A shoe of any kind is an investment and should be cared for so they will last as long as their owner wears them. Dress shoes in particular can be very expensive. Every time you put on a pair of dress shoes you want them to look like they just came out of the box. You may think you have to take your dress shoes to a shoe shop and have them machine buffed to keep them looking brand new. You don’t. I am going to share a technique that will enable you to shine your dress shoes to the point of seeing your reflection in them. It’s called a spit-shine. Although it can be used, a spit-shine doesn’t require spit. A spit-shine will take time but you can shine your shoes to any gloss in between. You can also wear the shoes in between achieving your spit-shine.
If you have shoe polish you’re half way to a spit-shine, if not, purchase a can to match your shoe color. The polish does not have to be expensive. You will also need a linen handkerchief, water and a cigarette lighter. You can use any kind of cotton rag but the tight weave of linen will bring faster results. First, use a different dry rag to wipe any dirt or dust from the shoe. Open the shoe polish and put a couple of ounces of water in the top of the can. Light the shoe polish and blow the flame out when the polish liquefies. Wrap your pointing finger in the handkerchief, it should be a snug fit. When the polish is warm to touch, dip your handkerchief wrapped finger into the polish. Then dip your handkerchief wrapped finger with the polish on it into the water.
Apply the polish in a small counter-clockwise circle of about an inch. Preferably at the toe, this way you will have an even polish if you decide to stop before your shoes are spit-shined. To avoid getting a lot of polish on your finger tip, rotate the handkerchief to a clean spot periodically. After a a few minutes of spit-shining, the leather may become rough. This is normal, just keep shining. The shoe may also become dull before coming to a shine. This is also normal, just keep shining. Spit-shines last forever. Once you have achieved your spit-shine you can use a shoe brush to bring your shoes to a mirror-like shine in about a minute.