How Much Shoe Cream To Use : The Ultimate Guide [2024]

Written By Mahia

Taking care of your shoes plays a vital role in their longevity and appearance. But what’s more important is taking proper care of your shoes.

What does this mean? Well, suppose you are applying shoe cream to rejuvenate your shoe’s appearance – how much cream you apply is also very important. And this is a question I have been asked many times – how much shoe cream should you use?


The amount of shoe cream you use depends on the size of your shoes – take a dime-sized amount of shoe cream and rub it all over your leather shoes for an even, thorough application. Once done, take another dime-sized amount of the shoe cream for the second application and apply another smooth layer.

However, just knowing the amount to be used is not enough, you will have to know exactly how to apply the cream, how often to apply it, and the entire process of taking proper care of your leather friends.

Keep reading as I guide you through the entire process of using shoe cream to polish and care for your shoes.

What Is Shoe Cream? 

The shoe cream is a type of shoe polish formulated as a cream. The purpose of the cream is to nurture, hydrate, and recolor the shoes, enhancing the look and longevity. Some shoe creams even waterproof your shoes besides nourishing them. However, it does not provide as much shine as regular shoe polish.

Cream polishes give your shoes a new lease of life. They moisturize the leather and make it look and feel supple. 

The shoe cream is basically a thick cream with a tiny bit of wax and a lot of pigmentation in it.

They are excellent agents for adding color to your shoes and polishing them. So it can be said that the purpose of shoe cream polish is to hydrate and feed the leather in order to keep it from cracking. 

This technique can hide imperfections and uneven fading, but it can’t be polished to a high shine. It provides a more matte surface, quite similar to satin paint’s gloss. However, it does not restore color or conceal scuffs as well as shoe wax.

The shoe cream is available in varying colors and the color you choose and use depends on the color of the leather shoes that you are using the cream on. 

The general rule is that you should use the cream of color closest to the color of your leather – but even if the color varies a little it won’t make much of a difference as long as it is close. The pigments in a shoe cream form a thin coating over your shoe, ensuring that the color is consistent throughout and giving the shoe a brand new appearance.

The shoe cream is available in a number of hues, including white, black, different brown tones, and even a variety of less natural colors.


However, if you do not want to add any color, or if your leather is somewhat of a beige shade, you can use the cream that comes in base color or without any pigment.

But before that, go through our epic guide on how to Clean Shoe.

When And How Often Should You Use Shoe Cream?

You should use shoe cream every time you clean your shoes – which is at least once or twice a month depending on how often you wear them. If you don’t use the shoes much, to keep the leather hydrated and prevent drying out, put the cream on your shoes once a year while it’s in storage.

It’s crucial to maintain your leather shoes moisturized in between cleanings since they dry out as you use them.

Putting on the shoe cream at the right time, for the right amount of time and at the right step of the shoe care process is very important. But when you apply it makes sure that you apply the cream in thin layers and not too thick. 

Check out our separate post on how to Prevent Shoe Polish From Drying Out.

How To Use Shoe Cream?

Before you start using a shoe cream you must ensure that you are choosing the right color of the shoe cream for your leather shoes.

Usually shoe creams just add a slight amount of color, which develops over time as you keep using them. However, color pigment is more concentrated in high-quality shoe cream than in lower-quality brands.

You have to use the shoe cream once you have cleaned your shoes and they are free of any loose dust or debris. I will be describing the process of cleaning the shoes and applying the shoe cream is steps so that it is easy for you to follow:

Follow our other guide to know how to Stop Shoe Rubbing Back Of Your Ankle.

Step 1: 

Start by removing your shoelaces and use a horsehair brush to clean your shoes of any dust, debris, or flaked leather.

This will both preserve your laces and make it easier for you to clean and polish the shoes thoroughly.

Step 2:

To eliminate any leftover dirt, wipe the shoes with a moist towel.

Grab a clean, soft cloth (it can be a rag or any old cloth, no worries) and wet it with a little water after you’ve polished your shoes. Wipe any leftover dust and filth from the shoes’ surface with a soft cloth.

Step 3:

In case of polish buildup, wash shoes with a leather cleaner.

If your shoes are really unclean or have a buildup of old polish, you’ll need to clean them with more than simply water. Apply a tiny quantity of leather cleaning to a moist cloth or dauber brush and work it in circular motions all over the shoes. With a clean, gentle cloth, wipe away the lather.

Step 4:

Apply a thin layer of conditioner to your leather shoes and let them dry for 10 to 20 minutes. 

After your shoes are clean, use a clean towel and apply a small amount of leather conditioner to the shoes. It will leave the leather hydrated and smooth, as well as prevent cracking.

Leave your shoes aside for 10 to 20 minutes and make sure that they are totally dry and the conditioner has been absorbed before moving to the next step.

In a hurry? Check out my new post Does Liquid Shoe Polish Expire.

Step 5:

Apply the shoe cream to your leather shoes using a soft and clean cloth in circular motions. 

Pick up a dime-sized amount of shoe cream using a soft, clean cloth.

Using circular motions, rub the cream all over the upper surface of the shoes. Make sure that you only apply the cream to the outer surface of your leather shoes, and not the soles or the insides.

Make sure you only apply a thin layer, or else the cream may get clumpy around some areas and you do not want that. 

If you suppose the shoes might need another layer of polish after the first, go over it again with a second layer – but make sure it is thin.

Leave your shoes aside for 10 to 20 minutes and make sure that they are totally dry before moving to the next step.


Step 6: 

Once the cream dries, buff your shoes with a brush.

To work the polish further into the leather, thoroughly massage the shoes with your shoe brush. This will also help eliminate any unwanted residue and give a pleasant extra shine. Buff the entire shoe with swift, side-to-side strokes until you obtain a delicate luster all over the shoes.

Optional: If you want to opt for an extra glossy look, then apply a layer of wax polish to your leather shoes and they’ll be shining as bright as you want.


Shoe creams are excellent for rejuvenating your leather shoes, hydrating the material and extending their longevity. You only need to you the cream in small amounts and buildup as per need. But always make sure that the layers are nice and thin.

Taking proper care will prevent the shoes from getting cracked and damaged. If you follow the steps mentioned above, hopefully your leather shoes will be good to go!

I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any queries or suggestions, leave them in the comments below. 

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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