Boot Polishing Tip

Posted on 24-Jun-2015

Written by and photographs by SGT. Jack Lim 12th Kuala Lumpur Company

Published June 25, 2015

From my four years of experience in Boys’ Brigade, especially in the area of polishing for every parade, I now have really shiny boots. Here I would like to share my knowledge on how I polish every week to reach the level of shine that I currently have. Hope these few tips would help especially the recruits and perhaps Privates who are looking for ways to polish up their polishing skills. Before you start, you should already have the basic items needed for polishing which are a smooth microfiber cloth, kiwi, lighter and cotton balls (right picture).

If your boots are new or there are not enough layers of kiwi, you would first have to apply layer upon layer of kiwi to give a smooth surface for the boots. Use the microfiber cloth and wrap it around your index finger and dip it in a little bit of water. After the cloth on your finger is slightly moist, rub on some kiwi and apply a layer on each boot. Do not apply too much of a thick layer, just enough to cover the entire boot and make it look dull.

 Left pic: Use microfiber cloth and dip a bit of kiwi. Right pic: Rub gently around the boot cap.
After applying the kiwi, use a lighter and heat the boots as if you’re slow cooking meat. Just quickly skim the flame over the boot cap ensuring not to stay at one spot for too long. The boots should now look slightly shinier than it was previously but not totally shiny. Leave it to cool for 10 minutes. Repeat this step as many times as you can so as to create a thick layer of kiwi to cover up all the imperfections on the surface. The thicker the layer, the shinier your boots will be.
Left pic: Apply heat sparingly as if slow cooking meat. Right pic: Ùse moist cotton ball for finishing touch up.
After the layer of kiwi is adequately thick, apply a paper thin layer of kiwi with the cloth. After the layer is applied, use the same spot of cloth that you have used previously and add a little water. After that part of the cloth is slightly moist, continue to rub the boots over the layer of kiwi that you have previously applied. Keep rubbing adding water when necessary until the boots look shiny. Stop when the boots stop getting shinier no matter how much you rub. There should still be many scratches present on the boots.

Lastly to get rid of most of the scratches, use a moist cotton ball and buff the surface of the boots. Keep rubbing the cotton ball in circles until the boots can no longer get any shinier. There are many ways to polish and this is just my own way. Feel free to modify my methods to any method you prefer of ignore it completely. This method is what had worked best for me for four years. It has helped me to attain boots as reflective as a black mirror while also protecting my boots at the same time. While it’s true that it will take a long time to achieve similar results especially if your boots are new, when there’s a will, there’s a way, I still remembered how I always admired my Corporal’s boots back when I was a recruit and now after years of hard work and dedication, I have achieved the standard that I have longed for all these while. As of now, I have given the information necessary from my experience, though these might not be the best tips as I trust and believe that there are many more Brigadiers out there who might have better tips. Now it’s all up to you to dedicate some time and effort on polishing if you want to see ‘shiny’ results!

 The finished product - a pair of shiny boots!


Page Created: 25th June 2015
Last Updated: 25th June 2015