Patent leather shoes are elegant, stylish, and a timeless addition to wardrobes for men and women. However, they require special care to keep them shiny, including cleaning and polishing. I will share tips on how to polish patent leather shoes and preserve the surface.
How to polish patent leather shoes is the various ways of cleaning, conditioning, and protecting patent leather to help it keep its shine. Methods can be used to cover or remove scuffs, scratches, dirt, and dust that can dull a patent finish. Polish patent leather shoes weekly to keep them glossy.
Do you have a pair of patent leather shoes that have lost their shine? Are you looking for a way to restore the glossy finish on an old pair of patent leather shoes?
What Is Polishing Patent Leather Shoes?
Polishing patent leather shoes is caring for and maintaining the shiny coating on patent leather footwear. Patent leather shoes have a special thin plastic coating that gives them a glossy shine, but this layer is easily disturbed by dust, dirt, water, scuffs, and scratches. Polishing patent leather shoes is cleaning and buffing to remove dirt and scratches to restore the coating and make them look great again.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- Reasons You Might Choose To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
- Variations or Styles of How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
- How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes Overview Table
- Skill Level of How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
- Tools and Supplies Needed To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
- How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes Step by Step
- How to Get Better at Polishing Patent Leather Shoes
- My Personal Research on How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
- Helpful Insights on How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
Patent leather shoes are coated with polyurethane to give it that glossy finish, and contrary to popular belief it is not entirely waterproof. Prolonged exposure to water and improper drying methods can damage a patent leather finish.
One might also think that patent leather requires no maintenance because of the shiny finish; however, it is susceptible to scuffs, scratches, dirt, and debris that can easily show and dull the shine. Patent leather will also never develop a patina like other leather; it will only show creases and cracks with wear.
Reasons You Might Choose To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
Patent leather shoes are not the easiest to care for, and maintaining that glossy finish is not as easy as caring for non-patent leather shoes. Patent leather tends to show every scuff, so if one knocks their feet together while walking or bumps the curb, it will show. This is a good reason for patent leather polish.
Scratches can also occur on patent leather, and pets or rocks and debris can be a problem, with polishing being a common solution. Dirt, dust, pollen, dander, and many other things can dirty up patent leather shoes and mask their shiny finish, and cleaning and polishing can restore and protect their shine.
Variations or Styles of How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
Patent leather is a unique type of leather that may require special care; however, there are only a few ways to polish patent leather shoes. The first is with a patent leather polish and a soft cloth, and the second is with a patent leather conditioner and a soft cloth.
Both are very easy methods to practice and will keep patent leather shoes looking great. An option for protecting patent leather shoes is applying a wax polish, which can add extra shine.
Be aware that using the least amount of product possible will help to achieve and preserve that glossy patent shine again.
How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes Overview Table
|Area of Preparation
|How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
|Overall Level of Skill (1–5)
|Time to Complete (minutes/hours)
|Basic patent leather care
|Tools and Supplies Needed
|Soft cloths, leather cleaner, patent leather polish or conditioner
|Key Helpful Tip
|Use small amounts of product
Skill Level of How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
Polishing patent leather shoes does not take very much skill. Researchers Bacardit et al. inform us that the coating on patent leather is a polyurethane polymer incompatible with water; however, studies are being done to find new types of polyurethane coatings. Therefore, having some basic knowledge of patent leather care is helpful because of the polyurethane coating.
Keep in mind that patent leather can be easily scratched and scuffed, so use the right products to prevent damage. Know how to properly clean patent leather first, as this will give the best outcome when preparing to polish. Be aware that using the least amount of product possible will help to achieve and preserve that glossy patent shine again.
Tools and Supplies Needed To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
To clean patent leather shoes before polishing, it’s a good idea to have some microfiber or soft cloths and patent leather cleaner on hand. For polishing patent leather shoes, one only needs a soft cloth and patent leather polish or conditioner.
How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes Step by Step
Follow these steps to polish patent leather shoes:
- Begin by cleaning patent leather shoes by dusting off dust or dirt with a clean, dry cloth. For stubborn dirt, use leather cleaner. Allow the shoes to air dry completely.
- Use a clean, soft cloth to apply a small amount of patent leather conditioner or polish. If using polish, choose one that matches the patent leather shoe color.
- Rub the conditioner or polish in small circles all over the patent leather shoes. Avoid using too much product.
- Allow the conditioner or polish to sit for 20 minutes.
- Use a new clean, soft cloth to buff and remove any excess conditioner or polish.
- Optional step: Apply a wax polish to coat the shoe using the same method.
Watch this helpful video from Kirby Allison of The Hanger Project as he demonstrates how to shine patent leather shoes.
How To Get Better at Polishing Patent Leather Shoes
Polishing patent leather shoes is not just about using the right products; it’s also about using the right techniques. Getting better at it can be achieved with repeated use, and it is suggested that patent leather shoes be polished at least weekly to shine and protect the surface.
Work on gathering small amounts of patent leather polish or conditioner with a soft cloth to prevent excess product building up. And don’t forget to apply a little polish or conditioner on the inside seams of the patent leather to prevent drying out and cracking where it cannot be seen.
My Personal Research on How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
Patent leather shoes are an investment on any budget, and some supplies should be kept on hand to keep them clean and polished. I researched the most commonly used products with patent leather shoes and have provided them here.
|How to Use
|Patent leather cleaner
|Use when dirty or once per month
|Patent leather polish
|Apply once per week, color match
|Apply once per week in place of polish
|Use for dusting, cleaning, drying, and polishing
Helpful Insights On How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes
How can I polish my leather shoes at home?
Leather shoes can be polished at home with leather polish. This comes in a cream or wax and should match the color of the leather shoes. Simply use a clean, soft cloth to apply a small amount of polish using circular motions to cover the entire surface of the leather shoes.
What do you need to polish leather shoes?
Polishing leather shoes takes only a soft cloth and patent leather polish or leather conditioner. Use small amounts of the product on the cloth and apply evenly all over the leather shoes. Use a clean cloth to buff off any extra polish or conditioner to make it shine.
How do you buff and polish leather shoes?
Leather shoes can be buffed and polished with a soft cloth and wax or cream leather polish. Clean the leather shoes first to remove any dust or dirt. Then use the soft cloth to apply small amounts of the leather polish all over the shoes. Wipe off any excess product with a soft cloth.
- Clean patent leather shoes with mild soap and water or patent leather cleaner before polishing.
- Use patent leather shoe polish or conditioner weekly to preserve the surface and glossy shine.
- Buff off excess polish to prevent product buildup on patent leather shoes.
Patent leather shoes are the perfect addition to any wardrobe for glamour and flair. Cleaning and polishing them can keep patent leather shoes shiny and preserve the surface for a very long time. Follow these tips, and your patent leather shoes will look glamorous for many years!
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