see also Soaping, Brushing


Brushes are used for several purposes in bootblacking, including removing dirt, applying saddle soap, polishing, and cleaning and smoothing suede.

Criteria in selecting brushes include bristle stiffness, bristle length, bristle material, and brush size.

Traditionally, brush bristles were made of animal hairs. Horsehair is most commonly used, but boar bristle, goat hair, and even bear bristle can be found. Synthetic-bristle brushes are available, but some synthetic materials may interact with polish in unexpected ways.