Today there are so many offices opting for casual workplace attire that formal dress shoes are being used less and less. Even an office, in which you expect people to be wearing suits, such as a bank, is opting for casual pants and polo shirts instead. Although there is nothing wrong with the whole world going casual, there are fewer and fewer people who are learning to shine dress shoes. There does come a time in everyone's life that they will need to shine their shoes or pay someone else to do it for them. Often times a wedding, funeral, or even a church service will require dress attire. In these cases, wearing scuffed shoes is not an option. If you have enough time to find someone to do the task for you, by all means, go ahead. If you are running behind however and just need to get it done, check out this easy shoe shining process that will get the job done in less than ten minutes.
What You Need
The first thing you should always have on hand is a shoe shining kit. Now, this does not need to be an expensive kit that you purchase all together. You can purchase each piece and throw them all into an empty shoe box if you wish. It really doesn't matter either way, but keeping everything together will cut down on time. Make sure that you have liquid polish with an applicator built-in, paste polish, a horsehair applicator, a horsehair brush, and buffing cloths. If you are rushed for time you will only need the liquid polish, the brush, and a buffing cloth. However it is great to take the time every now and then to try the paste polish.
The first thing you should do is to remove any dirt or debris from your shoes. You can do this with a moist towel or with a dry one; depending on how much dirt you have on your shoes. Remember that if you get your shoes too wet the polish will not take, so be sure to use a minimal amount of water. Allow the area to dry completely. If you are in a big hurry, don't use water at all.
Next, you can grab the liquid polish and apply it as directed to your shoes. Be sure you have a matching color for each pair of dress shoes you own. Spread the polish all over your shoes, concentrating most on the toe and the heel of the shoe. Allow the shoe to dry as you move to the next shoe. Be sure you take the time to let this part of the process dry. Liquid shoe shiner dries very fast, so you won't be waiting long.
When you are certain the shoes are dry, take your horsehair brush and start working with the first shoe. You will need to buff the shoe with the brush. Try to remove the entire "wet" areas until you get a little shine. Some people will actually stop here because they will think the shine is good enough. If you feel that the shine is good enough, then feel free to stop.
You can really get a good shine if you continue however. Next, take your buffing cloth, which can be an automotive towel or even an old t-shirt and get to work. This part works best if you put your shoe on first. Hold onto each end of your buffer and slide it along the shoe with a little pressure added throughout. Repeat this step until you get the best results.
As you can see, it is very easy to shine shoes in no time. You can do this after wearing your shoes so that the next time you need them they will be ready, or you can wait to do it right before walking out the door. Whatever you choose, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, never shine your shoes when you are wearing light colored clothing. It is best to do this before getting dressed. Shoe polish can easily transfer onto clothing and can be difficult to get off, if you are lucky enough to get it off at all. So, be sure to shine your shoes, wash your hands, and then get dressed. It would be a shame to have great looking shoes and a stained shirt
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