10 Natural Shoe Shine Alternatives

Did you know that with a little toothpaste you can get your tennis or rubber-soled shoes back to their original white? 
10 Natural Shoe Shine Alternatives

Last update: 30 May, 2022

If you’re curious about shoe shine alternatives we have a few recommendations. They don’t only work, but they’re completely natural as well.

Try them out!

1. Olive oil

We all know olive oil for its medicinal and culinary uses. However, thanks to its properties, it’s also a great ally for cleaning leather shoes and other materials.

How can you use it?

  • Apply several drops of olive oil on the shoe’s surface and immediately after, rub the shoes with a rag.
  • You’ll have clean, shining shoes as a result.

2. Banana peel

The inner white part of the banana peel has many properties. Among them is one that works great for removing stains and dirt from surfaces made of leather.

How can you use it?

  • Take a fresh banana peel and rub it into your leather shoes.
  • Leave it on for a couple minutes and clean off with a rag.

3. Toothpaste


The soles of sneakers, and any kind of rubber sole in general, usually turn yellow or brown because of the daily contact that they make with floors and dirty areas.

While a lot of it can be removed with some soap and water, sometimes we need to turn to additional products to get our shoes looking perfect again.

In just minutes, and without too much effort, toothpaste will help you get your shoes back to a white like you won’t believe.

How can you use it?

  • Apply the toothpaste on the dirty shoe and rub in using a toothbrush.
  • Leave it on for 5 minutes and wash off.

4. Breadcrumbs

White sandwich breadcrumbs work like an eraser on shoes that are made of satin, canvas, and suede.

How can you use it?

  • Make a ball with the white sandwich bread and rub it on the dirty surfaces of your shoes.
  • If there’s too much, remove the crumbs with a brush.

5. Baking soda

baking soda

Baking soda’s properties make it a natural detergent and shoe shine. It helps to remove dirt and eliminate the bacteria that cause unpleasant odors.  

How do you use it?

  • Dampen the baking soda with a little water until it forms a thick paste.
  • Rub it into cloth shoes by using a brush and leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Wash off and leave them to dry in the sun.

6. Nail file

Do you have a pair of shoes matted with stained? If so, a simple nail file can become your best friend and leave your shoes clean– scratch-free.

How can you use it?

  • Scratch off the stain or lightly buff the surface with this simple shoe shine.

7. Petroleum jelly


It might sound unbelievable, but petroleum jelly can keep patent leather shoes shiny and free of dust marks.

How can you use it?

  • Rub in a generous amount of petroleum jelly on the shoes’ surface and use it as a shoe shine with a rag.

Read also: 5 Tips to Prevent Your New Shoes from Hurting You

8. Corn flour

Using corn flour on your shoes is a fast trick to stop tricky stains that result from oily sources from forming.

If some oil spills onto your shoe, reach for the cornflour immediately as a go-to shoe shine solution.

How can you use it?

  • Pour the cornflour onto the stain and leave it on for 30 minutes so it can absorb the oil.
  • After 30 minutes, shake and brush off the residue to leave your shoes just like new.

9. Orange


With a half orange, we can clean leather shoes and boots that lose their shine because of everyday grime.

How can you use it?

  • Cut an orange in half and rub it on the shoes so that it releases its juices.
  • Leave the shoes to dry for a couple hours and, after, buff them with a rag or shoe brush.

10. Potato

The liquid from potatoes is great for removing stains that appear on leather footwear.

Applying it leaves surfaces shiny as if they just came straight from the store.

How can you use it?

  • Cut off a slice of potato and apply it to the shoe.
  • After, before the liquid dries, rub it in with a soft rag.

Ready to try these tricks at home? Now, you know how to keep your footwear in perfect condition without spending a penny more. Don’t think twice about trying them out.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.