How to Shine Brown Shoes

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Brown leather shoes--whether they are wingtips, loafers or oxfords--require maintenance beyond a simple swipe of shoe polish. Whether you are preconditioning a brand-new pair of designer laceups or reviving a long-lost pair of driving shoes, a few expert tips will help your shoes resist stains and survive water spots. A precise shoeshine regimen is essential to extend the life of your favorite pair of brown shoes.

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Wipe your shoes with a soft rag or bristled brush. Remove surface dirt and debris with a small cloth or old cotton T-shirt. The Art of Manliness website recommends using a horsehair brush or damp rag to remove the initial dirt on your brown shoes.

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Clean shoes with a mixture of warm water and soap. Mix 1 tablespoon of a mild detergent with 3 cups of water in a small basin. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture. Remove any shoe scuffs with a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe shoes gently. Let the shoes air-dry for five minutes.

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Moisturize the brown shoes with a creamy leather moisturizer. Select a shoe moisturizer that is one shade lighter than the leather of your brown shoes to prevent darkening. Dip the edge of a clean cloth into the shoe cream. Rub the polish using a circular motion until the entire surface of the shoe is covered. Let dry for five minutes.

Grayson Dere Photography/Demand Media

Apply a cream shoe polish. Using a round shoe polish applicator, rub the shoe polish into the leather. Vigorously apply polish to the shoe until the cream penetrates the leather. To keep the brown color from fading, use a clear paste polish or a color that is closest to the original brown shoe color. Allow shoes to dry for 15 minutes.

Grayson Dere Photography/Demand Media

Buff the shoes. Using a brush with soft bristles, brush the shoes with a back-and-forth motion to reveal a shine.

Grayson Dere Photography/Demand Media

Fill in scratches on the heel. Dip the edge of a cloth into the shoe polish to touch up the edges of the heel.

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