This month's blog content has focused heavily on keeping your dress shoes looking like new by cleaning and polishing them. There is no particular reason; it's just the way things panned out. At any rate, this post will continue the discussion by addressing what you need to assemble your own shoeshine kit.
Learning to clean and polish your shoes at home is well worth the time and effort. Not only will you save money by handling it yourself, but you will also enjoy a sense of accomplishment every time you put on your clean, shiny shoes.
Always remember that no amount of cleaning or polishing can protect your shoes against the elements. For that, you need a pair of state-of-the-art waterproof shoe covers from GC Tech. Our men's shoe covers are made from a lightweight material that is both waterproof and breathable.
As for putting together your own shoeshine kit, here are the four most important things you'll need:
1. Shoe Brushes
You will need at least one shoe brush to loosen dirt and apply your chosen cleaner. However, you might discover you prefer using two different brushes – one for each task. A wide shine brush is ideal for loosening dirt and brushing it away. On the other hand, a dauber brush is ideal for applying cleaner and conditioner.
The most important thing in this regard is that you choose brushes specifically made for shoe cleaning and polishing. These are brushes made with materials ideal for treating leather. If you just grab any brush off the hardware store shelf, you may end up with something that could actually damage your shoes. You obviously don't want that. Stick with brushes made for the job.
2. A Selection of Soft Cloths
The pros use soft cloths to apply conditioners, waxes, and polishes. A soft cloth is also indispensable when you're cleaning with saddle soap. So here's the deal: you'll need a selection of soft cloths to handle the various stages of cleaning and polishing. Each one can be thrown into the laundry after use.
What defines a soft cloth? Believe it or not, old T-shirts are probably your best option. They are intentionally designed to be soft because they lay directly on the skin. Best of all, using old T-shirts protects your shoes and gives you a way to repurpose shirts you would otherwise throw in the trash.
3. Cleaning and Conditioning Products
Next, you'll need cleaning and conditioning products appropriate to your shoes. If you are not sure of the type of leather you're dealing with, contact the manufacturer or your local retailer. Either one can recommend the right products. Bear in mind that saddle soap is often considered the universal cleaning product for all types of leathers.
As for conditioners, they come in many forms. Some shoes work well with wax conditioners while others require liquid products. Again, it depends on the type of leather you are dealing with.
4. Quality Polish
Last but not least is a quality polish. Wax polishes are best if you want your shoes to really shine. If you're more into deep, rich color, a cream polish is your best bet. Just make sure the product you choose is appropriate for the color and finish of the leather.
As long as you are investing in a shoeshine kit, consider investing in a pair of high-quality shoe covers as well. Our shoe covers will protect your shoes against almost anything. They make the job of cleaning, conditioning, and polishing a lot easier, too.