Leather shoes are often an expensive investment therefore keeping them in top condition is well worth the effort. Polishing them using the correct technique makes them look great and also extends their durability and natural life. The tips below can guide you through polishing and shining your leather shoes in a few easy steps. The materials needed are; a soft cloth, shoe cream, a quality shoe brush and shining liquid.
One should begin by covering the work surface with a newspaper or old cloths. This prevents dust, debris and polish from creating a mess on furniture and floors. After protecting the surfaces, the actual cleaning of the shoe can begin.
Before polishing, it is important to clean out all the dirt that has embedded itself into the shoe. This can be done using the soft cloth or any soft cotton fabric. Some companies also sell wipes specifically for leather shoes. This helps in preventing the debris from being coated by polish which will be used later on. It is also important to remember to gently wipe the tongue of the shoe.
After cleaning, remove the shoe laces if any to allow for effective polishing of the shoe. This also helps to stop the laces from getting stained or coated in polish. One can opt to use either a cream or wax for polishing. Whatever the case, the colour of the polish should match the shoes and the brand should be one that can prevent water damage. The type of bristles on the brush should be soft and long to avoid scratching the leather. An old but soft tooth brush can also be used to polish the small areas which are hard to reach. The polishing technique is small circular motions using medium pressure to coat the shoe evenly with polish. The shoe should be held from the inside with an open palm, to ensure a firm grip while polishing.
To ensure that the leather shoes have a shiny finish, use a lint-free cloth or a horse hair shoe brush to buff. This should be done gently and not for too long to avoid damaging the leather with friction. This removes any excess polish left on the shoe and gives it a remarkable shine. It is optional but one can use shining liquid and a sponge for this step. Spraying a little water on the shoe and buffing it with a cloth also helps to give a wet shiny look if that is the desired effect. Shining should be done after the coats of polish on the shoe have already dried.
Finally, place the shoes on the protected working surface and allow them to dry for about fifteen to twenty minutes. If wipes were used to clean the dirt, it is important to lift the flap and air it out so that the shoes do not develop a damp smell when worn next. Once they are dry, the shoe laces can be fitted back in. The shoes should then be stored in upright position on a shoe tree to maintain the shape and away from heat and water.