I recently made the mistake of using a darker shade of brown than I intended on a medium brown pair of oxfords. I failed to follow my own advice to use neutral polish on light to medium brown shoes. Luckily it didn't make a huge difference, but it got me thinking about how to remove unwanted polish. If you're using a shoe polish like Kiwi or similar, chances are it's more of a colored wax than a stain or paint, which means it can be removed, at least to some degree. So if you've used the wrong shade or you've got too much build up--which inhibits the shoe from breathing as it should--you can get it back to where you want it to be. A few options to try:
1. Use hot water and wipe off the polish.
2. Use shoe cleaner to remove the polish. Apply a small amount of cleaner at a time and work it into the leather. Buff the cleaner (and the excess polish build up along with it) completely off.
Now you're ready to apply new polish. Shine your shoes regularly, but use a light coating. If you're too heavy handed you'll shorten the life of your shoes.