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How to Polish & Shine Your Dress Shoes at Home [10 Easy Steps]

How to Polish & Shine Your Dress Shoes at Home [10 Easy Steps]

Shoes come in a variety of patterns and styles. But regardless of how strong they are or how attractive they are, after time they may begin to seem shabby and worn. You certainly don't want that, do you? Your footwear will look excellent and last for years if you know how to properly clean, polish and shine your dress shoes.

But before we get into the how to shine dress shoes, you would be needing certain essentials called the SHOE SHINE KIT. So let’s check out these essential required tools and supplies.

Polish & Shine Dress Shoes

Required Tools and Supplies

Our shoes experts always recommend a Shoe Shining Kit which can be easily carried anywhere and is available at every shoe store or online footwear shop. It comprises of:

  • Wax shoe polish for your shoes.
  • Applicator brushes for applying the shoe polish.
  • Horse hair brush for buffing and cleaning If the kit doesn't include a polishing cloth for shoes, use a simple white handkerchief instead.
  • Choosing a carrying case is a matter of taste. A carrying case keeps the many components of a shoe polish kit organized and together. When traveling, carrying tools to polish men's dress shoes are also quite practical.

Also Read: How to Clean & Maintain Shoes in Daily Life

How to Polish and Shine Your Dress Shoes

How to Shine Shoes

Now let's come to the Steps to Shine Your Dress Shoes or in simple words let's learn from our experts 'how to polish dress shoes at home.' These tips will cover all your queries regarding polishing and shining your dress shoes to boots at home.

1. Create a Shoe Cleaning Area

Bring your shoes and cleaning tools to the location where you will be working first. It's crucial that it be well-lit, uncluttered, and AWAY from any valuable items that can be ruined by the polish or dust.

Before you begin, protect the surface with some newspaper or some discarded cloth. So even before you decide to shine dress shoes, dedicate a clear area for the same.

2. Remove Laces

When you ask us how to polish men's dress shoes, this is the first thing we ask you to do! Laces always pose a hindrance in shoe cleaning as the lace holes harbor a lot of dirt. Plus, the lace can absorb shoe cleaners or polish and lose its original color. So the best thing is to remove them before you move off to the steps to polish your shoes.

3. Insert a Shoe Tree

In order for each shoe to keep its form during the procedure, place a shoe tree inside it. This is among the most important steps to polishing shoes. Even though these are better if you don't have shoe trees you might try cushioning the shoes with newspaper rolls.

4. Brush Off the Dirt

Before you decide to polish dress shoes, the foremost step is to clean off the dirt. Brush both shoes thoroughly once with the horsehair brush. The goal in this situation is to remove any muck, dirt, salt, and leftover polish.

This makes sure that every tiny flaw from the most recent polishing of the shoes is taken into account by the fresh polish. Making every stroke count is important since it's not meant to be tiresome.

Also Read: How to Clean Suede Shoes

5. In Circular Motion, Apply the Polish/Wax

Grab a cleaning cloth, and then tightly wrap it around the middle and index fingers. While keeping your two fingers firmly in place, softly rub the cloth in the wax. The proper approach for cleaning the shoes is to move them in short, circular motions. Don't forget any corners or areas, and be cautious. The porosity of the shoes' surfaces is intended to be fully filled.

6. Buff Up the Shoes to Shine

Take your horsehair brush once again for the buffing process after allowing the polish to dry completely on both shoes. Start by removing the polish with quick, gentle strokes, the other shoe in the same manner. The brand-new sheen will eventually surface.

7. Sprinkle Water, Buff The Shoe Again (Spit Shine)

Use a few little water dabs or droplets from your finger. Don't wet the shoe completely at once. The leather will get oversaturated. After cleaning the shoe with water, rub it softly with a towel that has wax polish on it.

8. Final Buff with a Soft Cloth

Now pick a soft cloth and start buffing once more very lightly. Repeat this process to polish shoes three times, giving each time for a drying period of 20 minutes. The ideal Mirror Shine depends on this. But don't use a black cloth to polish brown dress shoes - what if it loses color onto the shoe leaving a mark? You won't like that, right!

9. Extract Extra Shoe Polish

There is one more stage in the process of making brogue shoes to guarantee the best potential outcomes. Check the perforations for any wax that may have become lodged there after cleaning and buffing. To properly wipe them out, use a toothpick. Naturally, though, you must proceed with caution and tact.

10. Dry and Lace-up the Shoes

As you can see, each of the steps to polish shoes requires patience, but it's crucial to be really thorough and careful since you don't want any clumps, dull areas, or uneven color in the shoe. So after you are done with all the steps to polish men's dress shoes, please let the shoes dry off well and then lace them up.

Additional Dress Shoe Maintenance Tips & Tricks

Shoe Shine Tips
  • Shoes hate moisture, be it leather or any other so store them in cold dry places.
  • Dust buildup may cause shoes to lose their original color and appear worn out. Polish and clean your shoes frequently to keep them looking new. Keep your shoes away from frequently worn house slippers as well to prevent dust from collecting on them. The shoe closet is the ideal location to store your shoes.
  • Placing a shoe tree guarantees that the shoe's natural form and texture are restored while it is off your feet.
  • They may dry rot or become stiff and crumble under the effects of intense heat or bright sunshine. Instead, maintain a regulated climate for your shoes so they last longer when you ultimately wear them outside.
  • Use separate black brushes to shine black dress shoes. And separate ones to polish brown dress shoes or any other color. A leftover wax or polish on the brush has a high chance of ruining the actual color of the shoe.
  • Lastly, always wash the buffing cloth after a single use and dry it. Its cleanliness will ensure no odd spots on shoes while you buff them the next time.

Congratulations! We have answered all your queries on how to polish dress shoes at home. And now that your shoes seem brand new in just as much time as brushing your teeth, get ready to have a boosted up self-assurance, professionalism, and ability to wow. Go get your share of eyeballs and accolades!

Also Read: How to Clean, Care & Maintain Leather Shoes 


How often should we shine and polish men's dress shoes?

Depending on how frequently you use your shoes, shoe polishing is a simpler procedure that should be performed every four to six weeks as part of routine shoe care.

How do you clean dress shoes without polish?

Olive oil with vegetable oils is best suited for emergency use to shine dress shoes. To remove any dust from the shoe, wipe it down with a clean, wet towel. Buff the shoe with a tiny drop of oil to pull out the sheen.

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