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Picture of Shoe Polish in a jiffy
So I had an interview coming up and some black leather boots I wanted to wear, but lo they were scuffy and dusty. I don't really need to polish them that often and I really didn't want to buy a whole tin of polish that would take me years to use, inter this instructable.
 
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Step 1: What you need

Picture of what you need
- candle wax
- oil (I used canola)
- a tin can
- heat source
- something to handle can with (I used my letherman)

Optional
- other waxy product. Balm, old chap stick, etc. (in my case I used badger balm)


Amounts are variable dependent on what you need

Step 2: Mix it up

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You need something to heat this all up in, and you don't want to be eating out of it ever again. I found that a half can is just right. Easy to reach the bottom with your finger, disposable, and probably in your cabinet already.

Make sure to remove the label, you don't want it catching fire. Also, remember what your mom told you about the tin cans; "they are sharp", I crimped the edge of mine with my letherman. (after I cut myself not paying attention)

I used about 3g of white candle wax. I save my wax from burn out candles to later melt down and make into new candles so I already had this around. I'm sure you could use whatever color you wanted to match your shoes but the advantage of white wax is that it works for all colors.

I covered the bottom of the tin with canola oil, probably about a table spoons worth. You need something to cut with the candle wax and soften it up. Canola is a nice and clean oil that isn't sticky. This worked out close to a 50/50 mix.

And I added about a 1/4 a teaspoon of 'badger balm' (virgin olive oil, natural beeswax, castor oil, aloe vera extract, and essential oil of sweet birch) This added a little 'smell good' to my polish but isn't necessary. It also helps soften the candle wax.

Put it all in the can and on the stove at a low temp. Let it all melt and become clear.


Step 3: Use

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When it's all melted take it off the stove, remember the can is hot, grab a clean rag and get to work.

You can start while its still liquid. You will see your wax solidifying while you polish. As it cools it will darken but that isn't a problem (in the can, not on your shoes). You can use it when it is completely cool but it's easiest to use while its still soft. I actually put mine back on the stove for a minuet to soften it up again before starting on the other boot.

With the oil and wax this probably also does some nice water proofing but I didn't test that out.

There you go!! Shiny boots and just the amount of polish you need without heading to the store.


(probably could throw a good wick in the middle and have a nice candle too)
Morrighan5 years ago
Good info... I have to try it because my boots are always wet when it rains...

I like your boots!! :D
tinkerhomecraft (author)  Morrighan5 years ago
 Thanks!  I liked your badge recycling post.
KD7CAO5 years ago
Thanks for the info! Just bought commercial grade Saddle Soap and Boot Cream to do up my Danners they are looking a bit scuffed! Have to remember this for next time!
Switch out the canola oil for linseed oil from your local hardware store & make sure you're using beeswax, and you basically have an old blacksmiths' recipe for paste wax.

I do reproduction leather work for a living, and that's what I use to finish my products rather than a commercial acrylic sealer. I also use it for my woodworking, for some of my blacksmithing projects, and to protect my wooden cutting board in the kitchen.
 Thanks for the good info.