Simple 8 steps for that shoe shine

Shoe polishing for high shine

If you're pondering over the differences between a shoe polish cream and wax, and just where to start if you're ready to polish the shoes yourself. Well, you ain't alone, let's walk through them together.  

So, what's with the polish cream and wax?

Shoe polishes can come in either cream or wax form with similar function which is to add shine to your shoes. Here are some of the fundamental differences:

  • Cream polish: Usually use to apply colour restoration into the leather when it becomes dull and discoloured and it can be applied to the whole shoe. T

  • Wax polish: Use primarily to create high shine on the shoes given its higher concentration of beeswax.Can act as a light "water or scratch-proofer" with its higher content of hard wax. Avoid applying where the creases of the shoes are. 

Next, where do we start? 

  1. First, make sure that shoelaces are off your shoes.

  2. Take off the dust on the shoes with a horsehair brush. Start from the heel and clean the surface. Remember to dust it off the arch and tongue as well. 

  3. To get the best results you may wish to consider starting with a leather conditioner such as Saphir Renovateur to nourish the leather and keep it nice and supple.
  4. Next, apply cream if the leather is dull and faded according to colour of the shoe. If you can't find the exact colour, consider a shade lighter if it's an old pair of shoes.

  5. Use pighair brush to "brush in" the cream especially in the crease, etc. Use a chamois or shammy cloth and give it a light wipe to make sure the cream gets absorbed into the leather and wipe off the excess.

  6. Next, apply wax polish to give it the high shine it needs Use matching wax colour, if possible, alternatively, consider mixing colour using neutral as base.

  7. Only apply wax on the hard part of the shoes. Mirror shine it using the clean part of your cloth, together with just a tiny bit of water (if only the polish wax is applied, the colour will be dull and cloudy)

  8. When polishing, remember to take care of the shoe edges as well. You don't want the shoes to look "half-polished"

The most important ingredient during polishing is to have patience so that the high shine can be achieved. But if you're in a little rush mode, try the Saphir Mirror Gloss for a faster effect. 

If you have any more questions, simply email us at! Or, happy polishing!




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Care Guides

Make sure you're armed with the right advice to maximise the use of your leather cleaning and conditioning products, download your very own user guide below.        

Apple Brand Leather Care (Conditioner)

Leather Milk No. 1 Conditioner
Leather Milk No. 2 Cleaner
Leather Milk No. 3 Water Protectant
Leather Milk No. 4 Car Conditioner
Leather Milk No. 5 Furniture Conditioner
Saphir Shoe Care Guide     
Saphir Ultimate Shine Guide

In the meantime, some general rules on leather care and protection.





1. Cleaning

Regular cleaning prevents the build-up of dust, dirt, mildew and bacteria. Use your clean fingertip to gently rub out the scratch as the natural oils from your skin will remove most small scratches. To remove dirt, grime or surface residue, use a soft damp cloth. Gently rub for removal. For a deeper clean, use a cleaner to help preserve the natural lubricating oils instead of stripping them. Cleaning is an irreversible process and therefore, thorough consideration should be made before any such attempt. Do not use coloured rags that are not dye-colourfast as the dye may come off onto your leather. 

2. Maintaining

Leather loses suppleness in time if it is not provided with regular nourishment. Use a wax-free leather conditioner that will work on nourishing and restoring the flexibility and suppleness of your leather article. 

3. Storage

Leather is a natural material and should be stored in a breathable, non-plastic or non-porous container, to prevent the growth of mildew and bacteria. If you have to store it in a garment bag, make sure to keep it open for ventilation. 

Avoid at all cost: