How To Polish Boots: A Guide to Restoring Its Clean Looks!

When it comes to footwear, both for men and women, boots are amongst the most common. They are not only stylish, but even functional. In fact, they are worn in different types of high-risk jobs that require protection for the foot. Through time, however, it is inevitable that your boots will age and look like it is asking for a replacement.

But, is a replacement really necessary? In most instances, no! All that you need is to give it a decent shine, which will make it look as good as brand new. If in case you are wondering how to polish boots, keep on reading the rest of this post and we got you covered.

What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial

Before we discuss the specific steps that are involved in polishing your boots, here is a rundown of the materials that you will need:


  • Shoe polisher
  • Cloth
  • Horse hair brush
  • Wax (you can use shoe wax or car wax)
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Banana peel
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Polish Boots

This section will be further divided into different parts as there are different ways of polishing your boots. I am leaving the decision to you to choose which one you think is the best. All of these methods will work, so it does not matter which one is picked.

Using a Commercially-Available Shoe Polish

This is perhaps what most of us are used to doing. After all, the materials are readily available and all that you have to do is grab them and follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Generally speaking, here are the things that you should do:

  • 1. First, find a place where you will be working with. See to it that you will not be cramped.
  • 2. Next, prepare the boot that will be polished. Give it an initial clean by using a horsehair shine brush. See to it that you will be touching all portions of the boot.
  • 3. Apply a polish coating on the surface of the boot. Start by wrapping the cloth around your two fingers, dip in in the polish, scoop a little amount, and apply to the shoe. Make sure to rub with enough force.
  • 4. Once it has been thoroughly applied, let it sit for about five to fifteen minutes. This should be more than enough for the polish to be absorbed by the leather. Once it has settled in, it will show a bit of shine, although it is still a bit dull.
  • 5. By now, you can start brushing the surface. Brush in circular motions. Apply enough pressure and make sure that the brush is not too stiff. Otherwise, this can lead to scratches on the surface of your footwear.
  • 6. After polishing, the next thing that you have to do is shining. Using a clean cloth, wrap it around your index finger and dip in the water. It should only be slightly wet, but not drenched. Rub it on the surface of the shoe while making small circles.
  • 7. Leave it for a few minutes and brush.
  • 8. Polishing is not enough. You should also apply a protective layer so that it will remain shiny for a long time. With this, dip a cotton ball in shoe wax and rub all over the boot. Allow it tosettle then brush. A specialty boot cream or conditioner can also be applied, but the choice of which will depend on the specific type of leather that you are dealing with.
  • 9. You might also want to apply a product that will provide waterproofing. This is especially true if you are using boots in a work that demands you to be outdoors or in an environment wherein you will be prone to getting wet.
  • 10. Once you are done with the steps that have been mentioned above, give your boots the time to dry before if it is worn. If you wear it right away, it can easily attract dirt and dust, and hence, all your efforts might just go to waste.

Polishing Boots with a Natural Polisher

If you want to be eco-friendly and to save money, there are natural alternatives that can be equally promising. In this case, here are some of the things that you can use and what you should do:

  • Olive Oil and Lemon: Combine one part of lemon juice with two parts of olive oil. Dip a cloth in the mixture, wipe it on your boots, allow it to settle, and finally, brush it with enough force. This is one of the cheapest ways to bring back your footwear to life.
  • Banana Peel: After snacking on banana, do not ditch the peel. There are many other ways to use it, and one of the best would be through using it as a natural polisher for your boots. Simply rub it on your boots and finish by buffing. It is abundant with natural oils, which is basically the one responsible for making your boots shiny.
  • Petroleum Jelly: It is not as easy as applying petroleum jelly on the surface of the boots and buffing it. Rather, you should combine wax, olive oil, and petroleum jelly. Melt the ingredients in a pan and use it just like any shoe polisher.

Pro Tips

When polishing boots, here are some of the tips that you have to keep in mind:

  • You should not only concentrate on the upper part of the shoe. Yes, it is the one that is seen the most, but you should be cleaning beyond such. With this, apply polisher even on the edges of the sole.
  • When using cloth, it will be good if it is wet. Again, it should be noted that there is a significant difference between being wet and soaked. This will make sure that the polish will stick to the surface of the boot and not remain on the cloth.
  • Applying one player of polish is never enough. This won’t deliver an excellent job especially is the boot has not been cleaned for a long time. The more layers of polish are applied, the shinier it will be in the end.
  • It is important to be not contented with just polishing. As it has been noted earlier, you should also consider waterproofing your footwear. This will be instrumental not only in making it more comfortable as you will stay dry, but can also make it less resistant to damages that can be caused by water and salt.
  • You cannot use just any brush. There are some people who might think that harder brushes are better because they can restore shine quicker. Truth is, this is not exactly the case. You should find one that is soft, which is why horsehair brush is the best. It won’t cause scratches on the surface.
  • To minimize the likelihood that you will have to polish your boots often, make sure that you take care of it. When it is not used, put it in a place that is safe, away from dirt and dust. Also, it is better to clean it regularly than just once in a blue moon.
  • At all times, pay attention to the instructions from the manufacturer of the shoe. Not all types of leather are the same. Therefore, pay attention to what they are saying about how to make sure that it will stay in its tip-top condition.Point 1


Now that you are reading, I hope that you already know how to polish boots. It does not take too much effort. Also, you just have to spare minimal time. In the end, you will be happy when you see your boots shining like they have just been unboxed!

Sara Smith

My name is Sara Smith, the proud owner of the blog and the writer of all the articles that you can see on this website. It is my goal to share my knowledge to all of you and to provide valuable learnings in one way or another.

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