Introduction: A Magical Way to Shine Your Shoes

One thing that every college student needs to do is to get a job. In order to get a job, one must first prove to an employer that they should be hired. This is generally done through the use of an interview. During this interview, it is important to look professional and presentable to your potential employer. Almost everyone plans what they will wear to this interview, but how many think about whether their shoes are polished? And even if they do, how many college students have the time or the resources to buy a shoe polishing kit? We have taken it upon ourselves to provide a cheap, easy way to shine your shoes using common household items.

Step 1: Materials

Here are the materials you will need:

  • 1 (Preferably unripened) Banana
  • Several cleaning rags
  • 1 Bottle of Vegetable Oil
  • Pair of worn leather shoes
  • Access to tap water
  • Toothpaste (Optional)
  • Vinegar (Optional)
  • Nylon (Optional)


  • Vegetable oil will catch fire if overheated. Keep away from open flame.
  • Banana peels represent falling hazards. Keep away from comedians.
  • Do not unnecessarily eat toothpaste. It doesn’t taste good. Trust me.
  • The acetic acid in vinegar can cause decay and sensitivity in the teeth. If consumed, minimize time in mouth, do not swirl it in mouth, and eat toothpaste to counteract the effects. But really, just don’t drink the vinegar.
  • This process has not been tested on shoes other than leather shoes. Be sure you know the difference between cloth and leather before attempting to clean shoes.

Step 3: Gather Materials

First, gather the necessary materials. Bananas can generally be found at a local grocery store. PROTIP: Buy an extra one to stave off hunger. Along with the banana, most grocery stores carry vegetable oil and cleaning rags as well, so also be sure to obtain these materials. *Note: This is also the best opportunity to obtain vinegar and toothpaste for the optional portions of this process. While not necessary, it may be useful in order to be prepared to do the optional steps.

Step 4: Select the Shoes

Browse your shoe collection until you find a pair of leather shoes that are in need of polishing. DO NOT SELECT ANYTHING OTHER THAN LEATHER SHOES. Above are some examples of shoes that are (the brown boots) and are not (flip flops and tennis shoes) appropriate for this task.

Step 5: Wipe Off Shoes

Take a clean rag and wipe off the shoes to remove any dust or dirt that may be clinging to them. Then, get the rag damp, and wipe down the shoes again to get anything that you may have missed. Allow your shoes to dry.

Step 6: (Optional): Clean With Nylon

There is another material that is able to get the dusts on the shoes off, nylon. You may use nylon swipe over the shoes as what you did on rags.

Step 7: Peel the Banana

Peel one banana. Dispose of the inside by eating it or throwing it away. But really, who throws away a banana? The reason we use banana peel is that the peel contains tannins, and tannins are able to efficiently clean the dust and oil on shoes. It’s better to use a green banana then to use a ripe banana.

Step 8: Apply Banana

Using the inside surface of the banana peel, rub the peel over the outside of your shoes. Do not rub on any cloth portions of the shoes. This may seem strange, but don’t worry, the magic is coming.

Step 9: Buff It Out

Once your shoes have been completely covered in banana guts, buff it out with a soft cloth to remove the excess residue. Be sure to responsibly dispose of banana peel. For example, place it on the stairs. (Do not really place banana peel on stairs.)

Step 10: Prepare Oil

After residue has been cleaned off your shoes, prepare the vegetable oil to be used by placing a small drop on another clean cloth. This is most easily done by placing the rag over the open container and gently upending it for a brief period of time.

Step 11: Apply Oil

Using this cloth, rub over the outside surface of your shoes. You’ll want to move the cloth in tiny circles to work the oil into the leather. If the rag gets dry, apply more vegetable oil. Do not use the cloth on any cloth portions of the shoes. Once this has been done, allow the shoes to dry.

Step 12: (Optional): Vinegar

If desired results are not achieved and your shoes are not shiny enough, you may repeat steps seven and eight. In addition, you may use several drops of vinegar as optional choice instead of vegetable oil on shoes since vinegar has function that is able to avoid shoes getting dusts. Plus, you may also drop vinegar into rags, and then use the special rags to swipe over the shoes. *Note: We did not test this method and cannot be held responsible for less than optimal results.

Step 13: (Optional): Toothpaste

Toothpaste has the same function as Vegetable Oil, they all enable the shoes to be brighter. You may use a rag to apply the toothpaste, or a spare toothbrush if you wish. If you use a toothbrush, we recommend not reusing the toothbrush to clean your teeth. *Note: We did not test this method and cannot be held responsible for less than optimal results.

Step 14: Finish

Impress the shit out of everyone. *Note: Only the front shoe is done here in order to show a comparison.

Step 15: Conclusion

Not only do you have your daily source of potassium from that extra banana you ate, but your shoes are more shiny than they were and can walk down the street with confidence that everyone you see is admiring your shiny kicks. When you walk into your interview, the recruiter will hand you a job immediately (*Note: the creators of this instructable are not responsible for less than optimal results in your search for employment.), simply because your shoes look SO AMAZING. When your new boss asks how your shoes got to be so shiny, you can attribute your success to your innate knowledge of alternative uses for household items. Whatever you do, do not tell them about this instruction, because then you will not be special. You must keep this a secret. We’re counting on you.