Saphir Products - Shoe Cleaning Noob

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by KaiserSose, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. koolhistorian

    koolhistorian Senior member

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    Not sure if you're aware, if your order with Valmour totals more than €75 you get free postage (instead of €15). I bought a large supply!

    Depends on your location [​IMG]
     
  2. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    When the wax polish (MÃ[​IMG]daille D'or) begins to dry out and break into clumps, do you add anything to it?

    I'm thinking that maybe a few drops of turpentine might do the trick. Good or bad idea?

    The wax seems to 'swirl' for longer, when it has the softer consistency from a brand new tin. The cloth drags less against the leather, making the 'mirror' easier to obtain.

    Lear
     
  3. Cid

    Cid Senior member

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    When the wax polish (MÃ[​IMG]daille D'or) begins to dry out and break into clumps, do you add anything to it?

    I'm thinking that maybe a few drops of turpentine might do the trick. Good or bad idea?

    The wax seems to 'swirl' for longer, when it has the softer consistency from a brand new tin. The cloth drags less against the leather, making the 'mirror' easier to obtain.

    Lear


    I have always thought that the cracking and clumping was caused by the oils drying out of the wax. For that reason, I always store my tins upside down so that more oil is on the surface when you use it. Could be completely wrong. I know for spit shining, the "mirror" effect decreases rapidly once the wax starts cracking. It is rare for me to get completely through a tin before replacing because of that.

    Hopefully Ron will chime in with his professional wisdom to clarify.
     
  4. jsherman02

    jsherman02 Senior member

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    I am a fan of saphir....I will never go back to other brands.
     
  5. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    I have always thought that the cracking and clumping was caused by the oils drying out of the wax. For that reason, I always store my tins upside down so that more oil is on the surface when you use it. Could be completely wrong. I know for spit shining, the "mirror" effect decreases rapidly once the wax starts cracking. It is rare for me to get completely through a tin before replacing because of that. Hopefully Ron will chime in with his professional wisdom to clarify.
    Thanks for the info RLlikes. Might just hold off until Ron chips in. It's not that I mind ruining a tin of expensive shoe wax; just that it's so damned difficult to get hold of in the first place, whatever the price. Lear
     
  6. rioni

    rioni Senior member

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    Several of mine (saphir) are cracked and function they same as the day I bought them.
     
  7. anon

    anon Senior member

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  8. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    I'm still striving for the mirror shine, that I know my JL's deserve. Some of my observations (as a novice): Polish under natural sunlight. What you imagined to be a dull spot at night, often turns out to be a trick of the (artificial) light. Someone said that John Lobb polish is made by Saphir. I therefore purchased a tin, only to find that it does not compare to Saphir MÃ[​IMG]daille D'or. I've experimented with both. The Saphir wins every time. Maybe they were refering to a cheaper line of Saphir products. From this link: http://www.saint-crispins.com/e_pret/index4.html I decided to add 30% rubbing alcohol to the water. I've noticed an instant improvement in the mirror. It seems to loosen the wax, allowing it to 'swirl' for longer. The alcohol will slowly eveporate from the vessel, so if you return the next day, you might have to add a drop more. Take a tiny dab of wax onto a dry cloth. Dip it into the water. Only a droplet of water is needed. The added alcohol increases the rate at which the cloth soaks it up. Start 'swirling' immediately, wasting no time in getting the polish pushed into the pores. Quite soon, the cloth will drag. A few droplets of water are then applied by shaken fingertip onto the leather... more swirling.... When the cloth begins to drag again, I usually breathe heavily onto the leather and continue swirling. You'll begin to see a harder shine developing. I now move onto a clean bit of cloth and just continue with the heavy breath and swirling. Some may think this a waste of money, but I buy a metre of fluffy cloth (don't know what it's called) from the local haberdashery department. It's similar to the shoe bag stuff, but thinner and softer. I buy it in white, as it'll clearly show which bit has been used. To cover myself, I tell the saleswoman that I'm running up a little white dress for a party over the weekend. Works every time, and saves the embarrassment of her knowing what the cloth is really for. I can now see how leather quality determines the depth of shine. I can obtain a great mirror on my RMW's. However, the mirror on my JL's is a step up from that. N.B. Normally, a droplet of water will want to sit there in a single blob. With the alcohol added, a droplet will want to instantly spread out and evaporate. When this ceases to happen, I know that more alcohol needs to be added to the main vessel. Don't go mad and fill the vessel up. 30% (or maybe less say Saint Crispin´s) of a few millimetres of water, is still just a few splashes of the hard stuff. My mirror shine is approaching perfection. [​IMG] Hope that helps someone. Lear
     
  9. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    has anyone found that the saphir polish (wax or creme) comes off on the bottom of your pants? this has happened to me!
     
  10. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    has anyone found that the saphir polish (wax or creme) comes off on the bottom of your pants? this has happened to me!
    Yes! Usually when the shoes/boots have just been polished and worn that same day. I don't think this is peculiar to Saphir though. Happens much less, if you allow the shoes to sit for a few days after polishing. Also, many apply too much polish onto the shoe. Then fail to properly push it into the pores of the leather. What's coming off is probably excess polish that should have been shined away. Lear
     
  11. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    Yes! Usually when the shoes/boots have just been polished and worn that same day. I don't think this is peculiar to Saphir though. Happens much less, if you allow the shoes to sit for a few days after polishing.

    Also, many apply too much polish onto the shoe. Then fail to properly push it into the pores of the leather. What's coming off is probably excess polish that should have been shined away.

    Lear


    this happened to mine worn weeks later
     
  12. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    this happened to mine worn weeks later
    Probably just too much polish, without enough polishing. Lear
     
  13. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    Probably just too much polish, without enough polishing.

    Lear


    possibly
     
  14. wetnose

    wetnose Senior member

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    Some may think this a waste of money, but I buy a metre of fluffy cloth (don't know what it's called) from the local haberdashery department. It's similar to the shoe bag stuff, but thinner and softer. I buy it in white, as it'll clearly show which bit has been used. To cover myself, I tell the saleswoman that I'm running up a little white dress for a party over the weekend. Works every time, and saves the embarrassment of her knowing what the cloth is really for.

    Lear


    I use the oldest terry cloth (i.e. face cloth) I can find. That way even if I have excess polish, the cloth soaks it in. I do 2 polishes: clockwise then buff with old 100% cotton T shirt. Then counterclockwise, light misting with water spray gun then buff again. Supposedly the circular motion really ensures even coverage of wax/creme, otherwise the excess might get end up on the sidelines of the terry cloth.
     
  15. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    I use the oldest terry cloth (i.e. face cloth) I can find. That way even if I have excess polish, the cloth soaks it in. I do 2 polishes: clockwise then buff with old 100% cotton T shirt. Then counterclockwise, light misting with water spray gun then buff again. Supposedly the circular motion really ensures even coverage of wax/creme, otherwise the excess might get end up on the sidelines of the terry cloth.
    At the rate I'm going, I'd run out of old terry cloth within the month [​IMG] There seem to be so many methods for obtaining the elusive mirror shine. I've watched videos and read more than enough writings on the subject. Enough! I've now found something that works for me. What has surprised me, is how seldom the water + 30% rubbing alcohol tip is mentioned. It has transformed my mirror, from a shiny sheen, to a hard, glass like sparkle. Also surprising, is the rarity of the mirror shine. I can spend an entire day in the centre of London, seeing nothing but dull and shabby footwear. So many good suits are let down by poorly maintained shoes. Not a complaint, I'm just surprised. Consequently, if your shoes sparkle like a jewel, people will stare in awe. Lear
     

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