How To Polish Boots With and Without a Polish

Imagine an outfit that makes you look all dashing like you’re the fiercest thing on the red carpet but just when you thought it’s your moment to feel like a prima dona. You You realize the reason why you are getting all that attention but no one really works up to you is because your boots says a whole different message compared to your outfit. No, you don’t want that scene!

Here’s what you do want though, a footwear that makes you rock, so spotlessly that you could literally feel all eyes on it. So, again it isn’t just about your boots choice but about how spick and span, they are. You might want to know how to maintain your leather boots, how to polish and keep them looking all sleek and glossy for as long as you want.

This article will give you a proper guide, not just about on both the items you need to go with a good polish and polish alternatives that aren’t exactly polish but gives impressive results on your kicks. Let’s begin!


Polishing Your Boots with A Polish

Clean Your Boots

How To polish boots
Cleaning boots with a damp cloth o

The first step towards polishing anything especially boots is to ensure that the surface is clean and free of dirts and debris. To do this begin by loosening the laces from your boots to have access to their entire surface, so you can clean evenly. You could use socks, roll up papers etc depending on the neck of your boots.

Clean evenly with your Hairbrush any debris from your boots.

Air-dry Your boots

Use your horsehair brush, a damp clean cloth dipped in water, and saddle soap to clean any debris from your boots. Brush your boot’s surface gently and pay close attention to any areas of dirt, dust, stain etc. Make sure that the dirts is completely removed before continuing. Yet, avoid saturating your boots with water.

Then, sun-dry or air-dry your shoes for about 10-15 minutes in humid temperature and make sure every area of your shoe has dried completely before proceeding.

Tip: Before polishing cover the place you will be using for the work, with old and unwanted towels, papers etc to avoid stain and wear some clothes you do not place so much value on, to avoid stains or stubborn dirts from getting into it. Also, do not wear your boots for at least 24 hours after polishing.

Use a Polish that match your boot texture

How To polish boots
A woman brushes the surface of a brown boots

Apply a wax based or cream polish due to its high concentration of hard wax that activates it glow as well as offer protection from scratches etc.

For oil-tanned leather, an oil polish will ddo the trick. Apply the oil polish to a soft clean cloth or towel, and lightly spread it thoroughly across your boot. Oil-tanned leather will have been treated with oil to help make the boots more resistant to various types of weather. But avoid using oil polishes on suede boots, rather use a leather protector spray.


Guidelines to apply polish properly on boots

How To polish boots
Water-repellent care for shoes, renewal and preservation of color.
  • Begin by only submerging one corner of the cloth into your polish at a time. Ensure that the corner gets fully saturated before you start applying the polish to your boots
  • This will also help prevent you from making the coat too thick.
  • Use a small, circular motion to apply your polish. Begin applying the polish to one small area, such as the toe of your boot, at a time. This will ensure that you are not missing any scuffs or scrapes that could possibly be overlooked. Continue to use small, circular motions as you apply polish to the remaining area of your boot, re-saturating your cloth with polish as needed.
  • Only apply a very thin layer of the polish to your shoes—if you put on too much, it’s just going to sit on the surface of the leather, and it’s not going to soak in.
  • Allow your polish to dry for at least 10 minutes. Once you have completely covered your boot with your polish, allow the polish to dry completely before moving on. Some heavier polishes may require longer drying times. Polishing drying time may vary with polish type check your polish’s container for time alternatives. You will know it worked when a glossy shine comes through.

Polishing Your Boots Without a Polish

How To polish boots
Cropped shot of a handsome young man cleaning his boots

In the case that you do not have a polish at home, well not to worry. Here are a couple of safe alternatives for your boots to glow.

Using vinegar:Vinegar too is easily available in all kitchens and acts a great shining agent for boots.

Steps to follow:

  • Take a few drops of vinegar on a clean lint free cloth and rub on the boots in the direction of the fiber hairs
  • Wipe out excess product by dabbing a tissue paper
  • Dry the boots under the fan
  • Buff with a good horsehair brush.

Using petroleum jelly:VASELINE is an Effective Remedy for Stains and Scuff MarksPetroleum jelly not only brings shine and adds moisture to the boots but also coats the boots with a waterproofing coating.

Steps to follow:

  • At first clean your boots using a brush or clean cloth
  • Next take a generous amount of petroleum jelly on your finger tips and spread it over the boots
  • Let it sit for an hour
  • Then take a clean cloth and rub off the excess petroleum jelly off the boots
  • Buff with a good horsehair brush

Using banana peel: Banana peel works as a great shining agent and is used as an ingredient in many of the hair oils too nowadays.


Steps to follow:

  • Take ripe bananas and take out the peel off the banana
  • Clean your boots with a soft lint free cloth
  • Take the banana peel and rub it on the boots in the direction of the fiber hairs
  • Let it stay for half an hourWipe out using a damp cloth
  • To bring on the excess shine, buff with a horsehair brush.

Using hair gel:Leather fibers are just like human hairs which need nourishment for retaining the shine. So, applying hair gel to the boots works the same way on leather boots to bring on the shine to the dull and lifeless leather.

  • Steps to follow: Brush off any loose dirt from the boots
  • Clean with a damp cloth to take off settled dirt on the boots
  • Dry the boots under the fan and apply hair gel on the boots and brush with a soft bristled tooth brush
  • Using a tissue paper take off any excess product from the boots Buff with a horsehair brush

Using beeswax: Beeswax has been used since ages to not only shine boots but also to give it a bit of waterproof coating.

  • Steps to follow: Heat the beeswax by taking out a spoonful of it on a heating bowl
  • Spread the melted beeswax using a brush or a clean lint free cloth
  • Rub the boots in small circular motions to let the beeswax absorb in the boots thoroughly
  • Buff with a horsehair brush to bring on the shine
Note: Polishing your boots without polish doesn't leave a very lasting effect and should be used occasionally. 
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