How to Become a Teenage Shoe Shiner

What Does a Teenage Shoe Shiner Do?

As a teenage shoe shiner, you have the opportunity to earn money by bringing out the shine in nice pairs of shoes. Individuals who frequently wear formal footwear and work in professions that demand daily dressing up require regular shoe polishing to maintain their shoes’ pristine appearance. Many of them prefer to enlist the services of a professional shoe shiner, and that’s where you come in.

Shoe shining involves several steps, including removing dirt from the shoes, applying shoe polish, and using specialized brushes and rags to create a polished finish. To keep leather shoes in top shape, this process needs to be performed regularly. The frequency of polishing depends on the frequency of shoe use, but experts recommend that shoes be polished after approximately every eight wears.

How Much Does a Teenage Shoe Shiner Get Paid?

The amount you can earn as a teenage shoe shiner is determined by several factors, including the fee you charge for your services, the number of clients you have, and the time required to shine shoes. Initially, even a brief shine may take a considerable amount of time, and even if you become an expert in shoe shining, a thorough cleaning and polishing will still take a long time.

As a teenage shoe shiner, you can typically earn anywhere between $5 to $30 per shoe shine. A quick polish should take no more than 5 to 15 minutes, whereas a deep conditioning will necessitate at least an hour, with some of that time being spent waiting for the polish to dry. However, with a sufficient number of clients, shoe shining can be a lucrative occupation.

How Can I Get Started as a Teenage Shoe Shiner?

  • Before starting to work as a shoe shiner, it’s essential to get permission from your parents. Since you will be interacting with neighbors and strangers, it’s crucial that your parents are aware of your plans.
  • Learn how to shine shoes. If you’re not familiar with the process of shoe shining, you can learn it by watching YouTube videos or seeking guidance from adult relatives. You can practice on your own shoes or on those of your family members.
  • Acquire the necessary supplies. As a shoe shiner, you’ll require some basic items such as an old towel to protect your clothes and carpet, a horsehair shine brush to eliminate dirt and excess polish, a shoe polish brush to apply the polish, wax shoe polish, and a shine cloth. Since shoes come in various colors, it’s best to have different shades of polish. You can purchase a shoe shine kit from Amazon to get everything you need.
  • Set your price. To determine the appropriate fee to charge, you’ll need to inquire about the prices charged by other shoe shiners or shoe repair shops that offer shoe-shining services. You may consider having two prices, one for a basic quick cleaning and the other for a deep conditioning treatment.
  • Create flyers or business cards. When offering your services door-to-door, it’s a good idea to hand out flyers or business cards to potential customers. This will help them to have your contact information on hand when they require your services in the future.
  • Design order forms. For deep conditioning treatments, you may need to take customers’ shoes with you and return them later. You should have order forms that include their name, phone number, and address, as well as the date and time of return.
  • Promote your business. Visit your neighbors and let them know about your services. Carry your equipment with you to shine their shoes immediately. You may want to bring a backpack or bag to accommodate people who want to send their shoes with you.
  • Begin shining shoes. Once you return a freshly-polished pair of shoes, you have officially started your shoe shining business. If you provide exceptional service, you’ll soon develop a regular clientele and a successful shoe shining business. Congratulations!

Helpful Resources To get started, we suggest purchasing a shoe shine kit from this website. You can watch a video here that explains the proper way to shine shoes.


How much money can I make as a teenage shoe shiner?

As a teenage shoe shiner, you can expect to make between $5 and $30 per shoe shining. Your earnings will depend on how much work you’re getting, how much you’re charging for your services, and how long it takes you to shine shoes.

How often should I polish shoes?

How often shoes are polished depends on how often they’re worn, but most experts agree that shoes should be polished about every 8 wears.

What supplies do I need to become a shoe shiner?

To become a shoe shiner, you will need an old towel, a horsehair shine brush, a shoe polish brush, wax shoe polish, and a shine cloth. You may also need several colors of shoe polish to match the color of the shoes you are working on.

How do I find customers as a teenage shoe shiner?

You can start by going door-to-door in your neighborhood and offering your services to people. You can also leave flyers or business cards at houses where people aren’t home, and ask shoe repair shops that offer shoe-shining services how much they charge for shoe shines.

Do I need my parents’ permission to become a shoe shiner?

Yes, it’s important that your parents are on board with your plans to work as a shoe shiner, since you will be talking with neighbors and people that you might not know very well.


Becoming a teenage shoe shiner is a great way to earn some extra money and learn valuable skills in customer service and business. It’s a low-cost, low-risk business that can easily be started with just a few supplies and some basic knowledge. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can begin your journey as a teenage shoe shiner and start building a loyal customer base.

Remember to always prioritize safety and seek permission from your parents before embarking on any new business venture. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to excellence, you can turn your shoe shining hobby into a profitable and rewarding enterprise.

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