How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine

Mirror shiny shoes look absolutely gorgeous with any outfit. However, leather shoes tend to fade with a few usages. It’s quite not possible to go to a cobbler every time you wear the shoes for a polish. So, how to polish shoes to a mirror shine at home?

We’ll teach you all the tactics step by step in this article. You’ll also get some non-chemical shoe polishing technique at the end for you. Check out now!

What Does a Mirror Shine Shoe Mean?

Have you ever seen people wearing shoes where you can almost see your own reflection? Mirror shine shoe refers to that glossy finish. 

Leather shoes tend to seem smooth in outlook. However, if you look closer, you will be able to see the intensive pores on the surface. These pores provide a grainy outlook which eventually provides the shoes a matte finish. 

If you cover up those grains in shoe polish and take care of them, your shoes will shine just like your smile. It will provide a sophisticated impression complementing your outfit. All what we care about here is to smooth up that uneven surface for getting a mirror glossy look. 

Why Should You Polish Your Leather Shoes?

So, now that we know what a mirror shine shoe is, let’s understand why we need this? You can definitely wear your leather shoes without polishing much. Then, why everyone talks about the mirror-shine effect?

Firstly, it gives a sophisticated, classy look that you can’t show off with a pair of matte finished shoe. The more you polish those leather pair, the glossier it will get. 

Apart from dazzling with the mirror finish, your shoes can remain in good condition for years. Even after several years of rough usage, they will shine as if you newly bought them. 

You might get your shoes polished by a local cobbler. However, we think it’s not a hectic task. You can shine your shoes at home and have some fun too!

Here’s how to polish shoes to a mirror shine at home:

What are the Basic Elements You Will Require to Polish Your Shoes?

Before moving on to the guidelines, you will require a couple of basic ingredients. Be prepared with the following elements to work on your leather footwear:

  • Newspapers
  • Shoe Trees
  • Horsehair Buffing brush
  • Horsehair dauber brush
  • Cotton rags
  • Wax polish
  • Leather Cleaner
  • Water

Though most of the elements are pretty easy to find around at your home, you might need to buy some of them. Try to buy good quality brushes and wax polish. It’s always better to store these elements at home for future use.

Step by Step Mirror Shine Shoe Polishing Technique

We have created a whole set of guidelines to teach you how to polish shoes to a mirror shine. Follow each step below accordingly. You won’t regret, we promise!

Step 01: Make Your Boots Ready for the Makeover

The first step is to prepare your leather shoes or boots for a nice polish. We emphasize this step so much. It’s because if you are not organized, there’s a high chance you’ll mess up things. 

Place some old newspapers on the ground so that your floor doesn’t get messy. You’ll need to clean the entire shoe before polishing. So, it’s better to save your floor from becoming dirty. 

Remove the shoe laces if your shoes have any. It will provide you leverage for polishing the shoes thoroughly. Use a pair of shoe trees inside the shoes. This will help you to easily maneuver the shoes while polishing.

Step 02: Clean off the Dirt Beforehand

Before diving into polishing your shoes like a mirror, it’s necessary to clear all the dirt from your shoes. Without the original leather surface, you can’t get a fine finish even if you use world’s best shoe polish. 

Dust and old polish may clog your shoe’s surface and make it bland. If you apply wax and cream on top of this mess, you will just increase the layer of coating. 

So, we recommend cleaning the dusty dirt from the shoes using a horsehair brush at first. Use a damp rag to remove dust completely. Then, you should use a leather cleaner to clean your leather shoes entirely. 

Step 03: Condition Your Leather Pair

With a few drops of leather cleaner, your leather footwear will look completely clean. However, you might want to condition your shoes afterwards. As leather cleaner contains heavily bleaching substances, they tend to strip off the essential oils from shoes. For this reason, you should use a leather conditioner to restore the moisture. By using a leather conditioner, your shoes will gain maximum penetration. 

If the leather cleaner or conditioner discolors your favorite pair, apply pigment-rich cream shoe polish. It will restore the color like a pair of newly bought shoes.  

Step 04: Level the Uneven Surface

We have reached to the most important step now. Mostly, when people search about – how to polish shoes to a mirror shine? They want to learn this step basically. However, it’s necessary to complete all the previous steps one by one and then start this polishing process.

So, in this step, we will show you how to smoothen the uneven surface. Yes, it’s the base of getting a mirror shine shoe polish. 

Take a generous amount of shoe polish in a horsehair dauber brush and gently spread them on the outer part of the shoes. Cover the surface evenly in a circular mode. 

Let the wax dry for 30 minutes until it’s fully set. You can use your fingertip to check if the wax is coming off. After the shoes get dried, you have to buff off the surface with a dry brush. It’s a method which creates a small amount of heat to give the shoes a simple ‘brush shine’ look. 

It basically smoothens the uneven layer of polish and creates the first shiny base on your leather pair.  

Step 05: It’s Time for That Mirror Shine Glossy Look!

After you create a base for your shiny shoes, it’s time to coat the shoes for a mirror shiny look. By mirror shine, we mean glossy look on the hard toe cap area. Mark your territory just right where the creases bent typically.

Step 5 is a repeat of step 4 but with several coatings. Constantly, polish and buff off with a dry cloth on the shoe toe. Typically, 10 coats are enough to make your shoe mirror shine. However, you can also have it with 3 coating. Only a small amount of wax polish can do the magic!

Apply the wax layer in a circular motion. For this, you’ll require a fresh cotton cloth wrapped around your index and middle finger. Damp the cloth by adding 1-2 drops of water. The wax will be ready to apply.

You have continue waxing your shoes until it gives a mirror glaze look. The wax needs to sit for at least 10-15 minutes to completely dry. 

Things to Remember While Giving Your Shoes a Mirror Shine

So, now that you know how to polish shoes to a mirror shine, you still have duties to perform. There are certain things you should remember if you want to keep your boots or leather shoes as shiny as a mirror. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Using a cotton cloth is the best for polishing. Otherwise, you might scratch off the layers of wax.
  • Choose a colored shoe wax for better results. Try to choose the color according to your shoe color. For light toned shoes, you can use a neutral wax.
  • Make sure you are not directly exposed to the sun. Heat makes wax softer. It can come off too quickly and your shoes will look pale again.
  • Wipe off the excess dirt from the shoes within each time you wear them.

Polish Your Leather Shoes Without a Shoe Polish (With Natural Ingredients!)

Some of you might feel uncomfortable buying chemicals for your shoes. We have solution for you guys too! You can use DIY shoe polishes that are made from natural ingredients. Let us show you some examples.

Banana Skin: Banana contains a high amount of potassium which is a core ingredient for a shoe polish. You can rub a banana skin over your old or dirty shoes. They’ll glitter like a brand-new pair.

Hibiscus Flower: If you have a hibiscus tree around, you can use thee flowers as an alternative of shoe polish. Rub it on the surface and then clean with a dry cloth. Give a small buff and you’ll see how shiny your shoes look.

Final Thoughts

Polishing your shoes is a must a for leather pairs and boots. It keeps the shoes protected from cracking and also deeply conditions the surface. Moreover, a mirror glaze look will provide a sophisticated outlook with any of your formal outfit.

You can also read: Resole Your Climbing Shoes: Yay or Nay?

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