Shoe polish

Shoe polish. Shoe polish is a commercial product used to polish, waterproof, enhance the appearance, and extend the life of leather , shoes, or boots.


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  • 1 Description
  • 2 History
  • 3 Modern production and manufacturing methods
  • 4 Chemical description
  • 5 Chemical composition
  • 6 Other uses of bitumen
  • 7 Elaboration
  • 8 Elaboration
  • 9 Procedure
  • 10 Sources



For hundreds of years, numerous substances were used for this purpose, initially natural products such as waxes or tallow. Modern formulas began to be manufactured in the early 20th century , with a composition that includes natural and synthetic ingredients such as naphtha (petroleum ether), turpentine, dyes and gum arabic, mixed by simple chemical processes. Shoe polish can be toxic, and misuse can affect the skin.

The popularity of the product grew from the 19th century in parallel for leather and synthetic footwear: the World Wars meant a significant growth in demand to polish the boots of armies. One of the most popular brands worldwide is Kiwi, whose factory was founded in Australia in 1904.

Modern production and manufacturing methods

Today there are great advances in science, which allows a better manufacture of bitumen, using different techniques to obtain the desired properties, currently, new bitumen plants produce it using a tire recycling method, since Formulas for incorporating rubber into bitumen have been created, so that it obtains part of its properties. This method is mainly used in asphalt emulsions, but it is being included in other functionalities, such as bituminous mixtures, anti-crack membranes and waterproofing.

Today petroleum refining techniques are used for the special manufacture of bitumen such as vacuum distillation together with atmospheric distillation, which consist of applying near-atmospheric pressures to the oil and then the residue is passed to vacuum distillation , heating to 400 ° C and transporting to a vacuum distillation column. These methods are used for vapor recycling for other applications, but also for oil to extract its hydrocarbons naturally, without affecting the molecular structure of the components.

Chemical description

  • homogeneous mixture
  • solid state
  • soft
  • oily texture
  • soluble in triduroethylene
  • little volatile
  • has waterproof and adhesive properties
  • it is obtained as a product in oil refining

Chemical composition

  • Paraffinis a group of alkane hydrocarbons of general formula CnH2n + 2, where n represents the number of carbon atoms. The simple paraffin molecule comes from methane, a gas at room temperature, and other, but heavier, gases, such as octane (C8H18), which is presented as a liquid. The solid forms of paraffin, called “paraffin wax,” come from the heavier molecules C20 to C40.
  • Crudeoil

It is a complex, heterogeneous mixture of hydrocarbons that are composed of hydrogen and carbon, most of which are naphthenes, paraffins, and aromatics, and some amounts of sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.

  • Carnauba wax

The wax carnauba obtained from the Brazilian palm leaves Copernicia cerifera. Carnauba wax contains mainly esters of fatty acids, fatty alcohols, acids and hydrocarbons, it also has fatty ether diols, hydroxy fatty acids and cinnamic acid.

  • Mineral oil

It is a derivative of oil refining, it serves as a lubricant and to dissipate heat.

  • Vaseline

Petrolatum is a homogeneous mixture of long-chain saturated hydrocarbons. Generally, chains of more than 25 carbon atoms, which are obtained from the refining of a heavy fraction of oil. The composition of this mixture can vary depending on the oil class and the refining procedure.

Other uses of bitumen

Currently technological development allows greater applicability of bitumen: woods and road furniture (in asphalt emulsions) waterproofing of roofs and ceilings paints


  • Ingredients
    • 5 g paraffin
    • 5 g of carnaúba wax
    • Colorant
    • 85 mL of solvent
    • myrtle essence


  • A pan
  • A wooden spoon
  • Metal and plastic packaging


Melt the carnaúba wax (5 g) and the paraffin wax (5 g) in a pot. Stir them with a wooden spoon. After melting, remove the pot from the heat and add the solvent (85 mL) and continue stirring. Then add the essence of myrtle, which gives that characteristic scent to bitumen. Stop stirring and start pouring the liquid into the metal or plastic containers. Leave the containers to cool so that the liquid hardens and the bitumen forms. The manufacturing process that we have explained is for a neutral bitumen. If you want to make for a specific color, before adding the solvent, add the polycarmine, that is, the dye of the desired color and continue with the process in the specific order.


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