5 Homemade Shoe Polish Recipes: An Effective Solution

In today’s world, where environmental consciousness and budget-friendly alternatives are gaining importance, homemade shoe polish, otherwise known as DIY shoe shine, offers a fantastic solution for shoe care. With a few simple ingredients and some basic knowledge, you can create DIY shoe shine that is not only effective but also environmentally friendly. In this article, we will cover how to make homemade shoe polish, exploring its benefits, ingredients, recipes, application techniques, and more.

Homemade Shoe Polish Recipes

Understanding Homemade Shoe Polish

What is homemade shoe polish?

Homemade shoe polish also known as DIY shoe shine is a natural alternative to commercial shoe polishes that can be crafted using simple ingredients found in most households. It is a blend of natural waxes, oils, and sometimes essential oils, which work together to clean, condition, and restore the shine of your shoes.

Benefits of using homemade shoe polish

There are several advantages to using homemade shoe polish:

  1. Environmentally friendly: Homemade shoe polish is made from natural ingredients, reducing the environmental impact associated with commercial products.
  2. Non-toxic: Unlike some commercial shoe polishes that may contain harmful chemicals, homemade shoe polish is free from toxic substances, making it safe for both you and the environment.
  3. Cost-effective: Creating your own shoe polish is considerably cheaper than buying commercial products, helping you save money in the long run.
  4. Customizable: You have the freedom to experiment with different ingredients and scents, tailoring the polish to your preferences.

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Recipes for Homemade Shoe Polish

Let’s explore a variety of recipes for homemade shoe polish that you can easily make at home. These recipes use simple ingredients and offer customizable options to suit different shoe types and personal preferences.

It’s important to note that the quantities of the ingredients can vary based on the desired texture and consistency of the shoe polish.

1. Homemade Shoe Polish From Charcoal

Homemade Shoe Polish From Charcoal


  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder
  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 10–15 drops of essential oil (optional, for fragrance)


  1. In a double boiler, melt the beeswax and coconut oil until they become a liquid.
  2. Remove the mixture from heat and add the activated charcoal powder. Stir well to combine.
  3. Optional: Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and mix thoroughly.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool and solidify.
  5. Once solidified, your homemade shoe polish from charcoal is ready for use.


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2. Homemade Brown Shoe Polish

Homemade Brown Shoe Polish


  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons carnauba wax
  • 4 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5–10 drops of essential oil (optional, for fragrance)


  1. Melt the beeswax and carnauba wax together in a double boiler until they form a liquid.
  2. Remove the mixture from heat and add the almond oil. Stir well to combine.
  3. Gradually add the cocoa powder to the mixture, stirring continuously until fully incorporated and the polish achieves a brown color.
  4. Optional: Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and mix well.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool and solidify. Transfer it to a tin or jar for storage.

3. Beeswax and Olive Oil Polish


  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10–15 drops of essential oil (optional)


  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Add the olive oil and essential oil, stirring well to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture into a tin or jar and allow it to cool and solidify before use.

4. Carnauba Wax and Coconut Oil Polish


  • 1 tablespoon carnauba wax
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5–10 drops of essential oil (optional)


  1. Melt the carnauba wax in a double boiler.
  2. Add the coconut oil and essential oil, stirring until well blended.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a container and let it cool completely before applying.

5. Vinegar and Lemon Oil Polish


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 5–10 drops of lemon essential oil


  1. Combine the olive oil, white vinegar, and lemon essential oil in a bowl.
  2. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bottle and shake before each use.

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Advise: Testing the Polish on a Small Area Before Full Application

Before applying any homemade shoe polish or any new product to your shoes, it’s always advisable to conduct a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area. This step ensures that the polish is compatible with your shoes and doesn’t cause any adverse reactions or discoloration.

To perform a patch test, follow these steps:

  1. Select a small area on the shoe, such as the inner side, or a less noticeable spot.
  2. Apply a small amount of the homemade shoe polish to the chosen area.
  3. Gently rub the polish into the leather using a cloth or brush.
  4. Allow the patch to dry for the recommended time.
  5. Inspect the tested area for any negative effects, such as discoloration or damage.
  6. If there are no adverse reactions, you can proceed with applying the polish to the entire shoe.

Full Application and Usage Tips

To achieve the best results with your DIY shoe shine, follow these application and usage tips:

  • Cleaning the shoes: Before applying the polish, clean the shoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust.
  • Applying the polish: Use a clean, soft cloth or a shoe brush to apply a thin layer of polish to the shoes. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly.
  • Buffing the shoes: After applying the polish, use a brush or a clean cloth to buff the shoes in a circular motion. This will help distribute the polish and create a glossy shine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is homemade shoe polish safe to use on all types of shoes?

Homemade shoe polish is generally safe to use on most types of shoes, including leather, synthetic, and fabric materials. However, it’s always recommended to test a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire shoe.

2. How long does homemade shoe shine last?

The shelf life of homemade shoe polish can vary depending on the ingredients used and storage conditions. Generally, it can last for several months to a year if stored in a cool, dry place.

3. Can homemade shoe shine be used on leather shoes?

Yes, DIY shoe shine is suitable for leather shoes. The natural oils and waxes in the polish can help condition and protect the leather, extending its lifespan.

4. Are there any alternatives to beeswax for making DIY Shoe shine?

Yes, if you prefer a vegan option or don’t have access to beeswax, carnauba wax or soy wax can be used as alternatives. These waxes provide similar protective and shining properties.

5. Can I add color to homemade shoe polish?

Yes, you can add natural colorants like cocoa powder, activated charcoal, or natural earth pigments to give your homemade shoe polish a tint. Experiment with small amounts until you achieve the desired color.


Homemade shoe polish offers a sustainable, cost-effective, and customizable solution for maintaining the shine and condition of your shoes. By using natural ingredients and following simple recipes, you can create your own shoe polish that is not only effective but also safe for both you and the environment. So, why not give it a try and bring new life to your favorite pair of shoes?

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