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Removing shoe polish

Article about: Hi guys, I just got this Japanese cavalry ammo pouch for free from a friend , somwhere through the years someone thought it would look better with a coat of black shoe polish! Then my friend

  1. #1

    Default Removing shoe polish

    Hi guys, I just got this Japanese cavalry ammo pouch for free from a friend , somwhere through the years someone thought it would look better with a coat of black shoe polish! Then my friend tried to remove the polish with acetone got p****d off and gave it to me.Can you guys tell me how to get the remaining polish off without riuning the leather.Please excuse the photos. Thank you in advance.

    BillRemoving shoe polishRemoving shoe polishRemoving shoe polish

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  3. #2

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    I would continue with acetone with patience.
    John

  4. #3
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    Not sure how well it will work, But when we got our new boots in boot camp, they made us scrub them with shaving cream to take the finish off of them. Then we put shoe polish on them, then BUFFED them till you could see yourself. I wasn't sure why we had to do it, but We did. That's just a flash back in time !!!!
    It was Barbasol shaving cream.
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  5. #4

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    Quote by Rescue190 View Post
    I would continue with acetone with patience.
    John
    Agree and possibly saddle soap.
    Fortune favors the brave 644th td

  6. #5
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    Wont the acetone affect the threads/leather?

    Just curious. I have never put acetone on material. I know it will get your skin a peeling if you have it contacting for a prolonged time. It dries it out quick.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  7. #6

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    Phil, the natural material threads are not affected by acetone, likely because it vaporizes so quickly. Synthetic would certainly be affected negatively. Have used many times without ill affect. The upside is it cleans leather without swelling. You can clean a waffenamt to make easier to read with acetone and it does not swell the marking and make disappear.. Water will swell the leather.
    John

  8. #7
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    Thanks John!
    Great info for future leather cleaning.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  9. #8

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    The problem is that this is black on a lighter colour so I doubt you will ever remove the staining effect totally.

    Assuming that the polish (if it is just shoe polish) is similar to the worldwide generic type it would have been made up of a spirit base containg beeswax (or similar) and a colouring agent..

    The best method I know for removing polish from the surface is the one we used to use for stripping back the "bull" on our best parade boots prior to starting again (heartbreaking but sometimes essential!!) ;

    1. Ensure the item is free of surface dirt/mud etc.
    2. Heat it with a hairdryer to soften any hardened polish (not super hot - just melt the polish)
    3. Use a rag and methylated spirit (denatured alcohol?) to wipe away the black polish. A toothbrush may be useful too.

    How well this works will depend on how much the black polish has penetrated the leather. It will have stained the stitching regardless but may possibly be reduced by this method enough to make it just look aged. If the leather was already polished when the black was applied you may get better results than if there was no brown polish/wax present but as I say don't expect to achieve complete removal of the black.
    However, you might find you achieive an acceptable result if once you have removed as much as you can with the meths you then apply a suitable dark tan (rather than dark brown )boot polish before anything like saddle soap or Neats Foot oil etc.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Mark

    PS Be carefull with acetone, there are different qualities/strengths out there and it might be harmful to the leather as well as the stitching.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  10. #9

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    Thank you very much guys.

    Bill

  11. #10
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    So Shemp,
    Will you please give a report and update on this process. I would be very interested to see how this turns out.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

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