How to Clean Suede Shoes: Useful Tips

One of the most commonly used materials when it comes to the shoe industry is suede. However, this material requires certain degree of daily care. With that in mind, we want to offer a series of tips on how to maintain and clean suede shoes. 
How to Clean Suede Shoes: Useful Tips

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Suede is one of the most commonly used materials when it comes to the shoe and purse industries and in the making of clothing. It’s a material that comes from cowskin. However, goat, sheep, and deerskin can also be used. Suede’s soft, velvety texture is pleasing to the touch, making it a classic favorite. Despite the passing of time, this material never goes out of style…but it can lose its beauty. Therefore, it’s important to know how to clean suede shoes to make them last.

Whether it be a pair of dress shoes, boots, and all-occasion tennis shoes, you can’t go wrong with suede. However, this material is also delicate – it can quickly deteriorate and get dirty quite easily. When it’s new, suede is beautiful… and we want to tell you how to keep it that way.

To keep your suede shoes from becoming drab and dingy, you need to care for them in a specific way. You can’t clean suede with any old product or you may end up ruining it altogether. With that in mind, we’ll offer you a series of tips on how to maintain and clean suede shoes.

Tips on how to clean suede shoes

Apply leather protector before wearing them

How to clean suede shoes.
Before wearing your shoes for the first time, waterproofing sprays protect the suede from dirt and humidity.

Furthermore, leather protectors also help maintain the original color of the suede. Also, they keep dirt and stains from penetrating the material.

However, for this kind of protection to be effective, you need to apply it before using your shoes. Otherwise, rather than protecting the suede, it may just fix any dirt that’s already present.

You may also want to read: 10 Natural Shoe Shine Alternatives

Use a special brush to clean suede shoes

To clean suede shoes, you must have a special brush. In general, you can buy one at the same store where you bought your shoes, or in any shoe store that specializes in suede. What you’re looking for is a gentle brush that doesn’t damage the delicate fibers of the material.

A man shining shoes.
With a smooth brush, you can remove the remains of dirt and signs of wear easily.

You should only use the brush on dry shoes. That way, it will be easier to eliminate dust and any other type of grime that’s made its way onto the suede. If your shoes aren’t very dirty, then you’ll be able to restore their original appearance by simply rubbing the brush carefully over the entire surface. Just remember to always brush in the same direction.

If you’re dealing more with wear than dirt, then you’ll need to brush with a little more intensity. To achieve positive results, always be sure that your brush is clean. This is especially important when it comes to light-colored suede. For that reason, make a point of watching your suede brush carefully after every use. That way, it will always be clean and dry when you need it.

Tricks for getting rid of stains on suede shoes

A man caring for suede shoes.
Apply these cleaning and maintenance tricks to keep your suede shoes looking brand new.

First of all, if you have a fresh stain on your suede shoes, then you should immediately dry it with absorbent paper. That way, you’ll keep the stain from spreading over the surface of your shoe.

In the case of a stain that’s already dry, the best way to clean it is by using a white pencil eraser. First, you should rub it gently over the stain until it disappears. Then, once the stain is gone, you can use a dry towel to restore the suede’s texture. Just be sure to be gentle during this step.

If despite all of your attempts to clean your shoes the stain persists, you can use vinegarThis substance is an excellent ally when it comes to cleaning around the house. What you’ll need to do is wet a clean rag with vinegar and press gently down on the surface of your shoe.

Be sure not to rub. Just press down with gentle movements.

Overall, we hope these tips help you to keep your shoes in tip-top shape!

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.