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How To Polish Leather Shoes

How To Polish Leather Shoes

Polish Leather Shoes. Is your footwear looking a little worse for wear? Have a quick look at our expert led guide to getting your leather shoes looking as good as new.

You Will Need

  • 1 shoe polish
  • 2 shoe brushes
  • 1 soft cloth
  • old newspapers
  • 1 nail brush
  • 1 sponge
  • some water
  • some rubber glue
  • shoe trees
  • 1 crepe rubber/ pencil eraser

Step 1: Clean

First put down some newspaper and remove the laces . This makes the shoes easier to polish.

If your shoes are a bit dirty, brush off any mud with an old nail brush. Wipe with a damp sponge if the the dirt is not lifting.

If your shoes are very dirty clean with some water. Work all the way around from toe to heel, covering the side of the soles as well.

Then leave to dry naturally.
Only polish shoes that are absolutely dry, damp shoes won't absorb the polish in the same way.

Step 2: Deal with scuffs and scratches before polishing

If the leather has lifted and torn, repair with a thin layer of rubber based glue under the tear. Leave it to dry of a few seconds, then smooth the leather back over.

Roll the side of a pen over the tear to completely smooth it back into place. This will create a better finish than if you use your fingers.

Remove any excess glue by rubbing with a little crepe rubber or an ordinary pencil eraser.

If there are any deep scratches, fill with a little wax polish before the next stage

Step 3: Wax on

Shoe polish is available in wax or cream. Always go for wax as it is more durable. Take a brush and circle it around the edge of the tin picking up a little on the bristles. Don't scoop it out from the middle, as it will dry out, wasting the polish at the side.

Apply the polish by rubbing in small circular motions. Work your way around until the whole shoe is covered. Then leave them, allowing the shoes to absorb the polish. The longer you leave them the better - ideally overnight.

Step 4: Wax off

To get the wax off, use the bigger softer brush to remove excess polish from the shoes. Work with a rapid back and forth action to buff the leather. You will see that the shoes gradually begin to shine. The more you work them, the shinier they will be.

Step 5: Bulling

If you want to create a really high shine, dip a soft cloth into the polish then apply to the shoe in small circles. This is called bulling. Keep working, the longer you rub the higher the shine. Then use the second, soft brush to buff.

Step 6: Re-lace

Thread into the two bottom holes and pull the laces level. Next weave the laces up through alternate holes so that the outer lace is always laying horizontally. This will stop the laces rubbing across each other, and also give an even pull.

To prevent your laces from coming undone, tie in a normal bow, then use one lace-end to tie a simple knot around one of the bows. This will secure it, but still be easy to untie when you want

Step 7: Maintenance

When not wearing your shoes, try to keep them on a shoe tree. This will stop the vamps, the part at the front of your shoes from becoming creased.

You should aim to polish your shoes very well at least once a month, then they will only need a quick brush before each wearing.