What is a Spit Shine

Spit shine term comes from the defense services where the cadet is judged by the shine of his shoe. The shine which has mirror like reflection comes from putting layer upon layer of shoe polish on the shoe and using spit as additive to polish to achieve that shine. So using spit to shine the shoe gave rise to the term spite shine. The process of giving the shoe this high reflective shine actually is a tedious process and takes over an hour to achieve.

Though the new kinds of leather shoes have a so good shine that it is literally like black mirror, the shine does not have any depth to it. Spit shined shoes have the same mirror like reflectivity, but in addition have an unmatched richness of depth. To give more shine and depth to the shoe more and more layers of polish are added to the shoe.

Why spit? And how add layers as when you add another layer of polish it softens the previous layer of polish. The polishes these days contain even more solvents than any automotive pastes. Spit shining solves the problem of the solvents. Lets understand the process. For this you need polish, a bag of cotton balls, and some water.

Before proceeding with the polishing make sure to clean the shoe using shoe brush to remove excess dust. Make sure that each and every external part of the shoe that is visible is cleaned using brush and cloth so that no dust is left on the shoe. This would ensure best shine on the shoe later. Wet the cotton ball squeezing out excess water. Taking small amount of polish on the cotton , it should be wiped in the shoe. It should be rubbed in the circular motion till there is no smudging. The process can be repeated at least 5 and sometimes over 10 times. The cotton ball can be changed after it becomes too loaded with wax. We have to remember that the more number of layers will cause the wax to come off after shoe flexes from wearing. Using tongue to dab the cotton ball in place of water is the popular technique used hence giving the name spit shine. The soles are polished using a toothbrush. After having applied the polish the shoe should typically be allowed to dry for 30 minutes. Finally place a woman’s knee-high nylon stocking over your hand and buff the shoes to a high shine.

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