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The Lost Art Of Shining Your Dress Shoes

I wasn't really much on shining shoes until I went in the military where I learned to shine my boots so that I could see myself in them. The drill instructor in basic training would shine a flashlight on them while we were standing in formation at 4:30 in the morning. If you haven't experienced that, let me tell you your shine job has to be incredible to pass that scrutiny, if they aren't shiny enough the light doesn't reflect and you are in a whole lot of trouble. Fast forward to today in the work environment. Even though a lot of businesses and offices have gone to more casual dress options there are still some places that require you to wear dress shoes and there are also situations where they should be worn as well. The problem is that since there are so many businesses going casual, the art of shining shoes is being lost.

If you don't care to learn or you have the time and money to have someone else do the job then more power to you, if you want to learn how to do it yourself in less than fifteen minutes, read on. Of course in order to learn to shine shoes you will need your own shoe shine kit. It isn't necessary to buy a pre-made one; you can buy all of the components separately and make up your own kit.

The whole idea is to have everything is one place so it is easy to find. You will want liquid polish with a built in applicator, horsehair brush and applicator, polish, and buffing cloths. In a rush you can use just the liquid, but you will get the best results using the paste polish. First you have to get rid of all the debris and dirt so you don't scratch the shoes, be careful not to get them too damp though or the polish will not adhere. Dry them completely before you attempt to polish.

Take the liquid polish and put it on your shoes concentrating mainly on the toe and heel areas. Let the first shoe dry and then move onto the second. It is important to have colors to match all of your dress shoes. After the shoes are dry buff the first shoe with the horsehair brush until you get rid of the damp looking areas and start to see a shine. Next, you want to use a buffing cloth which should be 100% cotton as not to scratch the shoe, T-shirts work great. It is easier to do this process with the shoes on.

You hold the buffing cloth at each end and slide it all over the shoe and keep going until you have the shine you want. It only takes a couple of minutes, and then do the other shoe.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Name Brand Shoes at

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