How to Shine Shoes With Household Products

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Shoes make a strong first impression, and if you have scuffs or a dull or uneven finish, it can ruin an otherwise polished outfit. If you don't have shoe polish lurking in your back cupboard for a last-minute shine, a handful of products already in your house can come to the rescue.

Wipe On, Wipe Off

Clean off dirt and grime buildup with a tiny bit of window cleaner. Just spritz the product onto a clean, dry cloth and gently wipe across shoes. This strategy works especially well on patent leather or nonporous materials.

You can also get a clean shine with baby shampoo. Pour a dime-sized amount of shampoo onto a cloth and rub your shoes until they're spotless. Remove any leftover suds with a damp cloth or towel. Make sure to completely remove any excess residue, or you might end up with a dull patina.

Natural Oils

For an high shine with no artificial ingredients, try the natural cooking oils in your pantry. Olive, coconut and vegetable oils all work to produce a moisturizing shine on leather, faux leather and patent leather shoes.

Wipe your shoes clean to remove any grime or dirt. Place a few small drops of cooking oil onto a clean, dry cloth. Buff the oil into the shoe using small, circular motions until you have worked the oil into the leather. Allow the oil to set in place for about 10 minutes and then follow with a quick buff with a soft towel or cloth to remove any excess and to create a high shine.


To remove small scuffs, apply a tiny dab of petroleum jelly or white vinegar and buff. Wipe clean with a dry cloth for scuff-free kicks with no harsh chemicals.

Go Bananas

Perhaps a less obvious kitchen ally hides out in your fruit bowl. Remove a banana from the peel and buff your shoe with the inside of the peel. The natural oils create a lustrous shine as you apply using small circular motions.

Follow up the banana treatment with a quick buff with to remove any unwanted residue and to set the shine in place for the day.


Avoid using polyester material to buff shoes, which tends to strip away polish and leave shoes dull.

Beeswax Bliss

Beeswax is a natural sealant and creates a high shine without mystery chemical compounds. You can also make this batch of beeswax polish for multiple polish applications. Mix together 3/4 cup of olive oil with 2 tablespoons of white beeswax in a microwave safe dish. Use a tall bowl with plenty of space so that the compound can expand as it heats.

Place the mixture in the microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds at a time until the wax has melted. Keep a close eye on the mixture to avoid overheating. Stir to combine the ingredients and pour into a clean, resealable candle tin. Allow the mixture to cool and set completely.

Sweep a soft, dry cloth over the set polish and buff the mixture into the leather for a smooth, moisturizing finish. Store the polish in a cool, dry place.