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Leather Care Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, September 2021, Care of Leather Goods

Steven Ferry Care of Leather Goods, Part 11

by Steven Ferry

How to Polish Shoes

Lay a cloth or newspaper on a surface to prevent dirtying the surface with dust or polish. Remove any laces and use a slightly stiffer brush to brush away dust and grime; then a small round «on» brush to apply a small amount of polish to each section of shoe, including the mid-sole (unless it is made of rubber or plastic), as well as the tongue.

For a better shine, apply the polish with a drop of water or even a damp sponge, which will also keep the polish soft so it can be worked into the leather more effectively.

Use an old toothbrush to apply the polish into crevices or small holes, such as in brogues/wingtips.

Repeat for the other shoe.

Then use a large soft brush to buff the shoes to a shine, starting with the first shoe; use a rapid and light “flick” over the leather to bring up the shine.

Use a chamoise or lamb’s wool for an extra shine and to remove any remaining polish that may otherwise come off on trouser cuffs or long dresses.

Replace any laces in the same configuration they were in before, replacing any that may be broken or frayed;

For creams, use a soft cloth to apply the polish instead of a brush. In both cases, work in the polish briefly in a circular motion until the leather has a dull coating and then move to the next section.

Finish with a «heel & edge» stick to bring a shine to the sides of the heel and sole. They usually come only in black or dark brown and are very liquid, so apply sparingly.

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