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Shoe Polish

a person polishing a shoe

Just like your skin needs a cleanser and moisturiser, your shoes and boots need some TLC for which you need shoe polish.

Besides adding shine, shoe polish helps soften and condition the leather of your boots or shoes. It also forms a waterproof layer on the leather and protects it from wearing out. It even helps revive old and worn-out leather.

You may be accustomed to buying shoe polish, but it’s nothing more than a putty made of strong chemicals that are no good when it comes to the environment. If you wish to extend the life of your pricey shoes, you need something gentler and eco-friendly.

How about whipping up your own homemade shoe polish with natural ingredients?

Not only is this recipe incredibly easy to make, but you can also use them on other surfaces, such as wooden furniture, leather belts, pleather, and canvases. You can’t do that with commercial shoe polishes!

Note: While this homemade shoe polish is safe for leather and pleather, do not use them on suede shoes.

Ingredients & Equipment

1 x Storage Tin

75g Oilive Oil

30g Beeswax

5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

2 teaspoons of Activated Charcoal (for black shoe polish)
2 teaspoons of brown oxide (for brown shoe polish)

Shoe Polish
Shoe Polish


1 – Add the olive oil and white beeswax into a microwaveable jug/bowl. 
You will need 75g of olive oil and 30g of white beeswax.

2 – Heat the wax and oil in 30 second bursts in the microwave.
Don’t over do it! Heat until the beeswax has entrely melted, and do not exceed 30 second bursts in the microwave.

3Stir the olive oil into the beeswax as it melts. 
As the beeswax heats up, it will start to melt. Once it melts completely, give it a stir so that it blends in with the olive oil.

4 – Add either activated charcoal or brown oxide to achieve your chosen colour of shoe polish. 
Add 2 teaspoons of activated charcoal or brown oxide, depending on which colour shoe polish you desire. Stir the powder into the melted mixture. Keep stirring until the oxide has blended completely into the mixture, and no streaks, swirls, or specks remain.

5 – Add a few drops of the lemon essential oils for fragrance.
Allow to cool slightly, but remain in liquid state, then add a few drops of lemon essential oil. Mix well.

6 – Pour the mixture into a small container. 
Make sure that the container is large enough to hold all of your shoe polish. Tiny glass jars and candle tins work best. You can also pour it into several smaller containers as well.

7 – Let the mixture harden. 
This will take about 45 to 60 minutes. Once it hardens, it is ready to use! If you are in a hurry, let it cool down to room temperature first, then stick it in the fridge or freezer for a couple of minutes, or until it turns solid.


This shoe polish will have an estimated shelf life of 1 year.

Essential Oils Care

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils and may cause burns or ill health when ingested. Always check the Safety Data Sheets before use. If using recipes for children, it is best to cut essential oil drops in half.

Seek medical attention in the event of any ingestion of essential oils.