Can I soften shoe polish that has dried?

Jim

New Member
42
United States
VA
Alexandria
I found a few full tins of shoe polish that dried out. Is there any way to soften the polish or am I SOL? Thanks.
 

Holdfast

Honors Member
4,007
Gentle low heat to re-melt it. A candle would do, but I actually put them on the smallest ring on the gas hob for a few seconds or so to let it melt. Be careful! Make sure there are no holes in the tin for the wax to drip through and catch fire.

I take no responsibility for your safety if you try this. For me, it works perfectly and the tin is then good as new.
 

PJC in NoVa

Connoisseur
5,875
I tend to agree--it's shoe polish; just buy a new tin.

While I prefer shoe cream these days, back when I used wax polish one of my tricks was leaving the can in the sun for a few hours before applying the sun-softened wax to my shoes. Obviously this won't work in cold weather, but in a Virginia summer it's quite effective.
 

red96

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
374
United States
MA
Amherst
Having nearly burned my house down in the past trying the "melt it on the stove" method, I would have to concur with the above advice to go ahead and buy a new tin. Think about explaining your intentions to the firefighters that you will inevitably be calling to your house! :icon_smile:
 

Brooksfan

Super Member
1,565
United States
Illinois
Arlington Heights
Just before Christmas I was home and needed to shine a couple pair of shoes so I went into my shine box and heard the unmistakable sound of hardended Kiwi rattling around in the can. Thought what could it hurt to put it on low heat on the gas stove and within seconds it was molten. Dried nicely and now only 10 days later the smell is almost gone from the kitchen.

Picked up a few new cans and in the future I won't make this mistake again.
 

Aaron in Allentown

Senior Member
866
United States
Pennsylvania
Allentown
Put a chunk of it in a spoon and hold it over a candle until it bubbles. It works better if you do it in a city park.

:crazy:
 

NavyNick

New Member
31
United States
Virginia
Leesburg
Having polished my share of shoes at Annapolis, I feel myself somewhat of an authority on the subject :p While the melting method will work, when the polish dries out, it looses some of the oils that make it healthy for the leather in your shoes. So melting it will make it "workable" and you may get a few more shines, but you aren't doing the shoe leather any favors. This is the same reason those "instant shine" things aren't worth a damn - buy a fresh tin, and use some good quality brushes and a cotton rag to finish, and your shoes will look great, and last longer.
 

PJC in NoVa

Connoisseur
5,875
Having polished my share of shoes at Annapolis, I feel myself somewhat of an authority on the subject :p While the melting method will work, when the polish dries out, it looses some of the oils that make it healthy for the leather in your shoes. So melting it will make it "workable" and you may get a few more shines, but you aren't doing the shoe leather any favors. This is the same reason those "instant shine" things aren't worth a damn - buy a fresh tin, and use some good quality brushes and a cotton rag to finish, and your shoes will look great, and last longer.
The whole polish-drying-out problem is why I've switched to shoe cream, which contains lanolin. Leather is skin and skin needs moisturizers, especially in the winter.

BTW, my late and revered father (now sleeping at Arlington) was USN '43 to '46, w/ 3 battle stars on his Pacific campaign ribbon. Go Squids!
 

Andy

Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
10,868
United States
California
Palm Desert
Jim:
Excellent advice here! Go new.