Do your boots need a good polish but you aren’t sure how to do it? Maybe someone has told you that you can clean your boots in 20 minutes or less and you don’t believe them? Or are you curious about shining your boots and want to know more?
Whatever the reason might be, we have the answers for you!
When it comes to shining your boots, everyone seems to have a different method, leaving you unsure which one you should trust and follow.
The last thing you want is to damage your boots or end up with patches of polish everywhere. But all the advice online is different, what can you do?
Well, you can stick with us! Today, we are here with the answers that you need. Keep reading to find out how you can polish your boots and get them shining in 20 minutes. Simply follow our guide below to transform your boots!
How To Polish Boots
Let’s get straight into today’s article! Polishing your boots is far easier than you thought it would be!
Simply grab a buffing brush, cloth, cup of warm water, and shoe polish. All you need to do is remove any excess dirt from the boot and apply your polish with a circular motion.
Then, buff the polish in so that it distributes evenly on your boots before wiping it off with a damp cloth until the boots shine!
Now, this is just a summary of how you will polish your boots, we have a whole article jam-packed with tips and tricks to make this process as easy as possible.
So, let’s take a closer look at how you can polish your boots and get them shining in as little as 20 minutes!
Polishing Boots – What You Need
To polish your boots, there are a few things that you will need. We think you should gather all of these items together so that once you start cleaning your boots, you don’t need to stop and get the next piece of equipment that you need.
Take a look at the list below and make sure that you have all of these items:
- A horsehair brush
- A welt brush (a toothbrush works just as well)
- A rag for polishing and cleaning (a microfiber or an old t-shirt will work well)
- Shoe polish
- A cup of warm water
- Polishing wax if you want a glassy, mirror-like shine
Now, you can use any brand of shoe polish that you want, just be sure that it is the same color as your boot! The last thing you want to do is turn your brown boots black thanks to your polish!
There are lots of options out there, so you should be able to find the polish that you want without needing to spend a fortune.
When you are buffing your boots, a horsehair brush works best, as the hairs are soft enough to leave your boots with an even finish without causing any damage to the leather!
You can purchase them individually or as part of a set. These sets will usually come with a welt brush and polishing rag too, without breaking the bank!
You don’t need to have a set of brushes, but if you have more than one pair of boots or shoes that you want to polish and keep clean, then it is worth investing in a few brushes or a set to help you keep them all fresh and crisp. We love this 3 piece set from Jovitec!
A welt brush will come in handy when you are tackling small or intricate areas of your boots.
The key to a great polish is in these small details, and a welt brush can get around the eyelets or between the upper and the sole perfectly! There aren’t many brushes that work as well as a welt brush does.
In a pinch though, you can use an old toothbrush. The final effect isn’t as good as it is with a welt brush, but it’s very unlikely that anyone will notice the difference.
And if it’s your polishing rag, we do recommend a microfiber towel or cloth, but you could also use an old t-shirt or some socks to finish your boots.
Just make sure you don’t want to wear them again as there is no chance those polish stains are coming out!
Before you begin too, make sure you have a cup of warm water at the ready! This helps to distribute the polish evenly across your boot, giving you the perfect shine! Once you have all of your items ready, you can start polishing your boots! So let’s get into it now.
Step-By-Step Guide To Polishing Boots
You can polish your boots in four easy steps. Just keep reading and follow our steps below to transform your boots into sparkling and shining ones!
Step 1 – Remove Dirt
To start, grab your boots and knock them together. This helps to remove chunks of mud, dirt, or other debris that could be clinging to the sides or bottom of the boots.
Next, take a towel, pair of socks, or an old shirt and run it over the boots. This will help to remove any mud or dirt that is still clinging to your boots.
It is essential to do this first step, otherwise, your polish won’t spread easily! Instead, you can end up dragging dirt across your boots, scratching the leather, which no one wants!
Make sure to take this step seriously and give your boots a clean before you polish them.
If your boots are really dirty, it’s worth using some saddle soap to clean and condition them before you start polishing. There are plenty of tutorials you can follow online if you are unsure how to do this.
Step 2 – Add Polish
Once your boots are clean you can add the polish! To do this, take your microfiber polishing cloth and wrap it tightly over a finger.
Then grab a layer of polish by making tight circles, or you can use a horsehair brush to apply the polish if you prefer.
Friction helps to liquify the polish so that it sticks on the towel, so those of you working with old polish might have a tougher journey to get it going. But don’t give up! It will get there.
If you are using a polishing cream rather than a solid puck, then this step is super easy! Just scoop a dime-sized amount of polish. It’s better to start with a small amount and add more as you need it, rather than having too much and needing to shift it!
Once you have your polish, apply it to your boots one boot at a time. Start with the toe box and rub the polish in small circles, making sure that you work it into every part of the leather.
If you just want to clean your boots, use one layer of polish, but for those after a stronger shine, you will want to use more layers of polish.
At this point, your boots won’t look overly shiny, as we work on creating the shine later. For now, the goal is to get a few layers of polish on every part of the boot.
Step 3 – Buff
Now it’s time to buff the polish! For this step, we need to even out the layers of polish on the boot so that there aren’t any dark spots on the leather – this makes the boots look patchy and no one wants that!
To buff your boots, grab a horsehair brush to create even strokes on each part of the boot. This shouldn’t take too long and can be done with five or six swipes on each part of the boot. As long as the polish has spread evenly, you are good to go!
Step 4 – Shine
Finally, it is time to shine your boots! To do this, take the clean end of your microfiber towel and wrap it around your finger.
Next, dampen it with some warm water. You can use the same circular motion you used to apply the polish to start shining your boots.
It should take about 10 to 15 circles for a noticeable shine to appear on your boot. In some cases, this will be quicker, it all depends on the polish you are working with!
When it comes to shining your boots, the more water you use, the more shine you will have! But you will need to take care.
There is no point soaking the microfiber towel as you aren’t going to see any results from it. It’s best to start with a damp towel and simply repeat this step on areas where you want a greater shine.
Start at the toe cap and work your way up and across the rest of your boot. Once one boot is done you can repeat all of these four steps on the other boot!
How To Make Your Boots Super Shiny
If you aren’t satisfied with the shine you have, you can use wax polish to get your boots shining so good you can see your reflection!
There are lots of brands out there with wax polishes at a reasonable price, so you don’t need to worry too much about your budget. You can pick them up in most stores, or online too.
It’s worth noting that when you use wax polish, it is still best to start with a cream polish and then follow with wax to get that glass-like shine!
If you are happy with the shine you currently have, then you don’t need to worry about this additional step!
To use a wax polish, take a rag and use a circular motion to rub a small amount of wax into your boots. Like we did earlier, start with the toe box before working your way up and across the rest of the boot.
You might need more than one layer of wax, most boots will take 2 or 3 layers. It’s best to start with a small amount of wax and build up coats slowly to ensure you get an even finish.
Don’t rush this step either! We suggest spending about 3 to 4 minutes on each boot buffing to ensure you get the shine that you want!
How To Shine Boots Without Polish
For those of you that don’t want to use polish, there are other ways that you can shine your boots. Vegetable oil is a good alternative, giving your boots a quick shine!
However, after a few days, the oil will get sticky, which can attract more dirt and dust to your boots, which is the last thing you want!
Other oils like olive oil aren’t a good option either, as they can go rancid, leaving your boots to smell. And there is no point having shiny boots if they smell!
So what can you do? We think the best option is to pay for some shoe polish. It isn’t too expensive, and as you won’t use it often, you can guarantee it will last for a long time!
But if you are in a pinch, vegetable or canola oil will shine your boots. We do recommend that you give them a good clean afterward though to prevent them from going sticky.
Deodorizing – A Secret Tip?
If you want to treat your boots, then deodorizing them is a great option! You can use spray or reusable deodorizing balls to remove any odors and leave the boots smelling fresh!
If you don’t have any of these to hand, you can use coffee grounds or baking soda. Use completely dried coffee grounds though, otherwise, you can end up with a worse smell in your boot than you started with!
Simply take a coffee filter or reusable tea bag and place it at the bottom of your boot. Next, pour dry coffee grounds into the filter and leave them for a day or two. Once you remove them, your boots should smell fresher!
Alternatively, you can use baking soda. Simply dust the inside of your boot with a light layer of baking soda and leave it to sit. This will help to neutralize any odor and can be cleaned up easily once you are done!
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you leave us today, be sure to check out our brief FAQ section where we answer any last-minute questions you might have!
How Can I Shine My Boots Quickly?
Use our method above to shine your boots in under 20 minutes! If you need something quicker, take a butane torch lighter and use it to liquify your polish.
This makes it easier to apply so you don’t need to spend much time buffing. However, this is quite dangerous, so be sure to take care when doing this!
Can I Shine My Boots Without Polish?
You can, but the shine won’t be as good. To properly clean and shine your boots, polish is always your best option. However, if you are in a pinch, then canola or vegetable oil will work.
How Do I Get My Boots Super Shiny?
For a clear, glass-like shine, you can apply several layers of polish and worth into the leather. To finish, take a damp towel and buff the boots to get the shine you want!
And there you have it, four easy steps that allow you to polish your boots and get them shining in no time!
The whole method should take around 20 minutes, leaving you with the rest of your day to enjoy and marvel at your shiny boots!
Don’t forget to check out tutorials online if you need any extra help and remember to use the correct brushes to prevent any damage to your boots.