How Do You Strip Shoe Polish?

Strip shoe polish from shoes involves cleaning your hands, cleaning the shoes and wiping the shoes off with mineral spirits. To complete the process, you need saddle soap, a stiff scrub brush, mineral spirits and three clean towels. The entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

  1. Wash your hands

    Wash your hands with a mild detergent to remove any oils that might be present. Dry your hands completely.

  2. Remove the shoelaces

    Remove the shoelaces from the shoes to keep them clean. This also makes it easier to remove all the old polish from the shoes.

  3. Clean the shoes

    Lightly wet a clean towel, and dip it in saddle soap. Then, briskly rub the towel on the shoe to remove any dirt and oil. If there are stubborn spots, scrub them with a stiff scrub brush.

  4. Wipe off the polish with mineral spirits

    Dab some mineral spirits on a clean rag, and gently rub off the polish. Try not to rub too hard, as this damages the leather by discoloring it or making it too soft. Ensure you get in the areas around the eyelets and the tongue of the shoe.

  5. Dry the shoes

    When you're finished removing the polish, use a clean towel to dry the shoes completely before applying new polish.