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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Don't stress too much about getting it ALL off. Give them a nice cleaning and most of the wax will come up. You would be better off to err on the under did it than over did it side when it comes to removing wax. After cleaning brush buff them RELENTLESSLY this will redistribute whatever wax is remaining. If they shine back up your work is done. If not then give them ONE coat of wax and buff RELENTLESSLY again.
     
  2. Gerry

    Gerry Senior member

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  3. Gerry

    Gerry Senior member

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    This is where I am a bit confused. A lot of the guys here mention this product in conjunction with the words, cleaning and conditioning but on Avels own site(http://www.valmour.com/cleaning-products/shoe-polish-renovator-saphir-medaille-dor,522) Renovateur is described as a polish, ie: "
    Neutral shoe polish for smooth leather, enriched with mink oil", and when used acts just like a polish, hazes up when dry and shines when buffed. Some also suggest it can be used to remove layers of polish but then go on to suggest it can be used between shoe cream and polish in you polishing routine.
     
  4. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    We all have our own polishing and shoe care regimes, just different styles & approaches to ensure our footwear looks good. However I've always understood Saddle Soap to be a bit of a no-no for Shell. Nor do I think it's a good idea to use a hair dryer or any appliance heat source near Shell or even calf for that matter.

    The best idea would be to try and wipe off excess polish or wax and then brush hard with a horsehair brush.
     
  5. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    As you say we all have our own methods. I personally wouldn't have the patience to brush off a caked up pile of polish - but it certainly can be done with enough time and energy.

    You are correct, saddle soap in general - certainly a no no - due to PH balance etc. etc. but Saphir saddle soap is formulated for use on shoes so it's fine. I've used it myself with no problems.

    Hair dryer - perhaps a little suspect - but again if kept on low setting I've used to fine effect. Bear in mind that heat and steam are commonly used in shoe making and finishing.

    Of course, each must chart his own course and develop his own methods!
     
  6. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In all honesty for shell I would just wear them and give them a good brush each day for a long while. Reno in between. When enough time as passed a thin coat of wax. I think use, time, and reno are a good solution to wax buildup.
     
  7. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    You are correct, saddle soap in general - certainly a no no - due to PH balance etc. etc. but Saphir saddle soap is formulated for use on shoes so it's fine. I've used it myself with no problems.

    Not intended for Shell I think you'll find, but it's a difficult material to upset - very resilient.
     
  8. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    I have the same questions as well. Should conditioners like Renovateur and Creme Nubiana continue to be used on shined parts of the shoe for their conditioning benefits or are they only used to remove the wax layers?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  9. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Renovateur will take up a good deal of the Saphir polish already on a shoe (you can see the color coming off on your rag). It does not seem to take up much Kiwi wax (based on my experience).

    The beauty of Renovateur is that it is indeed a bit of all things: It lifts a little of the existing polish off, applies conditioner, and leaves enough polish behind to allow for a good shine to develop with just a brushing. Many people simply use Renovateur instead of polish on shoes that have been previously waxed. Personally I worry that I might be over softening the leather so I stick to the same basic techniques I've used for years. Although today I use Reno instead of Mink Oil as a conditioner:

    Personally I simply brush my shoes fairly vigorously before each wear. When they start to not look shiny I:

    One coat Renovateur - leave 10 minutes - brush.
    One coat cream polish on entire shoe - leave 10 minute - brush.
    One coat wax on entire shoe - leave 10 minutes - brush.
    Additional coats of wax on toes and heals as desired.

    I then go back to brushing before each wear until they start to not hold the shine at which point I repeat the above.

    As a basic routine I don't know of any simpler or more effective basic method. Of course there are many ways to care for shoes - so others will have different opinions.
     
  10. razl

    razl Senior member

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    Thanks for all the tips from everyone. I sat down last night, re-evaluated, and came to the conclusion that I really didn't have it caked on, but rather my layers had just gotten sloppy (and probably a bit heavy handed). So, I decided to start with a serious buffing. And then buffed some more. And more. And then some more and more again. About 45 mins of buffing total for both shoes. My arms ached.

    Well, what do you know - surprise! - my Lindrick's looked a lot better. I think what I accomplished mostly evening out and distributing the existing wax plus abasing off some of the buildup from the folds, brogueing, and stitches.

    I had not yet learned the power of the buff, now I know. I feel like I've just acquired another tool in my shoe care arsenal.

    Note to self: Remember that relentless buffing you had to do to get things right? Go easy on the wax to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  11. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    So you only condition your shoes as often as you re-wax them? That certainly simplifies things. How often do you do this process? Also, why do you use the cream polish in addition to conditioner?
     
  12. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I find that I need to do this process after 5-10 wearings in general. As I've only applied a little wax each time the vigorous brushing keeps the shoes shiny and prevents wax buildup.

    I use the cream to add color/pigment to the shoes.

    The wax I use is Saphir Neutral (The Kiwi Neutral is shite. It is very gray).

    This allows me to keep creams on hand in lots of colors and only one shade of wax.

    Again - everybody develops their own methods.
     
  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    neutral color wax is a slight abrasive and can be used as a cleaner. per olga berluti.

    and per men's ex, the order they use is cream -> conditioner -> wax.
     
  14. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    interesting information - I knew neither of this bits of information, than you.
     
  15. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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  16. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Yes! This thread will soon reach monstrous proportions. Few will want to start at the beginning and read the whole lot. For anyone just dipping in, my opinion is this: just get an old pair of real leather shoes (not corrected grain) and simply play around with the wax, creams, conditioners etc. Make lots of mistakes and consider a slight twist on how you're doing it the next time round. Get a feel for the wax and make your own recipe from all the bits of info gleaned here. For example: I'm now using rubbing alcohol + water, experimenting with different amounts of pressure, wondering if the further I go, the more water & less wax I'll need etc.

    I know it's only a pair of shoes, but what next... it's only a suit?

    Lear (loving suede)
     
  17. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    for the spit shine?
     
  18. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    I used to drip a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the water dish when spit shining. It actually helped slightly in breaking down the wax.

    Nowadays I just use actual spit to bull my own shoes.
     
  19. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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  20. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    You bet :). With so many variation on the same theme, this thread could literally go on for ever. Come back in a few weeks and my methods will have changed slightly. Some have even used Champagne. Don't think I'll ever be using the 'shoes in the freezer' method though.

    Lear
     

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