How to Properly Shine Leather Shoes
No matter how nice your shoes are, they can start looking worn and ugly over time if nor properly cared for. Here's a quick tutorial on how to properly shine a pair of leather shoes.
If you haven't shined shoes before, don't worry—it's actually really, really simple. You will need a few things beforehand, though, which you can buy very cheaply anywhere from a professional shoe shop to somewhere like Target or Wal-Mart:
§ A soft cloth. This can really be anything from a rag or an old t-shirt to a special buffing cloth (really though, an old t-shirt should work just fine).
§ A can of shoe polish. These usually run for about a dollar. Grab them in whatever colors you need for the shoes you're shining.
§ A good shoe brush. Usually these will run you anywhere between $5 and $10.
Shining your shoes is a simple process that should only take you a few minutes. Here's what you do:
1. First, brush off any dirt, mud, salt, or other debris on your shoe with your brush or a damp cloth. Wait for the shoe to dry before continuing to the next step.
2. Next, apply a little bit of your shoe polish to the shoe with your cloth or t-shirt. Make sure not to get it on the carpet or anything else, it won't come out easily! Rub the shoe in small circles, using just a bit of shoe polish at a time—remember, less is more (and you can always add more if need be).
3. Use your shoe brush to brush any excess polish off the shoe. Don't be afraid to put a little elbow grease into this step, you won't ruin the shoe.
4. Lastly, take your cloth or t-shirt and buff out the rest of your shoe so it shines.
Check out the video above from About.com to see it in action. If you prefer to have a little cheat sheet, weblog Art of Manliness put together a great little illustration that goes through all the steps. And remember: if you run out of shoe polish, you can always substitute a banana in a pinch, not to mention clean your tennis shoes with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or baking soda.
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