Shining shoes is not all that difficult and learning how to shine shoes can save you a lot of money! With a little practice, you can get really good at it!

How To Shine Shoes

We asked what our readers wanted to learn and many said “the basics”. One of those basics was how to shine shoes.

You have come to the right person to ask that question. The subject it is in my blood. My grandfather owned a shoe repair and shoe shine shop and my father is a retired Marine- talk about learning how to”spit shine” your  shoes at an early age. I think I was watching my dad shine his before I was even wearing them.

Having neat, clean and shiny shoes is the same to me as having clothes nicely ironed, whether it is for a job interview or in daily life. As much as we don’t think people should judge us by our appearance, people’s first impression of us usually relates to the way we look and this can determine how much respect we will receive. Why do you think top business men and FBI agents wear suits?

There are circumstances in life that might prevent us from keeping up with everything like regularly shining shoes, but do the best you can when you can.

Shining shoes is not really all that difficult. With a little practice, you can get really good at it so that it becomes a quick and easy habit!


How To Shine Shoes


These materials are found where the shoes are sold in most stores.


save money shining shoes

Polish – Start with neutral wax polish if you have many different colored shoes because it can be used on all colors. If you have all black or brown shoes, then buy black or brown.

Buffing cloth – You can buy special buffing cloths where they sell polish, but I just use a soft rag which has the feel of flannel (an old sweat sock or a t-shirt).

Rags or old cloths

Shoe brush




  • Work on newspaper because it could be messy.
  • With a slightly damp cloth, clean shoes of any mud or dirt. You can also use a brush to brush them.
  • Open the polish can and put 3-4 drops of water in the lid.
use a rag to polish shoes
  • Use a thick enough rag so the polish won’t seep through to your finger and stain it. Wrap it smoothly around your finger and dip into polish and dip slightly in water in the lid.

    If the polish comes with a sponge use that. If you plan on doing this all the time you can buy a small round brush used to apply the polish, this works best. I manage with just a rag but I do like this little brush. It is found with the other supplies.

  • Using a circular motion, rub polish on to the shoe moving around the shoe and re-dipping in wax and water as needed.
  • Set aside and let dry (about 15 minutes).
how to shine shoes
  • When dry brush briskly with shoe brush.
  • Buff briskly with soft cloth to shine.

Following these easy steps, you can learn to shine shoes in no time! As I mentioned, keeping your shoes shined will add to a more professional appearance. You will also save money by shining your own shoes instead of paying someone else to do it or buying new shoes when the ones you have still have lots of life in them.


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