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How To Shine Your Shoes

Updated on June 5, 2013
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Go Grab Your Shine Box

It is time to complete your snappy outfit with a nice pair of shined shoes. No matter how tailored and sharp you look in that suit a pair of scuffed up shoes can make you look shabby. Shining your own shoes is cheap and easy and can make all the difference. To shine your own shoes you can make yourself a shoe shine kit that contains black and brown shoe polish, a soft cloth or towel to apply the polish, edge polish applicator and a brush. I have laid out the supplies that I am going to use to polish and shine a pair of black dress shoes in the adjacent photo. I keep my shine kit in a old bag right next to my shoes.

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Take care of your polish

Shoe polish is thick and oily and will stain anything it touches so handle this stuff with care. Shoe polish should be oily and moist and over time the polish will dry out and its utility is lost. Therefore it is important to store your shoe polish in an air-tight container. I found some old polish that was not kept in an air-tight container (see photo). If your polish looks like this it is time to buy some new polish. Remember that moist polish will extend the life of your shoes and make them look great while using dried out polish may cause damage. I put my shoe polish in a ziplock baggy and then in a plastic container with a snug lid.

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Clean the shoes and apply the polish.

As you can see from the photo my shoes started out with a dirty, worn out appearance. FIrst take the brush and brush any dirt and dust off of the shoes. Shoe polish is like catfish bait - whatever it touches it sticks to and stains therefore, I like to wear rubber gloves when applying. Open up the polish, use black polish for black shoes and brown polish for brown shoes. Next take your soft towel (some people use a sock) and dip it in the polish. In a circular motion apply the polish to the shoe. Once done applying set the shoe to the side and move on to the next one. The shoes covered in polish should have a dull black look. Let the shoe polish dry on the shoe (5-10 minutes).

Grab the brush and shine those shoes.

Once the polish has dried take your brush and vigorously brush the shoes. The brushing removes the polish from the shoe and leaves a nice shine behind. The video shows the brushing technique that I use.

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Shoes that impress

As you can see applying some shoe polish and giving your shoes a shine is easy. So grab your shine box and polish up those old shoes and do not let your shoes foul up any first impressions.

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