How to polish your shoes and have them shining

Shiny shoes

If you’re working as a member of private household staff, it’s very likely that you will be asked to fulfil a host of tasks during your role – one of which being polishing shoes. It may seem fairly straightforward, however getting it right is well and truly an enviable skill. As a helping hand, here’s our guide on how to get a pair of shoes shining each and every time.

The equipment needed:

  • Shoe polish
  • Horsehair shine brush
  • Shoe polish application brush
  • Cotton balls
  • Shine cloth

1. Prepare area and clean the shoes

Firstly you will need to prepare the area you are working on to avoid staining the carpet, and you can do so by putting an old towel or some newspaper on the floor. The next step is to clean any dirt and dust off the shoes, as this way the polish will achieve the best effect possible. If you need to get the shoes wet, be sure to leave them to dry before applying the polish.

2. Polish the shoes

Now take your polishing brush and begin applying the polish onto the leather. You will want to get the best shine possible so be sure not to go too sparingly with the polish and make sure that the whole surface is covered. Now leave the polish to dry for around 15 minutes.

3. Shine the shoes

Take the other side of the brush – the stiffer of the two – and brush the entire shoe vigorously until almost all of the excess polish is removed and just a thin layer remains. Once you’re happy with the shoe, concentrate on the toe and heel using circular motions. Keep repeating this process until you are happy that all the polish has been removed. Use a piece of cotton to remove any excess polish before you shine with a cloth.

Image Credit: Phil Long (

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