Basic Shoecare Guide
Our Basic Shoeshine utilizes two of Saphir’s most-popular and most-versatile products: Saphir Renovateur and Saphir Cream Polish. Both are from their highest-end Medaille d’Or collection, which still uses the formulations that won it the “Gold Metal” at the Paris International Fair in 1925. Quite simply, Saphir’s Medaille d’Or products are the absolute best way to polish and preserve high-quality leather shoes.
The purpose of the Saphir Renovateur is to clean and condition the leather. This mink-oil based all-purpose cleaner and conditioner is widely reported by our customers, most of which are advanced shoe aficionados, that it is the best all-purpose cleaner and conditioner they have ever used. It helps remove any buildup of old polish and dirt while nourishing the leather to prevent drying and cracking.
As part of a Basic Shoeshine Regimen, we recommend that it be used as the base coat before polishing.
After you apply the Saphir Renovateur, then the shoe is prepared to receive a pigmented polish. For the Basic Regiment, we recommend the Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish from the Medaille d’Or collection because of its higher concentration of pigments (more then four-times as much as wax polish) and nutrients. Cream polishes do a better job both conditioning, coloring, and polishing the shoe than a wax polish.
Note: if you enjoy a high-gloss shine, you can always apply a wax polish after the Pommadier Cream Polish.
Saphir’s Pommadier Cream Polish is an all-natural cream polish based on the highest-quality beeswax, turpentine, and shea butter with seven other nutrient waxes that nourishes as well as polishes leather. The wax layer left after shoe polishes are applied creates a protective barrier for the leather and the shine that everyone associates with a nice pair of shoes.
Step 1: Clean Shoes with a Damp Chamois
To prepare the shoe to be polished, first remove any superficial dirt with a damp (but not wet) chamois. If the chamois change the color of the leather, then it is too wet.
Step 2: Apply Saphir Renovateur
Apply the Renovateur sparingly with a chamois using small, circular motions, massaging it into the leather. Work on small sections at a time. In order to control the amount being applied, I recommend using the lid like a paint pallet.
Step 3: Remove Renovateur with a Horsehair Brush
Allow the Renovateur to dry for three to five minutes and then buff off with a horsehair brush. You can more easily control the shoe and horsehair brush if you remove the shoetree and hold the shoe by sticking your hand inside.
Step 4: Apply Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish
Apply the Pommadier Cream Polish sparingly with a chamois using small, circular motions, massaging it into the leather. Work on small sections at a time. In order to control the amount being applied, I recommend using the lid like a paint pallet.
Be sure to properly match the color of the cream polish with that of your leather. Darker polishes can be used to provide antiquing. However, if you are ever in doubt to the exact match, refer to our Saphir Color Card or use a lighter color, which will not darken the leather.
Step 5: Remove Cream Polish with a Horsehair Brush
Allow the cream polish to dry for three to five minutes and then buff off with a horsehair brush. You can more easily control the shoe and horsehair brush if you remove the shoetree and hold the shoe by sticking your hand inside.
Step 6: Repeat two to three times to build finish
In order to build the protective wax finish of your shoes, we recommend applying a minimum of three coats of polish the first time you shine your shoes. On successive shining, you can get away with one to two coats.
This will produce a soft patina. If you desire a higher-gloss patina, apply another layer of cream (or, better, wax) polish on the toe box and buff with a clean, damp chamois.