“Can you use shoe polish on leather furniture?” We get this question a lot from our readers. We decided to answer all your queries in one place.
People spend a lot of money on furniture to give a modern look to their home. For example, genuine leather furniture is extremely expensive because it uses real animal hide during manufacturing. But genuine leather has some very appealing properties: it is both warm and durable. Some leather furniture may even last for a lifetime.
But, when you use leather furniture regularly, there are stains or scuffs on it that are difficult to remove. It even loses its shine after a few years. To make your furniture look new, you can try using leather dye. However, that’s quite expensive. That is why many people ask us: “Can you use shoe polish on leather furniture in the same way you can use it on leather shoes?”
The simple answer is yes; you can use shoe polish on your leather furniture as long as it has a good quantity of wax in it. Leather furniture absorbs shoe polish with wax, but not one without wax. Shoe polish is readily available at home, and it is a cheap solution to leather care.
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Types of Leather
There are various types of leather upholstery in the market:
- Full Grain: Used most commonly in shoes. This is the most genuine type of leather. No other process is applied on this leather except for removing animal hair.
- Split Grain: This is created by removing the outer layer of the leather. It is coarser and harder than the previous two but is cheaper.
- Top Grain: Top grain is slightly more polished than full-grain, which makes it smoother
- Nubuck: This is similar to suede (which is made from the backside of the leather hyde). It is less durable and needs waterproofing.
- Bi-Cast: This is split-grain, but it has a PU coating to make it look more like top grain.
- Bonded: Bonded leather is scraps of leather that are glued to each other using adhesives. Usually, a layer of Polyurethane is applied to make it look more genuine.
Do not be confused. Regardless of the type, you can use the same method that we are about to discuss on every piece of furniture.
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How Can You Apply Shoe Polish On Leather Furniture?
To repair our leather furniture you have to follow the below steps.
#1. Getting the Right Shoe Polish
There are various types of shoe polish available in the market, i.e., wax-based, cream-based, and liquid-based. Not all of them can be used for leather upholstery.
Wax-based shoe polish consists of 20 to 40 percent wax. This includes Carnauba, Montan, and Synthetic wax. Almost 70 percent of wax shoe polish contains solvent, which quickly evaporates after its application. The dyes are only two to three percent of the product.
On the other hand, cream-based and liquid-based shoe polish contain more water and less wax. So, whenever you apply them to your leather sofa, they do not evaporate; instead, they stick to your clothes and body.
So, remember: you want to purchase a shoe polish that is wax-based and matches the color of your furniture. KIWI Black Parade Gloss Shoe Polish and Shine | Leather Shoe Care for Dress Shoes and Boots | Carnuba Wax | 2.5 Oz is one that I personally prefer.
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#2. Remove The Dust From The Furniture
The oil or dirt in your leather furniture may prevent shoe polish from adhering to your furniture. So you need to clean thoroughly before applying shoe polish. Below are some steps to effectively clean your leather upholstery.
- Take water in a bowl and put some drops of dish liquid into it.
- Wipe your leather furniture with soap water.
- Once you clean with soap water, give it a once over with normal water to clear out the soap.
- Allow your furniture to dry completely.
#3. Try Your Shoe polish First
Now take some wax-based shoe polish and put a small amount on a clean cloth. Apply it very gently in a small but invisible corner of your sofa. It’s best to be cautious; you don’t want to harm your genuine leather furniture by going the whole hog.
You need to allow the shoe polish to sit on your leather furniture for a few hours. After a few hours, you need to check it by rubbing a clean cloth on the applied surface.
If you find any shoe polish on the clean cloth, that means the shoe polish needs more time to adhere to your leather furniture. Continue checking every few minutes till you don’t find any shoe polish on your cloth.
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#4. Now Apply Polish To Your Whole Upholstery
Once you are confident that the polish is working, use a soft cloth to slowly scrub in the polish where it requires care and mending. Follow a circular motion with your hands and be very gentle while applying polish.
What Should You Do If You Use Cream Or Liquid Shoe Polish On Leather Furniture By Mistake?
You should never use cream-based or liquid shoe polish on your leather furniture. But if you apply it by mistake, then you have to follow the below steps.
- You need to remove the shoe polish from the applied area of your leather furniture with a cloth. Rub the cloth on those areas where you have used shoe polish
- Repeat the process till you don’t find any shoe polish on your cloth.
- Clean with soapy water followed by regular water.
- Then allow your leather furniture to dry.
Limitations Of Using Shoe Polish On Leather Furniture
- The effect of shoe polish will not be as good as leather dye on your leather furniture.
- The shoe polish works well only on those surfaces of your leather furniture that has lost their shine. If your furniture leather is missing somewhere, you have to spend money separately on leather patches.
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Additional Tips For Using Shoe Polish On Leather Furniture
- If you are not sure about the results of shoe polish, then you can use your shoe polish on a small area of your leather couch and wait for the results. If you are satisfied, then apply to a larger area of your leather furniture.
- Your shoe polish cannot repair the missing leather on furniture. Leather patches are readily available in the market, or you may prefer to invest online. Try to invest money in the leather patch by matching the color of your existing furniture.
- To attach the leather patch, you have to take the help of paper. Just put the paper in the place where your leather furniture needs repairing. Then cut its outline. The paper will act as a template for the leather patch. Then attach the leather patch with glue.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. Can you use Kiwi shoe polish on leather furniture?
Yes, you can use kiwi shoe polish on leather furniture. You need to choose a shoe polish that contains a high percentage of wax while repairing your leather furniture. Kiwi shoe polish contains more wax. So it will give good results.
#2. What does shoe polish do to leather?
Shoe polish can be of three types, i.e., cream base, liquid, and wax base. They increase the shine and durability of your shoes. But if you want to repair your leather furniture, then strictly use wax-based shoe polish only.
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#3. Does vinegar ruin leather?
Vinegar is a good cleaning agent. But it dries the leather as it is acidic. So you may add one part of vinegar with four parts of water and apply it over the leather. It helps in removing stains.
#4. What is a natural cleaner for leather?
To clean your leather couch, mix vinegar and olive oil in a 2:1 ratio in a spray bottle. Shake it well and apply it to your leather furniture. Well, you may put in some fragrant oils to get rid of the vinegar smell. It will clean your leather couch properly.
Leather dye is best to repair leather. But everyone cannot afford leather dye to repair their furniture. So they can use shoe polish to bring the shine back in their leather furniture.
Anyways please do share your suggestions for this article. I would love to read your suggestions in the comment section. You may share your experience about using shoe polish on your leather furniture and post some photographs.