Horse Hair Shoe Daubers and Welt Brushes

The horse hair shoe dauber. 

There are typically two types of daubers.  The long handle dauber, and the stubby pencil dauber.  The style of dauber is a personal preference.  I prefer the long handle daubers.  Daubers can be used to apply saddle soap, wax polish, and cream polish.  The daubers brush area is small enough to fit into cream polish containers.

The shoe welt brush

The shoe welt brush is a horse hair brush dedicated to cleaning the welt of the shoe, as well as adding wax or cream to the welt – keeping the stitches supple.  The welt is the stitched area that combines the upper to the sole.  The welt stitches, if left untreated can become dry and brittle this will diminish the longevity of your premium shoes

Do I need a Dauber and Welt Brush?

The ultimate purpose of a dauber is to keep your hands and fingers away from the cream and wax.  If cream or wax gets on your skin, it can be easily washed away with soap and water.  If cream or wax gets under your fingernails, this is different story.

I use a long handle dauber when I am cleaning my shoes with saddle soap.  I use the welt brush when I am adding cream to my welts.  I do not like using daubers to apply waxes or creams. 

I enjoy wrapping my index and middle fingers with an old tshirt or cotton chamois.  It keeps me more in touch with the amount of cream or wax I am applying.  To protect your fingernails from cream put on a latex or nitrile glove prior to wrapping your fingers with cloth for polishing.

How to use a Dauber & How to Use a Welt Brush

How to use a Horse Hair Dauber

The dauber can be used to apply waxes or polish.  To apply wax, brush the dauber in the wax tin covering the ends of the bristles.  Apply wax polish in small circular motion until desired amount of wax polish is transferred to shoes.  Reapply wax polish to dauber as necessary for coverage.

To apply cream polish, dip the dauber bristle tips in the cream polish (tip: you may want to tap the polished tips in the inside of open polish lid to avoid excess polish on dauber).  Apply cream polish in small circular motions until desired amount of cream polish is transferred to shoes.  Reapply cream polish to dauber as necessary for coverage.

How to use a Horse Hair Welt Brush

The welt brush is used first to clean dust/dirt from the welt stitching of the shoes.  See image for welt location.  The welt is the stitching of premium leather shoes that combines the upper with the sole. 

The welt stitching must be kept supple and conditioned, else stitches can become brittle.  First brush the welt with a welt brush.  Next dip the welt brush in wax polish associated with the color of your shoes, use back and forth strokes to cover the welt in either wax polish, or cream polish (I prefer cream polish).  Adding material to welt brush as necessary.

How to clean my dauber & welt brush

After the dauber and welt brush use.  Wipe with forward and back, along with side to side strokes on a cotton tshirt, or cotton chamois.  While we do not recommend cleaning the horse hair brushes with anything but brush strokes. 

If your dauber brushes, or welt brushes accumulate too much polish material you can soak them in warm water, with a few drops of Dawn Original Dishsoap.  Move vigorously, for 3-5 minutes, remove from water and brush forward/back, and side to side on a cotton chamois.  Allow to air dry.

shoe welt

Location of Shoe Welt

In the picture above we display the location of a shoe welt. The shoe welt is the stitching that secures the leather upper to the sole of the shoe. Keeping the welt stitches lubricated with wax or polish is critical to your premium leather shoes longevity.

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Horse Hair Welt Brush

Horse Hair Welt Brushes

The Horse Hair Welt Brush is used to apply wax polish, or cream polish to the shoes welt stitching. The welt stitching is what secures the leather upper to the shoe's sole. The come in dark hair, and light hair, and the long handle brush.

Horse Hair Daubers

Here is a picture of a Long Handle Horse Hair Dauber (tan) and a Horse Hair Pencil Dauber (black). Daubers are used to apply saddle soap, wax polish, or cream polish. They keep the polish away from you fingers, more importantly from under your fingernails.

In the sections below we will show snippets of Recent Amazon Reviews,  Pros & Cons of Using the Horse Hair Dauber, and Horse Hair Welt Brush, a video tutorial on how to use the Dauber and Welt Brush, and a brief tutorial on the benefits.  To the right of the video there will be a link to our “Top Picks”, or research if you need more information.  Keep it Shiny.

Recent Amazon Reviews

amazon dauber review

Pros & Cons of Daubers & Welt Brushes

  • Reasonable Price Points
  • Keeps Hands Clean - Keeps Underside of Fingernails Clean
  • Distributes Polish Evenly
  • Save Welt of Shoes for Longevity
Horse Hair Welt Brush
  • Polish Daubers can be replaced easily with cotton tshirts
  • Can use toothbrush in place of welt brush (with risk of scratching shoes)

Tutorial & Top Picks

Here is a tutorial on the cleaning of shoe welt and applying shoe cream polish to the welt of the shoe.  We also have included links to our “Top Picks” for polish application horse hair daubers, and horse hair welt daubers.  Let’s Get Shiny!

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