Shoe Brush Primer
You spent a lot of precious time and considerable funds finding the perfect shoes and boots to compliment your lifestyle. Now your task is to learn the basics about shoe brushes to keep your precious leathers in superlative condition and glowing with the shine you prefer. Shoe shine brushes and other accessories come in a range of styles and materials. You may be asking what should I consider when buying a shoe brush? Here are some shoe brush basics.
The Well-Constructed Shoe Brush
Quality shoe cleaning and polishing brushes typically are constructed with real wood handles and horse or goat hair. These natural materials care for your shoes the proper way, effectively removing soil and other debris and applying leather care products judiciously. The final step of buffing the freshly cleaned and polished footwear to your shine specifications must be done with a brush crafted to maximize the finish without causing wear or damage to the leather.
A natural horsehair brush has the body to clean dirt from your shoes and boots, yet will not gouge or scratch the surface of the leather. Preferred shoe brushes will have closely packed hairs embedded in a hardwood handle, and the best shoe cleaning and polishing brushes will be hand made. Wood is preferable to plastic or resin as it has the durability and flexibility that only a natural product can offer. Find a wood handled shoe brush that fits well in your hand, and chances are superb that the two of you will be polishing fine leathers together for a lifetime.
Goat hair brushes proffer an alternative for a gentle polish on any surface, and are extremely useful for shining delicate leathers. Some brushes may contain both horse and goat hair for an all-purpose approach to shoe care. Avoid completely for smooth leathers any brush with plastic or metal bristles; they have no place when caring for these unnapped leathers.
Specialty Shoe Brushes
The large cleaning and polishing brushes can be augmented by horsehair polish daubers and specially shaped natural hair brushes crafted to clean and polish seams and tight spaces. Exceptions to the ban on metal and plastic brushes for shoe care are suede and nubuck brushes that may use rubber or plastic for cleaning and plastic or metal for raising the nap, but never use these tools on your smooth leathers.
Care of Natural Hair Shoe Brushes
As with any routine, it is best to attend to your shoe cleaning and shining brushes after each use. Shake dirt, soil and debris from your cleaning brushes immediately after removing grime from your footwear, and take special care to dry the brush if the soiled shoe or boot was wet when cleaning it. The brushes used to apply shoe care products should have excess polish or other substances gently rubbed off after they have done their job; a good method is to brush the hairs across a rough-textured terry cloth or a paper towel in a pinch.
Your shining brushes should be inspected periodically for polish or other shoe care product build-up. If the bristles become unduly saturated with the oils and dyes, you can revitalize them with a wash. One method is to use dish soap, but since your best brushes are made of natural hair, consider a shampoo, particularly those made to remove hair care product build up.
In extreme cases where your shoe care brushes are extremely caked with polish or shoe care preparations, cleaning with mineral spirits is possible. Take care to complete the cleansing with a soaping or shampooing at the end, and rinse thoroughly. Dry the brushes completely before storage to avoid mold or mildew.
The Complete Shoe Shine Brush Collection
If you are a back to basics kind of person with mainly black and brown shoes and boots in your closet and hallway, a good cleaning brush and a few horsehair daubers will be enough as long as you have one polishing brush dedicated to black and one to brown in your shoe care box. If you are a bit more daring in the colors of your leathers, consider buying enough daubers to match one to each hue your footwear collection covers in the rainbow of shoe polishes available today.
Then also choose your polishing brushes carefully. The hair in a brush can vary from black to shades of gray and brown to creamy white. Be sure you can identify the proper brush for the color of your leather. One system can be to use a black haired brush for black and a brown one for the browns, and to purchase lighter colored brushes for other colors. The grey or cream hairs of these brushes will take on the color of the polishes or creams used to inform you later for when finishing shines.
Good Tools = Great Comfort and Style
Finding a high quality shoe brush can take some research and a little time, but the difference the right brush makes to your valuable leathers is worth every moment. Take good care of your leather boots and shoes and they will take you though your daily journeys in comfort and style.