Shoe Care Shoe Shine Tutorials

How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine – 5 Easy Hacks

When it comes to mirror shining a pair of dress shoes, it seems like everyone has their own preferred method. For someone learning how to polish shoes to a mirror shine, the variety of techniques may seem overwhelming. Because of that, we decided to put this guide together showcasing 5 easy methods for obtaining a mirror shine.

1. Use Saphir Mirror Gloss

How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine - Mirror Gloss

It is no secret: obtaining a mirror shine is a relatively time-consuming project. However, by using Saphir’s Mirror Gloss, the high gloss shine will appear far sooner with much less effort. The Mirror Gloss is easy to apply and contains a high concentration of hard waxes, which really speeds up the mirror shine process. These qualities have made the Mirror Gloss indispensable for those who must mirror shine their shoes often but don’t have several hours to spare. Visit our guide on How to Shine a New Pair of Allen Edmonds for a full shoe shine routine that includes the mirror gloss.

2. Use a High Shine Chamois or a Cotton Ball

How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine - High Shine Chamois

Believe it or not, there is a noticeable difference between using a regular cotton chamois and our High Shine Chamois. While a regular cotton chamois is suitable for regular polishes, it isn’t ideal for large amounts of wax. The fibers in a regular chamois may come loose and become trapped in the wax on your shoes. By the time you are finished buffing the waxes, it will be too late to notice.

Our High Shine Chamois, on the other hand, is made from Super 180 2-ply cotton shirting. This means the cotton is woven very tightly and will not produce any loose fibers. Not only that, it is designed to glide smoothly over the surface of the shoe, reducing the effort required to buff the waxes to a shine. Alternatively, an old cotton dress shirt will work just as effectively, if you just so happen to have one.

3. Rub your Chamois on a Surface to Clean Before Buffing

How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine - Rub Chamois

When producing a mirror shine, as discussed in the tip above, the chamois should glide across the shoe. If your chamois has wax stains, you can smooth them out by quickly rubbing the stain area on a surface. Whether it’s your hand, a spare towel, or a leather shoeshine carpet, rubbing the chamois before buffing is a must. This will ensure the hard waxes stuck on the chamois do not interfere with your process.

4. Use Alcohol in the Water

How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine - Isopropyl Alcohol

Adding a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to your water will affect the Mirror Gloss the same way the Pate de Luxe does. The alcohol will help melt the waxes a bit, which in turn will help you produce a shine quicker. We recommend using 1 part isopropyl alcohol to 3 or 4 parts of water. Not only will this help melt the waxes, but it will also help prevent the waxes from absorbing too much water.

5. Use a Blow Dryer

How to Polish Shoes to a Mirror Shine - Blow Dryer


Apply a generous amount of Mirror Gloss to the shoes and use a blow dryer on medium heat to help melt the waxes. This will help the waxes enter the pores of the leather, thus smoothing out the waxes and helping produce a high gloss finish. While some people take a lighter to their shoe to achieve this same effect, we do not recommend doing that because it may damage the leather.