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Can shoe polish go bad?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Stu, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Stu

    Stu Distinguished Member

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    I bought a pair of shoe polish from Alden 2 years ago that is specifically for Color 8 cordovan. I always take it in when I have my shoes done. The cobbler told me it has gone bad and is turning black. Looks OK to me, but he forgets more about shoes every day than I will ever learn. Should I buy new polish? Not a big deal for $8, but still something i had never heard of before because I thought polish lasted forever.
     


  2. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I've had polish turn white and start growing shit. Come to think of it, it was Alden #8.
     


  3. Teacher

    Teacher Stylish Dinosaur

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    Perhaps this polish -- because it's specifically for shell (which is veg/oil tanned, not chorme tanned like calf uppers) -- is formulated differently. I've never seen regular creams or waxes go bad, and I've seen some that are ooooold.
     


  4. thinman

    thinman Distinguished Member

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    I've had polish dry out, but never "go bad".
     


  5. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Distinguished Member

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    An interesting question. I dont shine my own shoes, but it is an interesting question. I would think it dries out but doesnt necessarily easily go bad.
     


  6. sysdoc

    sysdoc Senior Member

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    The solvents in wax polish (e.g. turpentine) evaporate when you leave the tin open for a longer while. This is actually the same process that happens after you polished your shoes when the wax 'hardens'. Without the solvents the polish is pretty useless, because it becomes rock hard and cannot be applied to a shoe anomore.

    Creams are mostly water based, so they can dry out too. I am not a fan of cream, so I never had any dry out on me. Theoretically however, you should be able to 'revive' dried out water based cream with a few drops of water.

    Ancient shoe polish may not rot, but it sure ain't good for polishing shoes either.
     


  7. Roger

    Roger Distinguished Member

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    I've had the Alden #8 cordovan polish get very hard in the jar and crack somewhat, but it has still been very usable. I've never bothered, but I imagine if were heated a little, it would probably soften up again. In addition, I have cans of shoe polish lying around that must be 20 years old. They too can get a little hard, and maybe the cake of polish will crack into two or three sections, but the polish still works fine. Going bad, to me, suggests colonies of unwanted tiny creatures living in your shoe-polish cans, and, given the composition of creams and polishes, this seems most unlikely. Perhaps what was meant by "gone bad" was that the polish had hardened and dried out somewhat, but my guess is that it could still be used and could, in addition, be rejuvenated by heating.
     


  8. stach

    stach Senior Member

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    I bought three jars of Meltonian red mahogony cream several years ago. Two jars remain unopened but in one of those jars the cream has turned mauve.
     


  9. why4009

    why4009 Senior Member

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    Do you think lexol or meltonian leather lotion go bad? I just found my old shoe polishing stuff and trying to see what I can keep and what I can't. I understand that some polish can go bad so I'll probably toss it. Look at the open container of black meltonian cream - it is pure solid now! Any thoughts would be appreciated. http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/3874/shoepolish.jpg
     


  10. NorCal

    NorCal Distinguished Member

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    Only when it starts hanging around with the wrong element.
     


  11. JayJay

    JayJay Stylish Dinosaur

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    I've had polish dry out, but never "go bad".
    I've had it dry out but it was still usable. I've had it turn white, too.
     


  12. glenjay

    glenjay Senior Member

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    I have had polish dry up because the solvent had evaporated, but I have never had polish spoil or change color on me.
     


  13. Ikouja

    Ikouja Well-Known Member

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    I've had it dry out but it was still usable. I've had it turn white, too.

    I've heard a drop or two of motor oil will fix that perfectly [​IMG]
     


  14. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Distinguished Member

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    l say yes,
    it turned darker and made dags,
    had to throw it,
    20 years
     


  15. Faded501s

    Faded501s Distinguished Member

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    I've dampened a rag and used old, dried out polish without problems until I grabbed some 10 or 15 year old Kiwi Natural (clear) on some brown shoes. It just kind of turned white and flaky on the leather and was a major PIA to get off...especially in the creases. It's like it turned "gummy" or something and was just sticking to the leather. I tried buffing the hell out of it but finally had to wipe it down 4 or 5 times with a damp rag to get it off. Like I said, major PIA and just not worth it.
     


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