unknown man polishing black leather shoe with cloth

22 Natural Shoe Polish Alternatives to Shoe Polish

I have only ever used shoe polish on my shoes, so when I discovered these hacks, I was rather surprised. It’s great to know that there are various things I can reach if I end up losing my shoe polish and my shoes need their shine.

To help my fellow shoe lovers who need their shiny shoes, here are natural alternatives to shoe polish that you can most likely find in your home:


overhead view of beeswax pellets on wooden bowl and wooden spoon

Beeswax has traditionally been used to shine shoes. You must first heat the wax to ensure that it is malleable enough just to distribute to the shoes, and then massage it into each shoe well. Then, using a clean, soft cloth, buff the shoes to a high shine.


  • Beeswax is readily available at most craft shops.
  • It also maintains the leather smooth and lustrous.


  • Beeswax may be rather costly.
  • It’s not always easy to get the appropriate texture out of beeswax.

Beeswax is also available in quantity and online, so if this method of shoe shining appeals to you, you might want to stock up.


unknown woman dipping hands on paraffin for treatment

Scrub your shoes with a gentle cloth after applying paraffin.

Banana Peel 

overhead view of single banana peel on light blue background

This one is a bit different, but it works. Remove the banana from the skin and wipe the inside of it against your shoes. After that, wipe away any excesses with a soft cloth or a napkin. Then rub the shoes with a clean towel to make them shinier.


  • Anyone can use this strategy since it is so easy.
  • It costs a lot less than normal shoe polish.


  • It may be a touch sloppy and even greasy at times.
  • It might take some time to remove all the peel off your shoe.

Some people dislike this approach since there is usually a little banana remaining within the skin, but it is a cost-effective and simple method.

Body Lotion

overhead view of unknown model putting lotion from tube on hand

A tiny ball of cotton can be rubbed into your shoes with any kind of body lotion, and it doesn’t take much to get great results. Like some other shoe-shine solutions, you should always buff the shoes to a high shine with a clean, soft towel or cloth.


  • You may use a low-cost generic body lotion.
  • Only a tiny quantity is required to get the desired impact.


  • Some lotions have a greasy feel to them.
  • If you use them excessively, your shoes could get oily.

Most individuals have body lotion on hand, and it doesn’t matter which brand you use to polish your shoes since they share similar effects.

Lip Balm

unknown woman holding a tube of lip balm with honeycomb pattern on background

Here’s what you can do with all those half-used lip balms. Rather than throwing them away, rub a small amount of lip balm into your shoes with a clean cloth. After that, use a clean, soft towel and wipe the shoe one more until you get the desired shine.


  • Lip balm is a low-cost product that may be used for a variety of applications.
  • You may reuse your lip balm as a shoe polisher.


  • If the lip balms are just too little, it could not work.
  • Lip balms with strong odors may not be the best choice for your shoes.

Everyone today wants to recycle, and using lip balm to shine your shoes makes it a lot simpler.

Hair Gel

uncapped blue hair gel on clear container with black background

The nicest thing about the use of hair gel to polish your footwear is that just a tiny quantity is required. Apply a little dab of hair gel on the shoe, then aggressively wipe it with a soft fabric or cloth to make it shine in no time. Don’t worry if your gel is blue or green; the color never transfers to the shoe.


  • Hair gel is affordable and readily available.
  • The gel isn’t as oily as some other shoe-shining options.


  • If you use too much, your shoes can get oily.
  • Certain hair gels are a little pricey.

Hair gel is an affordable but efficient alternative to shoe polish.

Lemon with olive oil

two clear bottles of olive oil beside cut lemon and cloves of garlic

Most people have olive oil in their kitchens, and all you must do is spray a bit on your shoe, let it stay for several minutes, and thereafter wash it off with a soft cleaning cloth. After you’ve finished with the olive oil, add a small amount of lemon and massage it in.


  • An economical and simple way
  • Because most individuals have olive oil in their homes, this is a convenient option.


  • It may be tough to remove too much oil if you use too much.
  • If you use too much lemon, your leather may dry out.

Olive oil will also permeate into leather shoes and swiftly absorb, leaving a lovely, even, and extremely smooth surface that will last a long time.

Coconut Oil 

coconut oil on glass container beside open coconut and coconut wax on bowl

When it comes to leather shoes, dabbing a little coconut oil onto a cotton ball and rubbing it into the shoes works best. You won’t need much coconut oil since a little goes a long way. Once the coconut oil has been absorbed into the shoes, use a clean towel to buff them to a sheen.


  • It gives the shoes a lustrous sheen while also making them feel soft.
  • Coconut oil is widely available these days.


  • Some coconut oil products are a bit pricey.
  • Coconut oil has a pungent odor.

In fact, you don’t want to apply too much coconut oil to your shoes since it has a distinct odor that will be with you for the remainder of the day.

Vegetable/Walnut Oil

cropped image of a person pouring oil onto a pan in kitchen

To get your shoes smooth and shiny, you just need a little amount of walnut oil or vegetable oil. Simply massage the oil into your shoes with a soft cloth, but be sure to buff for a long period since the longer you rub with this substance, the brighter your shoes will seem. Take a clean towel and massage the shoes again for additional shine after the oil has been absorbed.


  • This oil is both cheap and simple to come by, and it may soften and improve the appearance of leather.


  • If you use too much oil, it may contaminate other goods in the area.
  • If it’s not totally absorbed, it’ll feel oily.

Vinegar and Linseed Oil

vinegar in stainless steel container and linseed oil on glass container on top of white table

Blend the linseed oil as well as vinegar in a 2-to-1 ratio prior to applying it to your shoes using this manner. You’ll have a great shine in no time; but, since various materials respond differently to this mixture, it’s best to test it on a tiny area first before applying it to the whole shoe.


  • This is a pretty easy strategy that anybody may use.
  • Leather shoes are also kept supple.


  • Linseed oil might be hard to come by.
  • Vinegar might be a little drying at times.

Another downside with utilizing linseed oil is that it takes a long time to dry and mildew might grow on the surface. If you use this approach, make sure you don’t use too much oil and that the oil is well wiped off before you put your shoes on.


single red hibiscus flower on clear glass alongside glass with water on marbled table

Hibiscus plants are both attractive and useful since one of their numerous purposes is to restore the luster of worn-out shoes. Simply massage the flower into the shoe for a few seconds before wiping it clean with a clean towel. After that, rub the shoes with a towel to acquire that lustrous sheen.


  • This is a quick and simple technique to polish your shoes.
  • Hibiscus plants may also be utilized to decorate your house when they are not being used to polish shoes.


  • Not everybody has hibiscus plants.
  • Because of the scale of the petals as well as the leaves, it’s a bit uncomfortable to massage the shoes.

Even if applying hibiscus flowers to buff your shoes isn’t something you’ll want to do on a daily basis, it works well when you’re in need.

Oregano Leaves

fresh oregano leaves surrounding bowl containing dried oregano leaves

You may apply oregano leaves into your shoe and buff it to a high shine with a clean towel since oregano leaves include essential oils that are ideal for treating leather. This isn’t a popular approach to get your shoes shined, but it’s cheap, simple, and effective.


  • Leaves of oregano are very beneficial to your footwear.
  • The procedure is easy and low-cost.


  • Not everyone has oregano leaves on hand.
  • Certain oregano brands are rather pricey.

Moreover, since oregano leaves are antifungal and antibacterial, they help to keep the leather in your shoes smooth, supple, and long-lasting. Naturally, you won’t want to use this approach for polishing your shoes on a daily basis, but you’ll be astonished at how efficient it is.


bunch of uncooked potatoes on blue cloth beside silver pot

Potato juice may be used for a variety of purposes, including polishing your shoes. Simply peel the potato and massage it into your shoes; after the juice has dried up, wipe the shoes with a clean towel. If you’re going to an important appointment and your shoes are dull, this is a fast and easy way to shine them up before you leave the house.


  • Potatoes are cheap to buy.
  • The procedure is both quick and effective.


  • Before the juice dries, you must massage it out of the shoe.
  • This procedure must be used promptly, otherwise, the potato will become brown.

Most people have potatoes on hand, and if you’re in a need, they’re the ideal thing to use to shine your shoes.


overhead view of breadcrumbs on bowl and wooden spoon with bread on table

You may make a ball out of crumbs from white sandwich bread and massage it on your filthy shoe.


  • On satin, canvas, and suede shoes, it works like an eraser.


  • Breadcrumbs are a sloppy mess to clean up.


peeled oranges on brass bowl with oranges around the table

To restore the luster of your shoes, cut a half-orange in half. Rub immediately on the shoes and wait for a few hours to dry. After that, use a towel or a shoe brush to buff the surface.


  • It removes dirt and filth from shoes effectively.


  • It’s possible that it’ll be a little sloppy or damp.

Baking Soda

baking soda poured over from glass container onto wooden table

Making a baking soda paste and rubbing it into your textile shoes can eliminate dirt and germs. Allow it to sit for five minutes before rinsing it and allowing it to air dry.


  • It’s natural.


  • Other types of footwear are not affected.

Corn Flour 

corn flour on glass container beside cobs of corn

Pour cornflour on the stain and let it on for 30 minutes to absorb the oil, which will prevent oil leaks from accumulating on your shoe. Shake and brush the residue away after that.


  • Oil won’t stay in your shoes any longer.


  • As a shoe polish, it is only somewhat useful.

Petroleum Jelly

overhead view of unknown model scooping petroleum jelly from opened blue container

Petroleum jelly is often used to give shoes a wonderful shine for decades, but the advantages of applying this substance on your shoes, particularly if they are made of leather, are mixed. If you want to use petroleum jelly on a brand-new pair of leather footwear, test it on an old pair first so you don’t get caught off guard later.


  • Petroleum jelly is found in almost every home’s cupboard.
  • Petroleum jelly is affordable and widely available.


  • If you apply too much, your shoes may get oily.
  • The long-term consequences of petroleum jelly on leather shoes are unknown.

For the greatest results, start with a tiny bit of petroleum jelly and conclude by wiping the footwear with a clean, dry cloth.

Rubbing Alcohol

hands of unknown models holding and spraying plastic bottle of rubbing alcohol

The majority of people have no idea how this works, but it does. Simply dab a tiny quantity of rubbing alcohol over your shoes and massage it in small circles with a small cotton ball until you get the desired shine. After that, massage the shoes with a clean, soft cloth until they shine.


  • Rubbing alcohol is cheap and simple to get by.
  • This is a really simple way that works.


  • The leather may fracture if you use too much alcohol.
  • It might be difficult to know the level of alcohol to use.

You don’t need a lot of rubbing alcohol for this procedure to work. Begin with a modest bit and work your way up so you don’t wind up with too much on your shoes.

Non-toxic Permanent Marker

uncapped black permanent marker on white background

To restore the color to your leather, you may use any non-toxic permanent marker with a broad tip.


  • Restoring the color of your shoes is simple with this quick remedy.


  • This shoe polish substitute is more for restoring the color of the shoes than for restoring the shine.


two bamboo toothbrushes on marble table, one with small amount of toothpaste

Using toothpaste, restore the whiteness of your shoes. A toothbrush, a soft brush, or a rug may be used to apply the toothpaste. For a glossy finish, buff with a brush or a cloth.


  • Only works on white leather shoes, sneakers’ soles, and any rubber sole in general.


  • It can’t be used on anything other than the shoes listed above.

Soap Solution

foamy local soap on soap dish

Warm water with saddle soap or a neutral pH solution, or a liquid detergent with warm water, may be used as a soap solution. Clean your shoes using a sponge dipped in the soap solution.


  • It’s simple to perform and effective in cleaning up mud, grime, and debris.


  • The staining of the shoes is unaffected by a soap solution.

Nail File

unknown woman filing her nails with ombre nail file and nail polish on table

Scratching the stain from your matted shoes is best done with a nail file.


  • Scratch-free removal of the stain


  • As a shoe polish, it is only somewhat useful.

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