Homemade Shoe Polish: Simple Formulae You Didn’t Know

How to make homemade shoe polish

Ever wondered how you can make your own leather shoe polish at home?

Yes, it may not be too expensive to buy a usual shoe polish, but it is also inexpensive or rather creative for you to make one by yourself.

The good thing is that the formulae described below are simple. You do not have to handle chemicals or worry about its negative environmental impact. All you need are organic and environmental-friendly supplies.

Here are 3 simple homemade shoe polish recipes, with which you can arrive at great products.

Recipe 1: Oil and Wax


  • Olive oil or Walnut oil (Be free to experiment with other types of oil)
  • White bee wax
  • Saucepan
  • Stirring rod
  • Glass jar
  • Black or brown dye. (optional)

N/B: Confirm that the dye is an oil-soluble one. Else, it will not dissolve in the oil-based content.


  • Measure out some quantity of olive oil and white beeswax in the ratio of 2.5:1 into a small saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan containing the ingredients on a mild heat source.
  • Heat until the beeswax melts. Stir with the rod to facilitate the melting.
  • Add little quantity of dye if you would want 
  • Pour the resulting liquid content into a glass jar and allow to cool and harden.
Read Also:  How to Clean a Suede Shoe

It should take an hour or more to cool. The polish is ready to caress your shoe surface, to give it that shiny look you want.

Recipe 2: Oil and Lemon Juice

Perhaps the first recipe is a long process, this one is a quicker alternative.


  • Olive Oil or Walnut Oil
  • Lemon Juice (NOT Lemonade but natural juice)
  • Glass jar


  • Mix the oil and lemon juice in the ratio of 2:1
  • Gently stir to ensure better mixing
  • Apply this mixture on your shoe with a cloth.
  • Allow the shoe to sit for some minutes. Then, buff the shoe to get a shinier surface.

Recipe 3: Linseed + Vinegar

To get your leather shoe looking good as new, you might want to go with this recipe. With this formula, your shoes will shine again in no time.


  • Linseed oil
  • Vinegar
  • Clean cloth for application


  • Get some quantity of linseed oil and vinegar.
  • Mix them in the ratio 2:1 (linseed to vinegar)
  • With the clean piece of cloth, apply gently on the shoe. Buff afterwards.

N/B: Shoe materials react differently with different substances. So, to be on a safer side, try this polish on a small portion of the shoe before applying it on the entire shoe.

Common shoe polish alternatives

There are also other ways you can make your polish at home. Again, they are simple and environmental-friendly because all you’ll be making use of are either organic materials or your everyday supplies.

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1. Banana peel as shoe polish

It actually sounds funny but it works amazingly great. While you enjoy your fleshy banana, you can keep the peel for polishing your shoes.

This study on Research Gate proves that banana peels have oil. It is the oil in them that moisturizes the shoe leather to give it the shiny look.


  • Gently rub the inner part of the banana peel on your shoe.
  • Wipe it with a clean cloth and allow it for some minutes.
  • Again, buff the shoe for shinier surface.

2. Bee wax as shoe polish

Bee wax has been an alternative to industrial-wax-based shoe polish for a long time. If you polish your shoes often, we recommend you apply bee wax as a homemade polish.


  • Heat the bee wax until it becomes tender; just soft enough that it can be easily rubbed on the shoe.
  • With a clean piece of cloth, rub the bee wax on the shoe gently.
  • Allow it for some time and then buff it with a shoe brush.

3. Body lotion or Petroleum Jelly as shoe polish

Just any type of body lotion can serve the function of a polish. So if you are in a haste but still wants to appear stunning or smart as usual, then here’s what you may choose to do.


  • Get a body lotion (body cream) or petroleum jelly as the case may be.
  • Put some quantity on a clean pice of cloth. You do not need much if you are using a petroleum jelly.
  • Rub gently across the shoe surface.
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The jelly would shine the shoe immediately. But if you used a body cream, you need to allow the shoe for some time to dry.

4. Coconut oil as shoe polish

Every leather material including shoe will respond quickly when you polish it with oil. Coconut oil will do a neat job at this.


  • Get a little quantity of coconut oil unto a cotton.
  • Rub gently around the shoe surface.

Note that you do not need much of the coconut oil. A little is enough to go round.

Important Tips

  • These recipes are meant for leather shoes and not suede. Maybe you should look at how to clean a suede shoe.
  • Make sure that your shoe is clean and dry before you put the polish. You wouldn’t like the stench if you do otherwise.
  • Ensure you polish your leather often, but not overly, to extend its lifespan.

Now that we’ve explored the different ways to make homemade polish, which would you want to try first?

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