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  • I should know this, but...

    Ok, some stupid questions from me to you.

    No matter how long I polish my shoes, I can never get them as shiny as I see some. Is this a matter of the material? What is the best/most effective way to get a good polish on my shoes?

    Should it really take me almost an hour to iron 1-2 pants and get a decent crease? What is the best way to identify where the front crease should be? I have the most difficult time with this, and the crease often ends up to one side or the other, or I wind up with one good crease and one "phantom" crease that I can't quite get rid of.

    It's not so much that I'm new to this, just that I seem to never have mastered the above arts. I'd appreciate any feedback. I take pride in my appearance, but I still think I could look sharper.
    That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

  • #2
    I have a pair of shoes that are polymer, not leather, and always appear "mirror brite." If I wish to "polish" them, I do it with foaming window cleaner. This is the "cheap" way to go, if you consider 75 dollars for a pair of shoes cheap.

    For true leather, there is a system. It involves buying quality leather polish which has no oil in it, or burning the oil off. Perhaps you have heard of flaming tins of Kiwi polish?

    Properly polishing your shoes means that you have to ensure that the oils and waxes in the leather polish and the shoes don't rise to the top and cloud up again.

    I'm sure we'll have a debate as to removing layers vs building on them, etc. Lets see what says you.

    As far as creases in pants, I'm not sure how to describe it in words.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

    Comment


    • #3
      One: Young lady there is never a stupid or dumb question when it is sincerely asked.
      Two: Nathan is correct on the shoes, and you might want to consider buying patent leather shoes and treat them with petroleum jelly for minor scuffs.
      Three: Creases; turn pant legs inside out, apply a very thin layer of paraffin to the creases, turn them right side out and iron using medium heat.
      Enjoy the day,
      Bill

      Comment


      • #4
        OC - the Brits use Windex on their boots to make them mirror, but if caught this means a few hundred runs around the parade ground with a rifle over your head. The HOT Kiwi Gloss is alot of work to get right but when you do you should have no troubles. I still to this day where my Hi-tec Magnums (I can hear the boos and hisses now) with my suits since I never know what situation I could be in so have to keep them shiney at all times.

        Another trick I will tell you about is a liquid polish called COLLONIL. I is a blue colour and will go on blue but it is a once a week polish. It could blind an offender and it is very easy to do. About $8 US a 50ml bottle (1.5 Oz) but lasts me 6 months. A good scrub with a shoe brush to get off the gunk and then you just apply like a kids paint marker.

        http://www.collonil.net/en/produkte/index.php

        A proper shoe repair place (you know the tiny corner stores run by a kind little italian man) will have these products and believe me (you will be shocked at the gloss). My bottle says : COLLONIL SELF SHINE + Lanolin which is what keeps wool supple on a sheep. Made in Germany.
        "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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        • #5
          I wear both Original SWAT leather boots and Hi-Tec leather boots. I polish both with Tana military shine. I apply the polish to the boots, then leave them in the sun for an hour or so, you then see the polish melt and your boots come up with an incredible shine. I then buff of any excess and presto they look great. I guess this is the longer version of the military guys using blow torches to melt the polish on their boots?

          As for the pants, yes it's not the easiest job to get those perfect military creases. I've always found it easier to put the leg long ways on the ironing board, fold the leg in half along the crease put in their from the factory and do it that way. If you follow the factory crease you can't go wrong.
          A well trained dog is worth 10 men!

          I can recall my dog, but I can never recall a fired bullet!

          Would you prefer me to use the dog, the Glock, the baton or the O.C. spray? It's your health insurance so you decide. Alternatively there is always the handcuffs, followed by the Police with the court house preceeding rapidly after. Now which service would you like me to utilise

          Comment


          • #6
            Here's my way works like a charm, first of all I only use Kiwi brand shoe polish/brush/cloth.

            With a Boot brush:
            Start with your base coat, apply polish to brush and brush on all over the boot. Let that sit while you do the other boot's base coat. Then go back to the first boot and with no new polish on the brush, polish/buff the base coat off. Once that is done reapply a bit of polish to brush and buff until you've reached your desired results, you can use a bit of water or spit as well.

            With a 'Kiwi' cloth:
            Wrap the cloth around a finger or two, (I prefer two but it doesn't matter). Start with your base coat, let that sit while you do the other boot like above. Then, use little circles with the cloth all over the boot and polish it in. Once the base coat is worked in, reapply polish to cloth and use the same little circles (depending on the shape of you cloth you may want to use another section). wet the cloth a bit not drench it with either water (that you can put in the lid of the can) or spit (I use my tongue on the cloth) and keep going with the little circles, repeat this step by applying smaller amounts to the cloth than the base coat until you reach your desired shine. Yes your boots can look like chunks if granite with a mirror shine and is pretty much the standard for the Canadian forces.

            I despise liquid shining products because I ruined a pair of Oxfords with it, it flakes at least it does when you have used the regular polish and cloth method.

            Well polished boots, a clean & pressed uniform, clean short cut haircut and clean shaven face/trimmed facial hair or whispyless hair up on women are key to gaining that good first impression and respect while in uniform.

            Look sharp and professional and you will be perceived as such. That can even keep you safe as people will see a 'switched on/high speed' person.
            I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

            If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

            Comment


            • #7
              I used some liquid crap that cracked on my boots (Merrells I think they were) so found this stuff by accident (Collonil). Agreed with the presentation is everything and I do know that it only takes 1 slob to let the whole team down. I once reprimanded a new kid for `getting dressed in the dark` when he came without rank slides and had missed a button on his shirt (first job and nerves). Got him dressed right, lent him some spare slides for the shift and told him to come again tomorrow with clean boots (and no white socks) to start again. I eventually moved him into my team to do high risk stuff for this company as he was a very keen learner too.
              "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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              • #8
                I have seen some get a really bright shine using a product called "leather luster". Never used it myself.

                Here's my method:

                1. Strip the boots down with some rubbing alcohol.
                2. Condition the leather using that kiwi stuff (leather shampoo or something?), or shaving cream. Rub it in using an old t-shirt.
                3. Get a simple black polish. (I use kiwi black). Apply a light coat around the entire boot with an old t-shirt.
                4. Take a hair dryer and melt the polish into the boot.
                5. Let dry, buff out using a horse hair brush and cloth.
                6. Apply 1 more light coat of polish, this time don't melt it in.
                7. Buff out
                8. Get some kiwi parade gloss. Take a cloth and wrap it around your finger. Dip the cloth in water, rub A LITTLE BIT of parade gloss on, and make VERY small circles around the enire boot. It takes practice, but if you do it right, you shouldn't need to buff this coat out, because it will have a high shine to it.
                If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

                "People look to you to dig them out of life threatening dung - that is an awesome responsibility and should be honoured with your blood and sweat in preparation for the day when you may have to work very hard to save someone you might not even know or like. If you are terrible at your job, somebody gets blinded/maimed/disfigured or killed."-Slack

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                • #9
                  ^^ What this person said.

                  If you want that mirror shine, melting the polish is the way to go.

                  I have a pair or Danner Acadias and use the melt method. Works like a charm, but takes a while and it doesn't take much to mess them up, unfortunatly. The first few times you hit your boots on the car door opening will piss you off pretty badly.
                  Anything that hits the fan,
                  Will not be evenly distributed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    None of you light your tin of Kiwi in fire to remove all the wax? That's half the fun.
                    Some Kind of Commando Leader

                    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
                      None of you light your tin of Kiwi in fire to remove all the wax? That's half the fun.
                      Brings back many bad memories of very late nights even if your boots were soaking wet or caked with that special mud they have in Texas. It turns to cement if left to dry. We would apply the polish and then burn it off the boot and then buff before it cooled down. Jump boots for some reason seemed to respond best of all???
                      THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A 911 CALL IS FOUR MINUTES
                      THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A .357 MAGNUM ROUND IS 1400 FEET PER SECOND?
                      http://www.boondocksaints.com/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chucky View Post
                        Brings back many bad memories of very late nights even if your boots were soaking wet or caked with that special mud they have in Texas. It turns to cement if left to dry. We would apply the polish and then burn it off the boot and then buff before it cooled down. Jump boots for some reason seemed to respond best of all???
                        I only light it when the polish is drying and cracking in the tin, then I put the lid on so the smoke and oils stay in. It's fun as long as you put the lid on at the RIGHT time.
                        I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

                        If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                          One: Young lady there is never a stupid or dumb question when it is sincerely asked.
                          Two: Nathan is correct on the shoes, and you might want to consider buying patent leather shoes and treat them with petroleum jelly for minor scuffs.
                          Three: Creases; turn pant legs inside out, apply a very thin layer of paraffin to the creases, turn them right side out and iron using medium heat.
                          Enjoy the day,
                          Bill
                          Any decent seamstress can sew the front creases right into the pants permanently for a few bucks. She'll know how to locate the crease.

                          If not sewn in, you locate the crease this way:

                          1. Lay the pants out on the ironing board in the approximate proper position of the legs (front toward one side, back toward the opposite side).

                          2. Fold the top leg back and out of the way.

                          3. For the bottom leg, line up the inner and outer seams of the leg with one another down at the bottom of the leg, holding that tightly in one hand, grabbing the waist end of the pants with the other hand, and "snap" the leg out to full length with enough force to release wrinkles.

                          4. Commence ironing, paying particular attention first to the "front" part of the leg and getting that right.

                          5. Turn the pants over, carefully folding back your newly ironed leg, and repeat for the other leg.

                          6. Now lay the two legs out together, one on top of the other, and carefully iron the outside of the top leg. Be careful to keep the underneath leg from wrinkling up. Now, turn the pants over to finish the outside of the other leg. Using a padded or wooden hangar, hang the pants carefully and do not put them on until they are completely cooled down (warm pants will wrinkle up again just like they "unwrinkle" when you iron them).

                          Never heard about burning the shoe polish in the tin. I spit-shined my leather (using paste polish applied with a cloth, brushed lightly to distribute evenly, and then rubbing in a circular motion with cotton balls dabbed lightly in water to work the polish in). Did this about once a week and touched up scuffs in between with either light dabs of a leather cleaner or a liquid polish. Never did find a good solution for the fact that the higher the shine on your boots, the more likely it was that you'd find yourself working an MVA on the muddiest road in the county, or that some drunk would either step or puke on them.
                          Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-06-2007, 08:34 AM.
                          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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                          • #14
                            For those of you who use the heating method, I found a cool way to do it that I think works really well. It is also good because Danner reccomends you not use direct heat on their boots to protect the gore tex liner

                            I bought one of those candle warmers that instead of lighting the candle, you turn it on and set the candle on it and it melts the candle. You can get em for less than 10 bucks.

                            Throw the shoe polish tin on it, and 10 minutes later you have a full tin of liquid shoe polish ready to use! Brush the polish on with a foam paint brush, let it harden and polish like normal. When you're finished, just leave the tin on the candle warmer and turn the warmer off, and 10 minutes later your shoe polish will be hard and level again.




                            Anything that hits the fan,
                            Will not be evenly distributed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Contact View Post
                              For those of you who use the heating method, I found a cool way to do it that I think works really well. It is also good because Danner reccomends you not use direct heat on their boots to protect the gore tex liner

                              I bought one of those candle warmers that instead of lighting the candle, you turn it on and set the candle on it and it melts the candle. You can get em for less than 10 bucks.

                              Throw the shoe polish tin on it, and 10 minutes later you have a full tin of liquid shoe polish ready to use! Brush the polish on with a foam paint brush, let it harden and polish like normal. When you're finished, just leave the tin on the candle warmer and turn the warmer off, and 10 minutes later your shoe polish will be hard and level again.
                              What a cool idea. I'll have to get one of those warmers and try that. Somehow it sounds much safer than a blowtorch
                              That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

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