How to Apply Shoe Polish

A clean, polished pair of shoes can make all the difference in your overall appearance and how people perceive you, so it’s important to know how to properly shine your shoes. If you don’t take care of them, they’ll look dingy and dirty within a week, so follow these simple steps on how to apply shoe polish so that your shoes can be as stylish as you are!

Clean your shoes

Make sure your shoes are clean and dry before you begin polishing. Dirt, dust, and other substances can affect how long polish lasts, so be thorough. If you want a high-gloss shine for formal occasions, wait until after your shoes have been polished to apply a coat of shoe wax. Wax will help seal in polish and make it last longer.

Prep your surface

Before you apply any polish, it’s crucial that your shoes are clean and dry. Start by dusting them with a soft cloth. Then wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth. Make sure they’re completely dry before you start polishing, as moisture can inhibit shine. Once they’re clean and dry, apply a small amount of polish to a soft cloth or shoe brush and spread it evenly across your shoe from heel to toe, concentrating on scuffed areas in particular.

Apply an even coat of polish to both sides of the shoe

Use a clean cloth or paper towel to apply an even coat of polish to both sides of your shoe. Be sure not to apply too much polish, as it will drip onto your floor. (Remember: It’s better to have applied a little extra than too little.) Let dry for 30 minutes. Step 4: Buff away any excess residue: Next, take your rag and buff away any excess residue on your shoe, but be careful not get shine on other surfaces like walls or cabinets.

Wipe off excess

Before you start applying polish, wipe off any excess dirt from your shoes with a clean rag. This will ensure that your shoes get a thorough cleaning before you apply polish. If you skip this step, it’s possible that some of your shoe’s original color will be left behind after polishing. If there is too much grime on your shoes, they may not be polished evenly and may look worse than when you started! Step 5: Rub in circles: Once you’ve wiped off excess dirt, begin rubbing in circles over each part of your shoe. You’ll want to cover every surface area of your shoe thoroughly—the sides, tongue and heel are all important areas for polishing. Step 6: Wipe away residue: After rubbing in circles for a few minutes (depending on how dirty your shoes are), wipe away any residue with a clean cloth or towel until no polish remains on the surface of your shoe.

Add another coat and shine with a cloth

After you’ve applied your second coat of polish, wait until it dries completely before removing excess polish and buffing with a cloth. After a few buffing sessions with a clean cloth, your shoes will be shiny and new again. For best results, repeat these steps every two weeks or so. You can also apply shoe polish in between full-coverage applications as needed. The more often you shine your shoes, the longer they’ll last.

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