A question of polish, not Polish! How to remove old polish?

Right, I dug out my old brogues that have been sitting in the loft for a few years and unfortunately all the polish has cracked and they need reworking.

Whats the best way of removing the cracked/flakey stuff (including out of the holes in the pattern)?

I was thinking of using a hairdryer to heat it then wipe off with a cloth and start the whole bulling process from scratch.


Fill the shoes with newspaper. This will help to stop the shoes shrinking whilst you heat them.

Try a hairdryer, it might work.

Seriously. Trust me.

As that racist said, put newspaper in first but make sure it's wet.

Unlike your wife because you can't find a way to spend £1000 on her.


I remember using shaving cream and scotchbrite, or saddle soap (which might turn boots white). Or lighter fluid mixed with water. Or you could follow advice on the thread and set fire to them. mmmmm
Either pack them solid with paper or use the trees if you have them.
swap the laces for string and tie them up.
A blowtorch is a good idea but just go over them lightly as if using a spray gun so as not to shrink the leather.
Use a good stiff boot brush on them while they are warm to remove the old polish. I use a combination of toothpicks and drinking straws on brogues to restore the pattern, otherwise You would be better off buying plain oxfords in the first place.
Sometimes if the polish is very thick and mixed with old beeswax I use a fairly blunt blade to scrape away the polish.
Once they are back to the leather use a good leather polish with lanolin content to feed the leather. Give it a good workin in with a brush or rag leave and repeat several times. This is because your leather has been sealed under polish for a wile and will have dried out. Doing this will prolong the life of the shoes which tend to crack on the creases of the upper foot if neglected.
After all that just bull them up as you would.
Shoe trees are always a good idea and for long term storage, shoe bags or drape with a duster.

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