how to clean suede shoes

How Do I Clean My Suede Shoes?

How to Get Your Suede Shoes Looking Brand New

Suede shoes are a stylish and versatile addition to any wardrobe, but they can be a challenge to maintain. With the right care and cleaning techniques, you can keep your suede shoes looking as good as new. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of cleaning suede shoes and provide tips for their maintenance.

Product Care

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to understand the nature of suede. Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish. It’s softer and more pliable than standard leather, but it’s also more susceptible to stains and damage. Proper care can extend the life of your suede shoes.


– Suede brush or a soft-bristled brush
– White vinegar or suede cleaner
– Clean cloth or sponge
– Rubber eraser


– Soft cloth
– Bowl of water
– Soft towel

How to Clean Suede Shoes

  1. Set Up to Clean

    Before starting, ensure you’re working in a well-lit area. Remove the shoelaces and insert shoe trees or crumpled newspaper inside the shoes to maintain their shape during cleaning.

  2. Remove Excess Dirt and Debris

    Gently brush the surface of the shoes with a suede brush or soft-bristled brush. Always brush in the direction of the nap to avoid damaging the suede.

  3. Rub Away Surface Marks

    For light marks, use a rubber eraser to gently rub away the stain. This method is effective for removing scuffs and minor blemishes.

  4. Treat Stubborn Stains

    For tougher stains, dampen a clean cloth with white vinegar or a specialized suede cleaner. Gently dab the stain, being careful not to oversaturate the suede. Allow the shoes to air dry.

Other Techniques For Specific Types of Stains:

  • Water Stains: Blot the area with a clean cloth, then let it dry naturally. Once dry, brush the nap back into place.
  • Oil or Grease Stains: Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and let it sit overnight. Brush away the residue the next day.
  • Wax or Gum: Place the shoes in the freezer for a few hours. Once the wax or gum hardens, it should be easier to break off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I clean my suede shoes?
A: Regularly brush your shoes after each wear to remove dirt and debris. Deep cleaning should be done as needed, depending on how often you wear them and the conditions they’re exposed to.

Q: Can I waterproof my suede shoes?
A: Yes, there are suede protectant sprays available that can help repel water and prevent stains. Always test on a small area first.

Q: What should I avoid when cleaning suede?
A: Avoid using harsh chemicals, soaking the shoes, or exposing them to direct heat.

Q: How can I store my suede shoes to maintain their shape and quality?
A: Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use shoe trees or crumpled newspaper to help maintain their shape.

Q: Can I use regular leather cleaners on suede?
A: No, suede requires specialized cleaners. Using regular leather cleaners can damage the nap and alter the color of the suede.

Remember, with the right care and attention, your suede shoes can remain a stylish and durable part of your wardrobe for years to come.

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