The Unexpected Use Shoe Polish Can Serve In Your House

There are some cleaning products that you don't use very often, making them sit in your cleaning pantry for months, if not years, at a time. One of those products is shoe polish. While it will spruce up a pair of dress shoes in a pinch, most people don't indulge in a shoe shine weekly, leaving the product to waste on the shelf for months without being touched. But if you're one of those people who doesn't like to have products sitting idly by, you'll be happy to hear there are more uses for the polish. It can be quite the workhorse if you give it the right jobs. And one of the most unexpected ways to use shoe polish is on wooden furniture.

No, you won't be using the wax to clean or buff the furniture. Instead, it can act as a scratch filler. If you're looking to easily erase stubborn wood furniture scratches, this is a great product to start with.

How to use shoe polish to fill in scratches

Before you begin rubbing shoe polish all over your wooden surfaces, you first have to do a bit of color matching. If you have a rich mahogany desk with a scratch on its side after you moved it from one room to another, putting black polish over the gauge won't help. Instead, you have to bring out your brown shoe polish to match the hue of the furniture. However, that classic black polish can work on espresso wood furniture, which is nearly black. 

To apply it on the wood, grab a paper towel, wrap it around your finger, and dab a small amount of polish onto the tip. Gently rub it into the scratch, being careful not to get it on the surrounding wood. If you do, immediately wipe off the polish so as not to stain the surface and create a blemish. Keep adding more polish until the scratch disappears. 

Some caveats to keep in mind

Shoe polish is made out of dyes and lotions that help polish, condition, and color shoes. Those same properties are used to hide furniture scratches. If you're worried about creating a mark with the polish, you can first test an inconspicuous spot to see how it will react on your piece. If it's on a desk, try doing it on the back leg that faces the wall. Or if it's a bookcase, try the bottom corner that's nestled up to the reading chair. If you don't think you'll be able to do a good job with a paper towel, you can use a Q-tip for a more precise application. Also ensure that your furniture is clean and dry before applying the polish.

If your shoe polish doesn't quite match the color of your furniture, you should pause rather than forging ahead. Instead, you can mix two or three different polishes together to create the exact color you need. Just buy a couple of shades that would blend to match your color, scrape a sample amount from each polish, and mix it on a paper plate until you get the color you need.