Shoe Polishing: How to Properly Polish Leather Shoes At Home

They say that a gentleman’s worth is measured by his shoes. Studies even suggest that one’s shoe preference can tell a lot about their personality. Regardless, everyone wants to make themselves presentable most of the time. They want to look sleek and stylish for any event with the perfect shoes to match.

For formal occasions, leather shoes are a classic choice to match any formal wear attire. Just like their overall get up, a person’s shoes should also be clean and polished for the event. By using a trusted shoe shiner like Saphir shoe polish, one can wear their shoes in style and carry themselves with confidence.

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Essential Supplies Needed for Polishing Shoes

Polishing leather shoes should not only be done when the situation asks for it. A regular cleaning and polishing routine should be followed depending on how frequent the shoes are worn. Proper shoe maintenance can extend the lifespan of shoes and always make them look like they have just been pulled out of the shoe box.

To start, the shoe owner should ensure that they have the following items:

  • Shoe Polish: A high-quality shoe polish should always be the first thing to have. One can choose from a cream or wax polish. A cream polish can moisturize the shoe leather but provide lesser shine. On the other hand, Wax polish can give more shine to the shoes and cover minor scruffs. More importantly, it can protect the leather from scratches and prevent it from wearing off. Saphir shoe polish offers both types which are available in many colors to match the shade of the shoes.
  • Polishing Cloth: A microfiber cloth is the best option to polish shoes without the risk of damaging them. However, if this is not accessible, an old cotton shirt can be used as an alternative.
  • Shoe Brush: Choose a sturdy shoe brush with soft bristles to provide good shoe shining coverage without damaging the leather.
  • Welt Brush: A welt brush is a smaller brush used for applying shoe polish on hard-to-reach spots. Alternatively, an old toothbrush can be used.
  • Clean Rag: A clean rag should be used to wipe off excess polish and give shoes an even finish.

Step-By-Step Procedure of Polishing Shoes

After getting the needed supplies, one can get down the shoe polishing business. Although it might seem easy, one should follow sequential steps to effectively clean and polish their shoes.

  1. Remove the laces and fill the shoes. Take out the shoelaces to prevent them from getting polished. To make polishing easier, stuff some paper into the shoes to have a firm surface to work the polish on.
  2. Clean the shoes from any dust, dirt, or residue. Make sure that the shoes are free from any microelements that can hinder the spreading of the polish. Use a normal shoe brush and a welt brush to ensure that it is clean from all angles.
  3. Apply the polish evenly. Dab a generous amount of polish onto the cloth and start applying to the shoe surface using circular motions. 
  4. Use the welt brush to polish hard-to-reach areas. This will ensure that the welt, heel, and difficult areas can be polished.
  5. Buff the leather using a shoe brush. Using quick, side to side movements, buff the shoe leather until it is visibly shiny.
  6. Wipe excess polish. Make sure no polish residue is visible on any part of the shoes’ surface.


Following an effective shoe polishing procedure can improve leather shoe appearance and extend its service span. A high-quality polish may help to bring out the best shine to anyone’s pair of shoes.

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