It may be interesting to prepare your own shoe polish in a while. This Do It Yourself exercise is pretty interesting!

Home-made shoe polishEdit

Neutral Colour Shoe PolishEdit

To make a neutral-colour, home-made shoe polish, you would need:

  • Soap flakes 30 g (1 oz)
  • Potassium carbonate 15 g (0.5 oz) (Obtain from chemist/pharmacist)
  • Beeswax 150 g (5oz)
  • Gum arabic powder 15 g (0.5 oz)
  • Icing sugar 45 g (1.5 oz)

Slice the beeswax and add to 568 ml (a pint) of water. Stir in the soap flakes and potassium carbonate. Boil until a smooth paste. Whilst the mixture is still hot (turn off the heat, but act quickly), add and stir the gum arabic powder and icing sugar. For a specifically black polish, 280 g (10 oz) of charcoal powder from the chemist may be added at this stage.

In recent history the black colour comes from an aniline dye. The next recipe indicates that nigrosene (generically, a black dye made from oxidised aniline) was domestically procurable in the 1940s.

Note that the above recipe uses potassium carbonate (potash) whereas the following recipe uses potassium bicarbonate, which is not potash. Imperial Measures are in brackets.

Black Shoe PolishEdit

  • 120 g (1/4 lb) beeswax
  • 284 ml (1/2 pint) turpentine
  • 22 g (3/4 oz) bicarbonate of potassium
  • 30 g (1 oz) nigrosene
  • 4.5 l (8 pints) boiling water

Melt wax in boiling water and stir in the potassium, using a large pot to allow for the mixture foaming up. Dissolve the nigrosene in a little cold water and stir it in thoroughly, bring to the boil, and simmer gently for some minutes, stirring it until it creams. Take mixture off the fire, and stir in the turpentine. Put away in small tins, tightly closed.

This page uses content from Wikibooks. The original article was at Shoe polish. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with DIY Culture, the text of Wikinooks is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.