If you’ve ever used Kiwi shoe polish to buff up a pair of leather shoes, you may have wondered exactly what ingredients give the polish its coloring and shining powers. Kiwi shoe polish has been a top choice for polishing leather shoes for over 100 years, but many shoe wearers don’t know what goes into those familiar little round tins.

Kiwi shoe polish contains a mix of waxes, solvents, coloring agents, and preservatives that clean, protect, and shine leather shoes. While the exact formula is a trade secret, common shoe polish ingredients like carnauba wax, beeswax, turpentine, and linseed oil help repel water, condition leather, and create that coveted mirror shine.

Key Ingredients in Kiwi Shoe Polish

Carnauba Wax

One of the key ingredients in Kiwi Shoe Polish is carnuba wax. This natural wax is derived from the leaves of the Brazilian palm tree known as Copernicia prunifera. Carnauba wax is known for its excellent durability and glossiness, making it a popular choice for shoe polishes.

It creates a protective layer on the surface of the shoes, helping to repel water and provide a shiny finish. Carnauba wax also helps to restore the natural luster of leather, keeping your shoes looking great.


Another important ingredient in Kiwi Shoe Polish is beeswax. Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees. It is known for its moisturizing and conditioning properties, which help to keep leather soft and supple.

Beeswax also provides a protective barrier against moisture, preventing water damage and extending the lifespan of your shoes. Additionally, it adds a subtle shine to the shoes, enhancing their overall appearance.


Turpentine is a solvent used in Kiwi Shoe Polish to dissolve the waxes and oils and allow them to be spread evenly on the surface of the shoes. It helps to remove dirt and grime from the leather, preparing it for the application of the polish.

Turpentine evaporates quickly, leaving behind a clean and polished finish. However, it is important to use turpentine in a well-ventilated area as it can have a strong odor.

Linseed Oil

Linseed oil is an ingredient in Kiwi Shoe Polish that helps to nourish and protect leather. It is derived from the seeds of the flax plant and is known for its excellent conditioning properties. Linseed oil penetrates deep into the leather, moisturizing it and preventing it from drying out and cracking.

It also helps to enhance the color and shine of the shoes, giving them a polished and professional look.

Dyes and Pigments

Kiwi Shoe Polish contains various dyes and pigments that give it its range of colors. These dyes and pigments are carefully selected to match the color of different types of shoes. They help to restore the original color of the leather and cover any scuffs or scratches, giving your shoes a fresh and renewed appearance.

Whether you have black, brown, or colored shoes, you can find a Kiwi Shoe Polish that matches perfectly.

How the Ingredients Work

Understanding how the ingredients in Kiwi Shoe Polish work is essential to grasp the effectiveness of this popular product. Each component plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality and appearance of your shoes. Let’s delve into the details:

Waxes Repel Water and Condition Leather

The waxes used in Kiwi Shoe Polish, such as carnauba wax and beeswax, serve two main purposes. Firstly, they create a protective barrier that repels water, preventing it from seeping into the leather and causing damage.

This is particularly important for leather shoes, as water can lead to cracks and deterioration. Secondly, these waxes help to condition the leather, keeping it soft, supple, and preventing it from drying out. Regular application of Kiwi Shoe Polish can help extend the lifespan of your beloved shoes.

Solvents Help the Wax Penetrate

Kiwi Shoe Polish contains solvents, such as naphtha or turpentine, which act as carriers for the waxes. These solvents have a low evaporation rate, allowing them to dissolve the waxes and facilitate their penetration into the leather.

As a result, the waxes are evenly distributed, ensuring maximum protection and conditioning. The solvents in Kiwi Shoe Polish evaporate over time, leaving behind a smooth and polished finish on your shoes.

Dyes Add Color

Another important component of Kiwi Shoe Polish is the dyes. These dyes add color to the polish, allowing you to match or enhance the shade of your shoes. Whether you want to restore the original color or experiment with a new look, the dyes in Kiwi Shoe Polish provide a wide range of options.

It’s important to choose the right shade to achieve the desired result and maintain a polished appearance.

Preservatives Extend Shelf Life

To ensure the longevity of Kiwi Shoe Polish, preservatives are added to prevent microbial growth and extend its shelf life. These preservatives inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that could potentially spoil the polish.

By keeping the polish fresh and free from contamination, you can rely on Kiwi Shoe Polish to deliver consistent results every time you use it.

By combining these ingredients, Kiwi Shoe Polish provides a comprehensive solution for maintaining the beauty and durability of your shoes. Remember to follow the instructions on the packaging for best results, and enjoy the benefits of a well-cared-for pair of shoes!

Kiwi Polish Benefits for Leather

Conditions and Softens

Kiwi shoe polish is not just for adding shine to your shoes; it also helps in conditioning and softening the leather. The blend of waxes and oils in Kiwi polish penetrates deep into the leather, nourishing it and preventing it from drying out.

This helps to keep the leather supple and prevent cracks from forming. Regular use of Kiwi polish can help extend the lifespan of your leather shoes and accessories.

Protects Against Water

One of the key benefits of using Kiwi shoe polish is that it provides a protective barrier against water. The wax content in the polish creates a waterproof layer on the surface of the leather, preventing water from seeping in and causing damage.

This is especially important for leather shoes, as exposure to water can lead to stains, discoloration, and even warping of the material. With Kiwi polish, you can confidently step out in rainy weather without worrying about ruining your favorite pair of shoes.

Restores Color

Over time, leather shoes can lose their vibrant color and start to look dull and worn-out. Kiwi shoe polish comes in a range of colors that can help to restore and enhance the color of your leather footwear.

The pigments in the polish are designed to match different shades of leather, allowing you to touch up scuffs and scratches and bring back the original richness of the color. By using Kiwi polish, you can breathe new life into your leather shoes and make them look as good as new.

Creates Shine

Of course, one of the most well-known benefits of using Kiwi shoe polish is the shine it imparts to leather. The combination of waxes in the polish allows you to achieve a deep, glossy shine that enhances the overall appearance of your shoes.

Whether you’re attending a formal event or just want to look your best on a regular day, a well-polished pair of shoes can make all the difference. With Kiwi polish, you can easily achieve a professional-looking shine that will make your shoes stand out.

Choosing the Right Kiwi Polish

When it comes to maintaining the shine and prolonging the life of your shoes, using the right shoe polish is essential. Kiwi is a trusted brand known for its quality and effectiveness. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right Kiwi polish for your needs?

Here are some factors to consider:

Liquid Polish vs. Paste Wax

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to opt for a liquid polish or a paste wax. Liquid polish is convenient and easy to apply, making it a popular choice for those who are always on the go. It provides a quick shine and helps protect the leather from dirt and water.

On the other hand, paste wax offers a longer-lasting shine and provides a protective barrier against scratches and scuffs. It requires a bit more effort to apply but can give your shoes a deep, rich luster.

Ultimately, the choice between liquid polish and paste wax depends on your personal preference and the level of shine you desire.

Gloss Level

When selecting a Kiwi polish, you’ll also need to consider the gloss level you want to achieve. Kiwi offers a range of options, from high gloss to matte finishes. If you prefer a shiny, polished look, opt for a high gloss polish.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more natural, non-reflective finish, choose a matte polish. Consider the style of your shoes and your personal preference when deciding on the gloss level.

Colored vs. Neutral

Kiwi offers both colored and neutral shoe polishes. Colored polishes are great for restoring or enhancing the color of your shoes. They can help cover up scuffs and scratches, giving your shoes a refreshed appearance.

Neutral polishes, on the other hand, are ideal for maintaining the natural color of your shoes without altering it. They provide a protective layer and help nourish the leather. Consider the color of your shoes and whether you want to enhance or maintain their original shade when choosing between colored and neutral polishes.

Specialty Polishes

In addition to their regular line of polishes, Kiwi also offers specialty polishes designed for specific types of shoes or leather. For example, they have polishes specifically formulated for boots, sneakers, or delicate leather.

These specialty polishes are tailored to meet the unique needs of different materials and can help you achieve the best results. If you have specific shoe types or leather that require special care, consider trying one of Kiwi’s specialty polishes.

Remember, choosing the right Kiwi shoe polish can make all the difference in maintaining the appearance and extending the life of your shoes. Take into account factors such as the type of polish, gloss level, color preference, and any special requirements your shoes may have.

By selecting the right Kiwi polish, you can keep your shoes looking their best for years to come.

Caring for Shoes After Polishing

Once you have successfully polished your shoes with Kiwi Shoe Polish, it is important to take proper care of them to maintain their shine and prolong their lifespan. Here are some essential tips to follow:

Let Polish Dry Thoroughly Before Wearing

After applying the Kiwi Shoe Polish, it is crucial to let it dry completely before wearing your shoes. This process usually takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on the type of polish used and the leather’s condition.

By allowing the polish to dry, you ensure that it forms a protective layer on the shoe’s surface, enhancing its resistance to dirt, water, and other external elements.

Use Appropriate Cleaners and Conditioners

To maintain the shine and condition of your polished shoes, it is recommended to use appropriate cleaners and conditioners. Regularly cleaning your shoes with a gentle cleanser and a soft cloth will help remove dust and dirt, preventing them from settling into the leather.

Additionally, applying a quality leather conditioner will keep the leather moisturized and prevent it from drying out or cracking. Be sure to choose products that are suitable for the type of leather your shoes are made of.

Store Polished Shoes Properly

The way you store your polished shoes also plays a significant role in maintaining their appearance. It is best to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid placing them in plastic bags, as this can trap moisture and lead to mold or mildew growth.

Using shoe trees or stuffing them with newspaper can help maintain their shape and prevent creases from forming. Additionally, consider using shoe bags or dust covers to protect them from dust and scratches.

Re-polish Periodically

To keep your shoes looking their best, it is important to re-polish them periodically. Over time, the polish may wear off or become dull, especially with regular use. By re-applying the Kiwi Shoe Polish, you can restore the shine and protective coating on your shoes.

The frequency of re-polishing depends on factors such as the frequency of wear and the conditions in which the shoes are exposed. As a general guideline, aim to re-polish your shoes every two to three weeks or whenever you notice a decrease in shine.

By following these care tips, you can ensure that your shoes remain in excellent condition, retaining their shine and longevity. Remember, proper maintenance goes a long way in preserving the appearance and quality of your footwear.


Kiwi shoe polish has been the go-to shoe care product for generations thanks to its conditioning waxes, rich pigments, and long-lasting shine. While the exact recipe is proprietary, ingredients like carnauba wax, beeswax, and linseed oil work together to clean, protect, and beautify leather shoes.

Understanding what’s inside that familiar little tin can help you pick the right Kiwi polish and properly care for your shoes after polishing. With the right prep and polish, your shoes will stay looking sharp for years to come.

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