Shoe polish / leather balsam is applied to the shoe using a rag, cloth, or brush. Shoe leather balsam is not a cleaning product, and therefore the footwear should be both clean and dry before application. A vigorous rubbing action to apply the leather balsam evenly on the boot, followed by further buffing with a clean dry cloth or brush, usually provides good results.
Another technique, known as spit-polishing or bull polishing, involves gently rubbing leather balsam into the leather with a cloth and a drop of water or spit. This achieves the mirror-like, high-gloss finish sometimes known as a spit shine which is especially valued in military organizations.
Polishes containing our leather balsam can be used as a protective coating to extend the life and look of a leather shoe.