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Boot Cleaning

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  • Boot Cleaning

    I was cleaning my tall boots and trying to shine them, and I just cant get them as shiny as I would like them to be. My friends dad usually does all of the girls at the barns boots before shows because he is Chief of Police and is OCD about our boots. But I want to be able to do it myself. How do you get your boots to be nice and shiny? Any products you like more than others? They are super clean, I just cant get a good shine to them. They are Ariat Heritage II so they arent the best leather in the world but I still want them to lok nice.

    Thank You

  • #2
    Urad boot polish. Best stuff on earth for shiny boots. I take a little of that on a sponge, rub it in, and then rub my boots really well with a dry towel. I've heard panty hose can make them shiny as well.
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    • #3
      Ahhh! Nothing like a classic spit shine!

      Since you said it's your friend's father that does everyone's boots, why not ask him? I'm sure he'd be absolutely tickled pink to have someone to teach his technique to (many moons ago when I was an ROTC cadet, my career military dad was thrilled beyond belief when I asked him to show me how to spit shine my shoes! It's a lesson I never forgot and an experience he continues to reminisce about some 20+ years later...)

      But if you want to do it on your own, here's a good instruction sheet for you: http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/gener.../spitshine.htm

      (I recommend the t-shirt and water vs cotton balls and alcohol...)

      Good luck!

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      • #4
        My H taught my D how to properly polish her boots when she was still a walk/trot kid. Now at 14 she always has the best looking boots in the barn! You have to clean boots off every time you are done riding and keep good polish on them. They will also last longer this way.

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        • #5
          A good spit shine is definitely worth the time it takes. I sometimes use a hairdryer in between coats of polish, just to get all of the polish into the little nicks/spaces. It is absolutely smoothness that makes for a great shine. When you've done all of the thin layers (at least 4 or 5), put the boots on and use some nylon pantyhose to vigorously rub back and forth (kinda like how they show people drying themselves off in cartoons ).

          Urad is also an excellent product, and much quicker, if you are in a hurry. I don't like using it all the time, though. It doesn't seem to nourish the leather as much, or protect it as well from mositure.

          Plan on at least 40 minutes to get a mirror-like shine.

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          • #6
            I actually had a judge comment on my boots once and asked me how I got them to look so good.

            I actually wash my boots (Vogels) under the faucet and clean with a soft brush. Removes dirt and old polish. Let dry completely.

            I use Melatonian (spelling?) and apply it with an old sock. Use generously and don't miss a single spot (except on inside calf). I let the boots sit for at least an hour to make sure the polish is dry and soaked in.

            I use a soft shoe buffer brush with natural fibers. BUFF, BUFF, BUFF, back and forth, over and over in quick, short strokes. Just when you think the boot is shiney enough, go over it again.

            That's it. I learned this from my dear old Dad, ex-Marine!
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            • #7
              Good old shoe polish has always worked well for me! I rub it in with an old rag and scrub where the sole meets the leather with an old tooth brush, then let the boots sit for about twenty five minutes and then buff away! To buff them I use old pieces of flannel or the shoe polish cloths from hotel rooms.

              Mostly it's the elbow grease that gets them shiny
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              • #8
                i clean mine with kirk's castile soap, but to polish i used to use kiwi shoe polish and buff them, but i found no matter how much i buffed and wiped, i'd always magically get the stuff rubbing off on my saddle, breeches, and most importantly--the white pony. i was in a rush to clean my boots off one day ages ago, just needed to clean some dirt off, and so i reached for the nearest leather product i could find in the house--a thing of wipes for leather car interiors. let me tell you, these wipes are awesome. they are conditioning wipes, and after i clean, i just rub them on, rub with a dry towel, and my boots look super shiny afterwards. my trainer always says they look like they could be patent leather (obviously exaggerating a little, because that would be TOO shiny, but you get the point). another time i cleaned off a friend's pair of boots with them at a show when i groomed for her, and four or five people asked her how her boots were so shiny.
                (|--Sarah--|)

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                • #9
                  I have this whole little process that I do and my boots get very shiny. First, don't use any type of leather cleaner or conditioner (especially saddle soap!), it takes away the natural shine of the boots. I just use plain ol' water. I first start out by cleaning the boots of with a damp cloth of water to get any of the dirt and grime off (since there seems to be a lot of that). Next I use Vogel black boot polish and slather it all over the outside of the boot and down the back. The longer you leave the boot polish on, the more shinier it gets. I usually just wait until its dried in, which takes less than half an hour, but the other day I left it on for 4 days and it got super duper shiny. Then I take another clean cloth and rub all of the boot polish off. Then if I have any, I take a pair of nylons and use then to shine everywhere the boot polish was. The nylons really get them shiny. Lastly, I have a special boot shining sponge that has lemon extracts in it (you can get it from Dover I think, but I forget the name). My boots get really super super shiny after all this. The key is to use the a lot black boot polish. I've tried the kiwi kind, but I prefer the Vogel kind, although it is a bit pricey compared to Kiwi.
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                  • #10
                    I've found that if you can get your hands on the boot polish the military uses that your boots will be so shiny you can see your reflection in them!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I clean with a damp rag and a toothbrush (make sure you get the crevice between the sole and boot, lots of dirt gets stuck in there). Then I put on a layer of the Kiwi polish (I like the stuff in a tin) and let it sit a few minutes. Run a damp, cold cloth over it; let it dry and harden another minute. Then I use a face exfoliating brush to buff. Then another layer of polish, same routine with the sitting, cold/damp cloth, buffing. Do that lots of times. Final coat I finish with pantyhose after the buffing... that makes them super-shiny. I also have one of those little sponge-y touch-up shine blocks, those work about the same as the pantyhose.

                      I love boot cleaning, for some reason. It's just so fun to buff away the dullness and make it all shiny. Wish I felt that way about house cleaning. (:
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                      • #12
                        I know this sounds weird, but I don't really like my boots to be super shiny. I take care of them like I would any other leather--clean them, condition (I like Stubben Hammanol [sp?]).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lou-Lou View Post
                          I know this sounds weird, but I don't really like my boots to be super shiny. I take care of them like I would any other leather--clean them, condition (I like Stubben Hammanol [sp?]).
                          I'm with you, I hate that patent leather shine and much prefer a matte, glossy sheen instead. Meltonian is my favorite boot cream polish, in fact it is all I will use on my custom boots, it gives a beautiful, soft shine without looking glassy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BAC View Post
                            I'm with you, I hate that patent leather shine and much prefer a matte, glossy sheen instead. Meltonian is my favorite boot cream polish, in fact it is all I will use on my custom boots, it gives a beautiful, soft shine without looking glassy.
                            Agreed! Shiny leather looks nasty. (Although extremely..what, matte? leather looks gross also)

                            On a regular basis, I clean mine with Belvoir spray conditioner and cleaner.

                            Before showing or whatever, I clean with Pessoa glycerine, then apply a nice healthy coating of Urad polish. Leave for a few hours or overnight, then buff with a tshirt scrap, then with a buff brush, then a nylon. Then into the boot bags.

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                            • #15
                              i do a good clean with just plain water. then just any normal kiwi polish, use a lighter and heat it up so that it is a little liquidy on top, then use sponge to apply the liquidy polish to boot...put a good amount on (takes some more heating up with the lighting, it dries up quickly!) then let it sit over night before doing anything. the next day, take some panty hose and buff them with that, then take one of those boot brushes for polishing and buff again. works WONDERS on ANY boot!!
                              "If you are nervous you arent focused-if you are focused, there is no room for nerves!"

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                              • #16
                                I've always been blessed to have naturally shiny boots. I used to think that the reason my boots were shiny was because they were used and the old owners were really good at shining their boots. However, last spring I got the young riders custom Vogels and mine shine just as well (even without the vogel conditioner that I used to depend on!).

                                Do not, and I repeat, do NOT polish them all the time. In my opinion too much polish takes away from the sheen. So I only polish during shows so probably about a few times a month. I swear by the Vogel boot polish, rubbed in small circles with a clean, smooth rag (like one of my dads old button down shirt pieces). Make sure to wipe them down with a lightly damp rag before hand, and let them dry before applying polish. After applying polish, I usually start with doing that back and forth shining movement (ahh is there a name for it?) with a dry rag (again button down cloth usually). Before getting on I'll use the 100% animal hair (usually horse hair i think) buffer brushes.

                                I always get complimented on how shiny my boots are! Even when I haven't polished them for a good month or two and I just buff them with a rag I still get asked if I had just finished polishing them! Thats a good point- boots don't always need polish, just a good clean with a damp rag and a little buffing and your set!

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                                • #17
                                  I do all the same with the polish but

                                  I finish the final buff with a pair of old nylons. SHines like crazy!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Talk of the Town View Post
                                    I've found that if you can get your hands on the boot polish the military uses that your boots will be so shiny you can see your reflection in them!
                                    Former military here. We used Kiwi Parade Gloss polish. Great stuff.

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