again at this point to remove any extra polish from cracks and crevices.
Buff the shoes with a cloth.The final step in the polishing and shining process is to take an old (clean) t-shirt or chamois cloth and buff the shoes until you achieve a high shine. Use a brisk side-to-side motion for buffing -- this may be easier to do using a shine butler or while actually wearing the shoe.
- Some people advise breathing onto the toe of the shoe (like you would do to fog a mirror) before buffing to add extra shine.
- If you like, you can also apply a sole dressing to the outside edges of the sole to give them a nice shine, but this is completely optional.
Prep the shoes and apply the first layer of polish.The first steps involved in spit shining shoes are the same as above. First, you will need to clean the shoes with a damp cloth or horsehair brush to remove any dirt and debris. Then you will apply the first layer of polish using a cloth or polishing brush, using small circular motions to really work the polish into the leather.
- Allow the polish to dry for about 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Dip a cloth or cotton ball into water.Spit shining involves using a damp cloth or cotton ball to apply successive layers of polish. If using a cloth, make sure to wrap it tightly around your hand, with the index and middle fingers covered by the material. Dip your cloth-covered fingers or a cotton ball into a dish of of water until wet but not dripping.
- The water is used to prevent the polish from sticking to the cloth and encourage it to stay on the shoes instead.
- Some people prefer to use rubbing alcohol instead of water.
Buff the shoes.Pick up a shoe and begin buffing the first layer of dried polish using the damp cloth or cotton ball. Work slowly, using small circular motions to really work the polish into the shoe. Spit shining is all about finesse, not speed.
- Work from the toe to the heel, doing one side of the shoe at a time.
- Move onto the second shoe once the first has developed a nice even shine.
Dip the cloth into water again and apply a second layer of polish.When you have finished buffing and the shoes are completely dry, dip the cloth or cotton ball into the water again and wring out until just damp. Use this dampened material to apply a second light layer of polish to the surface of the shoes, using the same thorough technique as before.
- After this second polish, you should begin to see a hazy shine developing on the surface of the shoe.
Continue to apply additional light layers of polish to the shoes with a wet cloth, until you achieve the desired shine.The surface of the shoes should be perfectly smooth and even, with a glass-like shine.
- It is very important that you apply multiple light layers as opposed to just one or two thick layers -- this allows each successive layer to build on the previous one, giving spit shined shoes their mirror-like finish.
- If you like, you can use a chamois or an old t-shirt to give the shoes one final buff before wearing, though this may be unnecessary.
Clean the shoes.Before fire shining your shoes, you will need to remove any dirt or debris using a damp cloth or horsehair brush. This will prevent the surface of the shoes from becoming scratched while polishing. Some people will also use a technique known as "stripping" before doing a fire shine, which basically involves removing any previous coatings of polish from the shoes. To strip your shoes:
- Apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol to each shoe and work it into the surfaces using a cotton cloth. You should notice previous layers of polish rubbing off onto the cloth.
- It may take some time to complete this process and get the surface of the shoes evenly stripped, but it will be worth it for shoes so shiny you'll be able to see your reflection in them!
Ignite the shoe polish with a lighter.Now comes the fun part. Open your can of shoe polish (most regular brands of shoe polish will work fine) and hold it upside down, over a cigarette lighter. Turn on the lighter and allow the surface of the polish to catch fire. Quickly turn it right side up so none of the melting polish drips onto the floor.
- Allow the polish to burn for a couple of seconds, then extinguish the flame by blowing it out or carefully replacing the lid.
- When you reopen the tin, the surface of the polish should be melted and gooey.
- Beextremely carefulwhen using this method of shoe shining. Fire is dangerous and can cause burns. It may be best to wear a glove while doing this, and have a bucket of water close by in case of emergencies.
Apply the melted polish to the shoes with a dampened cloth.Wrap an old t-shirt around your hands and dip it into a cup of warm water until wet but not dripping. Dip this wet cloth into the melted polish and start applying it to the shoes, using small circular motions.
- Take your time and try to really work the polish into the shoes in a smooth, even layer. Don't forget to work the polish into any hard-to-reach cracks or crevices.
- If you need more polish, or if the cloth becomes too dry, dip it in the water and polish again.
Continue to apply light layers of polish until the shoes begin to shine.Depending on the shoes, you may need to add multiple layers of polish to achieve the desired shine. Use the same technique each time, dipping the damp cloth into the melted polish and working it evenly into the shoes.
- Remember that it's better to use multiple light layers of polish than one or two thick ones.
- Make sure that you let each additional layer of polish dry completely before moving onto the next. Shoe shining requires a lot of patience.
Heat the surface of the shoes with a lighter or hair dryer.This step is completely optional, but will really help to add shine to your shoes. Take your lighter (or hairdryer set to high heat) and run the flame over the entire surface of the shoe.
- The flame should never actually touch the shoe, but should be close enough to allow the polish to melt.
- Never hold the flame over one spot, or it will burn the leather. Keep it moving constantly, as if spray painting. Stop once the polish has melted slightly and the surface of the shoes look wet.
- Set the shoes aside for 15 to 20 minutes until the melted polish has dried.
Apply a final layer of polish.You can now apply one final layer of polish, using the same technique as before. Your shoes should be extremely shiny by now, almost glass-like in appearance. If you want, you can use a chamois or any clean, lint-free cloth to give the shoes one last buff.
QuestionHow can I shine shoes without polish?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo make your shoes shine without polish, you can use water or a dry cotton. But remember if you clean with water; your shoes might get damaged.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get salt stains off leather?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry shaving cream. Some recommend it for almost anything, from carpet stains to concrete, and even to cleaning military weapons.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I shine shoes with cherry blossom polish?Ultimate JakeCommunity AnswerIf you want to shine with cherry blossom polish, get cotton wool, your polish, water, and a brush (optional to build up layers to polish). Apply a few layers with the cotton, water and polish. On the cotton you should have water and polish. Use your skin to test the amount of polish: rub the cotton with polish on your wrist until you have a faint amount of polish not an incredibly intense color. Rub the polish on the edge of where you are polishing once and use it to move through the middle.Thanks!
QuestionCan you use oil to shine shoes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but be aware that this may discolor the shoe. Clean the shoe first, then apply a light coating of oil (such as olive oil, walnut oil, or vegetable oil). Use a soft cloth to rub the oil into the shoe and to wipe off any reisude.Thanks!
QuestionCan you use petroleum jelly to shine shoes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but it can discolor the shoe. Clean the leather first, then apply a light coat of petroleum jelly. Rub it in with a soft cloth to polish the leather and remove the excess product.Thanks!
What is the oil they use on the shoe shine sponge
How do you polish shoes with liquid polish?
What are the other things to used to make our shoes shine?
- In between polishing the shoes, a quick brushing will restore the shine and remove the dust and grime that accumulates when walking.
- If you have many shoes of various colors, you might want to purchase neutral polish instead of investing in so many colors.
- Silicone sponges used continually instead of polishes can build up and cause a haze to develop. Use only on trips or occasionally.
- Use matching liquid shoe polish on the outside and upper soles of the shoes as well as the leather heels.
- 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.
- 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 cream polishes, so use accordingly.
- Another way you can shine shoes in a pinch is with a banana.
- 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 spot them.
- In a hurry? Instant polish gives a shine that sometimes looks even better then the old-fashioned way.
- Don't use a brush on your shoe. It is bad for the leather.
- The basic shoe shining technique is effective for basic dress 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.
- Shoe polish is messy, so put down some newspaper to protect the surface under your shoe shining effort.
Things You'll Need
Liquid or wax polish
Storage box for supplies
Sources and Citations
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