Shoe Polishing Hack: Use a Heat Gun

35,319

26

10

About: Be limited only by your imagination.

Things are better with powertools.  In this Instructable I will describe how to use a heatgun for two purposes.  First, I use it to remelt broken bits of shoe polish or to soften it prior to application.  Second, I use it prior to the final buffing in order to soften it on the shoes again and enable a high-gloss shine.  Please though, a word of caution.  You want to use the heat gun on the LOW setting and AT AN APPROPRIATE DISTANCE and for A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.  Heat guns get hot enough that they can set shoe polish or your shoes on fire and believe me, you don't want to have to explain how you set your shoes on fire because you followed instructions on the internet from some guy named Grunambulax.  

Step 1: Pictures of Shoes Before Shining

You will notice that there are scuffs and discoloration on the shoes. 

Step 2: Remelting Broken Wax

In the first photo, you will see a common site.  A tin of polish that cracked into small pieces.  In order to restore this, take the heat gun on a low heat setting and hold it about 12 inches away from the tin.  Warm the polish gently until it liquifies.  Keep the heat gun far enough away from the polish so that you only gently heat it.  Once the polish liquifies, give it 15 minutes to resolidify.  Even if the polish is good I will heat it for about 15 seconds to soften it up.  This is important as it softens the polish and allows you to spread it more deeply and evenly.

Step 3: Apply Polish, Buff

This is the normal process.  Apply the polish well and massage it into the leather.  Let it dry 5 minutes and buff with a shoe bush.  Now you have only a very thin layer of polish left on the shoe.

Step 4: Lightly Warm the Shoe With Heatgun and Rebuff It

In the final step, use the heatgun for about 15 seconds a shoe on low setting at about 12 inches away.  You only want to warm the polish here.  Once you have done this use the brush or a clean rag to give it the final shine.  You also can wipe a damp, but not wet cloth on the shoes at this point and rebuff it.

Step 5: After Pictures

Here are the shoes after shining.  Notice the scuffs are gone and the discoloration is covered.  The leather is better preserved.  These shoes are 5 years old.  I've been shining them this way for a year about every three weeks.

Share

    Recommendations

    • Organization Contest

      Organization Contest
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Warm and Fuzzy Contest

      Warm and Fuzzy Contest

    10 Discussions

    0
    None
    GrunambulaxDavidHanley

    Reply 1 year ago

    The old army trick was to heat a spoon over a gas flame and go over your shoes. This is just that on steroids

    0
    None
    JasonB195charles543

    Reply 2 years ago

    ?yes a hair dryer will do, but it will take longer

    0
    None
    XaqFixx

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent advice - I always use heat when polishing my boots.

    0
    None
    technologyguy

    5 years ago

    Great method for those of us who still polish shoes,(and believe me we are a minority.) I'll be adding this one to my repertoire. Thanks.

    1 reply