Dress shoes are sacred. There’s a ritual to polishing them to a mirrory shine, using a dab of spit, a brush, a cloth, and that unknown black gunky stuff (Here’s how to do it old school, and keep your shoes in shape for, say, 30 years.)
This eco, affordable recommendation comes via my Aunt, Liz Lewis Joseph:
Did you know you can shine shoes with unrefined olive oil? They look pretty good and they smell good, too (my unrefined olive oil has basil in it)! I just use a teeny dab for the shoes. The rest is for fine cooking!
Her friend Cheryl added: You can also use a banana skin (which also cleans the shoes) and use a soft cloth to wipe up residue and it gives a very nice shine. And I’m going to throw a banana peel away anyhow!
“Things you will need
Soft cloth or rag
Either apply olive oil to your leather or to your cloth and rub to a shine. This is a simple, easy and natural way of making a shoe polish. Try on a small area before doing the whole thing. This way you will see the end results, without doing the whole shoe.” Source:
Cold Pressed Nut Oil, Olive Oil, Walnut Oil, or Beeswax. Apply oil to leather product and buff with a chamois loth to a shine.
Lemon Juice. Lemon juice is good polish for black or tan leather shoes. Follow by buffing with a soft cloth.
Vinegar. Remove water stains on leather by rubbing with a cloth dipped in a vinegar and water solution.
Petroleum Jelly. A dab of petroleum jelly rubbed into patent leather gives a glistening shine and prevents cracking in the winter.
Vinegar. To shine patent leather, moisten a soft cloth with white vinegar and wipe clean all patent leather articles. The color of the leather may be slightly changed.
Art-Gum Eraser and Sandpaper or Emery Board. Dirt marks on suede can be rubbed out with an art-gum eraser. Then buff lightly with sandpaper or an emery board. ” Source: