How to Polish Shoes

You don't have to know how to get them Army-regulation shiny, but you should have some basic training.

You will need

  • Newspaper
  • A shoe brush
  • Clean rags
  • Shoe polish that matches your shoes
  • And a lighter or matches
  • A mild cleanser
  • like saddle soap
  • And a shoebox

Step 1 Put down newspaper Put down some newspaper where you are going to work.

Step 2 Brush away dirt Take out the laces and use the shoe brush to remove any dirt from the exterior of your shoes.

Step 3 Wipe shoes down Wipe down your shoes with a damp clean cloth to make sure they’re clean.

Step 4 Open the polish Open a canister of shoe polish.

Step 5 Ready the rag Wrap a clean rag around your index and middle fingers, making sure that the rag is tight against the pads of your fingertips.

Step 6 Apply polish Dip your rag-covered fingertips into the shoe polish and apply them to your shoe with a circular motion, about one to two inches in diameter.

Step 7 Spit Spit on your shoe where you’ve just applied polish.

Step 8 Rub Rub the polish into your shoe with your rag-coated fingers, moving them in a circular motion. Apply the polish evenly, and be sure to get into all the creases.

Step 9 Watch the swirls As you rub the polish, you will notice “swirls” appearing in the polished areas. When these swirls disappear, its time to move on to a new area.

Step 10 Apply, wet, and rub the polish on all the other leather areas, until the whole shoe has had a layer of polish applied.

Step 11 Add more layers Add more layers of polish to your shoe, each time using less polish, until your shoes are mirror shiny.

Step 12 Brush lightly Brush the shoe very lightly with the shoe brush to bring out the best shine.

Step 13 Let them dry Re-lace the shoes and let them dry in a cool room or a shoebox, if available.