How To Shine Leather Boots Without Polish? (10 Home-Based Ways)

Last Updated on October 1, 2022 by Sarah Jaffe

For some, shining their leather boots is a necessary part of their weekly routine. It can give them a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to see their boots looking good as new. But for others, the idea of polish and all the work that goes into it is just too much.

Polish can be a hassle, and it’s not always the most effective way to achieve the shine you’re looking for.

In this post, we’re going to teach you how to polish leather boots without using any polish. So whether you forgot to bring your polish on your last trip or you just don’t like the look of polish on your boots, follow these simple methods and have shiny, polished boots in no time!

10 Ways To Shine Your Leather Boots At Home Without Polish

Ways To Shine Your Leather Boots Without Polish

From a number of different ways, we will discuss the top ten methods to have shiny boots without polish.

1. Using Saddle soap

We’ll start with the most basic method i.e saddle soap. Leather products can be cleaned, and conditioned with Saddle soap. It comes in a bar or liquid form.

1. You just need to get wet your boots, rub the saddle soap in, and clean them with a damp cloth.

2. If you don’t have any saddle soap on hand, you can also use Murphy Oil Soap.

3. Put Murphy Oil Soap in a spray bottle, mix it with three parts water, and spray it on your boots.

4. Let them sit for a few minutes so the solution can soak in, then wipe them off with a wet cloth.

2. Use Vinegar

Vinegar used to shine leather boots

One surprising household item that can be used to shine leather is vinegar. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a natural cleaning agent that can help to remove dirt and grime from leather. To use vinegar,

1. Simply dilute one part of white vinegar with two parts of warm water and apply it to a clean cloth.

2. Rub the cloth in gentle, circular motions all over your boots until they are evenly covered.

3. Then, allow the vinegar solution to dry completely for about 15 minutes, then wipe your boots with a soft cloth.

4. If your leather boots are still looking a little dull after the first treatment, simply repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the results. 

3. Create a DIY Polish

If you don’t have any commercial leather polish on hand, you can easily make your own at home using common household ingredients. To create DIY leather polish you will need:

– Olive oil

– Lemon juice

– White vinegar

1. Start by mixing 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a small bowl.

2. Once combined, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and stir well.

3. You can then apply this mixture to your boots with a cloth, rubbing it in until the entire boot is covered.

4. You can then wipe off the mixture with a dry cloth after 10-15 minutes. 

4. Apply Baby Powder 

Another option for shining unpolished leather boots is to use baby powder. The powder will help to absorb any excess oil or moisture on the surface of your boots while also leaving behind a subtle sheen.

1. Simply sprinkle a small amount of baby powder onto a clean cloth and sweep it over the surface of your boots.

2. Once evenly covered, allow the powder to sit for 5-10 minutes before shaking or brushing off any excess powder.

5. Vaseline

A leather boot shines with Vaseline

If you have some Vaseline or petroleum jelly lying around, you can use that to shine your boots.

1. First, start with a clean pair of boots. If they’re especially dirty, you may need to give them a quick once-over with a damp cloth.

2. Once they’re clean and dry, apply a tiny amount of Vaseline to a soft cloth and rub it into the leather. Make sure to pay special attention to any areas where the skin is particularly dry or cracked.

3. Then, use a clean cloth to wipe the boots until they’re shiny. 

This method is great when you’re short on time, but it’s not the best long-term solution. Petroleum jelly can darken leather over time, so it’s best to save this method for occasional touch-ups. 

6. Beeswax

Beeswax is a natural product that’s perfect for shining and protecting leather. You can find it at most craft stores, or order it online.

1. To use it, just melt a little bit of beeswax in a double boiler or in the microwave.

2. Then, using a brush or cloth, apply the wax evenly to the surface of your boots.

3. Buff the wax into the leather gently with a clean cloth, and voila! You’ll have new-looking boots once again.

7. Baby Oil

Baby oil is another simple alternative to shoe polish. To apply on leather boots you need to,

1. Dab a little baby oil onto a dry, clean cloth.

2. Rub the cloth gently into the leather until it covers the entire boot.

3. Wipe away extra oil with a second piece of cloth.

There’s no need to polish your boots every time you wear them. A little bit of baby oil will help keep them shining between polishing sessions.

8. Hair Gel

Before you start shining your boots with hair gel, make sure they’re clean and free of any dirt or debris.

1. Once they’re clean, apply a generous amount of hair gel in small circular motions, and lightly press the leather with a soft cloth.

2. Continue rubbing until the boot is coated with a thin layer of gel. 

3. After applying the gel, wait a few minutes for it to absorb.

4. Once the boots are clean, wipe them with a dry cloth until they are shining.

If you want an extra high shine, you can apply another layer of gel and repeat the process. 

9. Coconut Oil

Leather boots are shined with coconut oil.

Coconut oil works wonders in bringing shine to the boots. Directions to use this are as follows:

1. Place a couple of drops of coconut oil on your lint-free cloth. You only need a few drops to lightly coat the leather’s surface.

2. Rub the coconut oil into the leather in a circular motion.

3. Continue covering the boot entirely.

4. Allow the boots to sit for about 15 minutes so the oil can penetrate the leather.

5. Buff with a clean, dry cloth to remove oil residue. Your boots should now have a healthy shine!

10. Banana peel

This way of bringing shine to shoes may sound like an old wives’ tale, but it actually works. The inside of a banana peel contains nutrients that help to nourish and condition the leather that softens and shines your leather boots.

Simply squish the inside of the peel on your boots in a circular motion and let it sit for about 15 minutes prior to wiping it off with a clean cloth.


Shining your leather boots doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s easy to make your boots look as good as new with the right products and techniques in no time at all. 

Leather boots should be buffed the right way and they’ll last for years. Polish is not necessary, but a good cleaning will make them look great. 

We have mentioned many ways that will not only you save time and money, but you’ll also avoid the harsh chemicals found in most polishes. Have you tried any of these methods before? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments below!


Is it safe to use a toothbrush on leather?

Yes, it is fine for leather to be cleaned with a toothbrush as long as the bristles are not too stiff. It is not the best tool for cleaning, a soft cloth or sponge is a better choice.

What should I do if my leather boots have scuff marks?

You can get rid of scuff marks on leather boots by using a soft cloth and a few drops of vinegar. First, dampen the cloth with the vinegar and then gently rub the scuffed area. You may have to repeat this several times to completely remove the mark.