How To

Specific Product Techniques

Technique Posts

How to Use Pure Polish

In regard to polishing your leather goods, there are no real practical differences between regular toxic polish and our non-toxic polish. But there are some minor things that should be noted:

Because non-toxic polish contains no turpentine or petroleum as a solvent, the polish in the tin or jar is a little more sensitive to changes in temperature, so it will be harder below 75F and softer above 80F. Once it’s applied to the leather, temperature becomes irrelevant.

An effect of using natural, non-toxic orange oil as the solvent is that it acts as a mild cleaner as well. Another effect of using orange oil as the solvent is that when you put your applicator (fingertip, cotton cloth, etc…) into the polish to extract some from the tin, it will not absorb into the applicator as quickly and easily as leather polish that uses toxic solvents.

Cleaner Conditioner

(Short Instructions)

Apply with fingertip or clean cotton cloth in 1 inch circles. Buff using cotton cloth. Air dry 1-2 hours. Horsehair brush to shine.

Store below 21C/70F.

(Long Instructions)

Cleaner Conditioner cannot only be used on shoes, but pretty much any grain-out leather item.

Use a soft cotton cloth (an old t-shirt will do), or your fingers, and scoop out a small amount (just enough to cover the ends of a couple of your fingers) of cream from the jar.

Rub the cream into the leather.

Use a clean cotton cloth and rub/buff the leather.

Let leather air dry for a few hours, then rub/buff the leather again.

Horsehair brush the leather for a rich, glow shine.

Cream Polish (Color & Neutral)

(Short Instructions)

Apply with fingertip or clean cotton cloth in 1 inch circles. Wait 10 minutes. Horsehair brush each shoe thoroughly for a deep, rich shine.

(Long Instructions)

To get the greatest benefit from this polish, and to get the best shine, use it in the following manner:

Use a soft cotton cloth (an old t-shirt will do) and rub it on the surface of the polish in the tin. If the polish is soft rub gently, if the polish is firm rub with a little more pressure. You want to add just a little polish to the cloth (you can always add more if you like).

Rub the polish onto the shoe in about 1 inch circles. You should have enough polish on the cloth to cover each section (or one quarter) of the shoe at a time. Repeat this process until polish has been applied to cover both shoes.

Wait 10 minutes and Boar’s hair (shorter stiffer bristles) or Horsehair brush each shoe thoroughly. This process helps the cream polish penetrate and get absorbed into the leather. However, this will not produce a great shine yet, so don’t be disappointed.

Wait another 10 minutes. Using a clean cotton cloth, do a single light wipe-down across each shoe, to remove any excess cream polish that hasn’t penetrated the leather pores. Follow-up with a thorough Horsehair brushing of each shoe again. This should bring out a deep, rich, glow shine.

With light colored shoes (Light Brown polish) the shoes may darken slightly due to the density of the conditioner (coconut oil) in the polish.

Water Resistant Cream Polish

(Short Instructions)

Apply with fingertip or clean cotton cloth in 1 inch circles, until both shoes have been covered with a thin layer. Wait 10 minutes. Boar’s hair or horsehair brush each shoe thoroughly for full penetration and a soft shine.

(Long Instructions)

To get the greatest benefit from this polish, and to get the water resistance, use it in the following manner:

Use a soft cotton cloth (an old t-shirt will do) and rub it on the surface of the polish in the tin. If the polish is soft rub gently, if the polish is firm rub with a little more pressure. You want to add just a little polish to the cloth (you can always add more if you like).

Rub the polish onto the shoe in about 1 inch circles. You should have enough polish on the cloth to cover each section (or one quarter) of the shoe at a time. Repeat this process until polish has been applied to cover both shoes.

Wait 10 minutes and Boar’s hair (shorter stiffer bristles) or Horsehair brush each shoe thoroughly. This process helps the cream polish penetrate and get absorbed into the leather. However, this will not produce a great shine yet, so don’t be disappointed.

Wait another 10 minutes and brush each shoe again thoroughly. This should bring out a soft, glow shine.

Wipe each shoe down with a damp cloth to activate the polish.

Try not to add too much polish (about the same as you would/should with regular cream polish).

If too much polish is used the shine will look a little hazy (the orange oil acting as a mild cleaner), but all that is necessary is to brush the shoes again to blend and smooth out the wax.

With light colored shoes (Light Brown polish) the shoes may darken slightly due to the density of the conditioner (coconut oil) in the polish.

Paste Polish

(Short Instructions)

Apply with fingertip or clean cotton cloth in thin layer using straight lines forward and across the grain of the leather. Horsehair brush thoroughly for smooth shine. Repeat for increased shine depth.

(Long Instructions)

Paste Polish differs from Cream Polish by both the ratio of stiff waxes to soft waxes, and the solvent to conditioning properties.

To get the best effects from Paste Polish, only use it on non-flexing leather areas (typically the toe and heel quarters of dress shoes or boots).

Paste Polish is typically used to get a deeper and more reflective shine than cream polish. Through combining paste polish with water, you can also achieve a “Mirror Shine” for full reflection.

To get the the highest shine you can, while also adding some perception of depth to the shine, only a Neutral (non-pigmented) Paste Polish can accomplish this. This is why we developed the “High Shine Paste”. However, a very reflective shine can still be accomplished using multiple layers of Color Paste Polish.

Additionally, Color Paste Polish is used to add patina (burnishing or antiquing) for color contrast and additional character to the shoe, on the toe box and heel quarter areas.

Typical patina color combinations include:

  • Black Paste Polish with Brown, Dark Brown, Navy Blue, and Burgundy Cream Polish vamps.
  • Dark Brown Paste Polish with Light Brown and Walnut Cream Polish vamps.

Using your fingertip or a soft cotton cloth (an old t-shirt will do), rub it on the surface of the polish in the tin. If the polish is soft rub gently, if the polish is firm rub with a little more pressure. You want to add just a minimal amount of polish to the cloth.

Rub the polish onto the shoe in straight forward lines, along with the grain of the leather, starting at the beginning of the non-flexing areas (the separation of the toe-cap, or top of the heel puff). You should have enough polish on your fingertip or cloth to do 3-4 full strokes front-to-back. Repeat this process until polish has been applied across the full section in one direction.

Wait 1-2 minutes to allow for the solvent to evaporate. Switch shoes or cover the alternate areas in the meantime.

Re-apply polish to fingertip or cloth, and rub the polish onto the shoe in straight lines across the grain of the leather (side-to-side), until you have covered the full section previously covered with front-to-back strokes.

Using your fingertip or cloth, without re-applying polish, softly rub straight lines, front-to-back, then side-to-side, until you’ve cross hatched a smooth wax polish “shell” onto the leather.

If applied too thickly, if there are marred sections, dust or hairs trapped under the wax, remove the debris, horsehair brush the layer, and begin the process again.

Your fingertip alone will bring out a reflective shine. However, you can also use a goat’s hair brush (softest natural hair bristles) or a long horsehair brush, to bring out the shine on the paste polish section.

You want the wax surface “shell” to be smooth, solid, and non-sticky. Repeat brushing, or cross-hatch rubbing of paste layers, until you achieve the high shine desired.

High Shine Paste Polish

(Short Instructions)

For a “Mirror Shine” apply on top of an existing paste polish base layer. Using a damp, soft cotton cloth, rub High Shine lightly onto the toe or heel of the shoe. Continue to rub until a smooth shine appears. Wait 1-2 minutes, and repeat until the desired shine and depth is produced.

(Long Instructions)

(Follow instructions on Paste Polish to achieve a “wax base” before attempting a mirror shine)

Using a soft cotton cloth (an old t-shirt works, but we recommend soft cotton rounds or a chamois cloth) as an applicator. Tap the cloth into some droplets of water to get it moist (or spray it with a water spray bottle from 4-6 inches away).

Rub it (a couple of circles) lightly on the surface of the polish in the tin. You only want a small amount of polish on the cloth.

Rub the polish onto the shoe in about 1 to 2 inch circles. You should have very little polish on the cloth, but you still want to cover the whole toe (or heel). It should feel like you are pushing the water droplets. If it feels like you are dragging the polish, add a little more moisture to the applicator.

Continue the polish rub, droplet, circle rub on the toe or heel of the shoe until a smooth shine appears (the haze is gone).

Wait a few minutes, then repeat the first three steps as many times you like, until you get the shine and depth you desire.

Tip: a mirror shine is best achieved understanding that the reflection is caused by the prism of light and water, with wax as the stabilizing mechanism. Layers of wax alone will not create the reflection. And, pigment will impede the maximum amount of light, which is why to achieve the ultimate “Mirror Shine”, you need to use a neutral High Shine Paste.