How To Spit Shine Shoes

Whether it's because you have a family member in the military that swears by it or you're curious about the technique, learning how to spit shine shoes is a skill that will keep you looking like a sharp and well groomed man. If you are dressed to impress but your shoes are a lackluster mess, you'll ruin your image faster than you can say “hello”. Men who have learned to spit shine shoes understand the importance of making a first impression and appreciate the high gloss, mirror like quality that comes from using this technique. Learning how to spit shine shoes is easy to learn, and there's no need to be put off by the name spit shine as there are many people who choose to forgo the spit for a dab of water instead.

What you'll need to spit shine shoes:

  • Gloves
  • Newspaper
  • Polish
  • Cotton cloth or cotton balls
  • Bowl of water
  1. Prepare your work area. The first step when learning how to spit shine shoes is to prepare your work space. Lay down newspaper in the area where you plan to work and set out the polish and cloth.
  2. Clean your shoes. Look over the shoes that you'll be shining. Are they covered in mud, dust or dirt? Clean the shoes by using a brush or a slightly damp rag. If you choose to use a rag, allow the shoes to dry completely before beginning the polishing process.
  3. Apply a layer of polish. If you are using gloves, pull them on prior to opening the polish. Using a polishing brush or a clean, soft rag, apply a thick layer of polish over the surface of your shoe.
  4. Set it aside. After you've applied the polish, allow it to dry for a minimum of ten minutes. When allowing the shoes to dry, you can speed up the process by setting them in a warm draft free area.
  5. Add “spit”. Wrap the cotton cloth around your index finger so that it is smooth and free of wrinkles. You can either moisten your finger by dipping it into a bowl of water or by spitting on your cloth covered finger. Proceed to buff the shoe using a circular motion.
  6. Apply more polish. Using your moistened finger, apply a thin coat of polish; buffing in small circular movements. Continue until a high shine is reached.
  7. Final buff. After you've reached the level of shine that you are aiming to achieve, give the shoe a final buff using a clean cloth. Now that you've learned to spit shine shoes successfully, repeat the process for your second shoe.


  • After the first thick coat of polish, only work with thin layers as you spit shine shoes.


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