Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 06:59 pm

Master the Art of Cleaning Suede Shoes: Stay Stylish! - The Shoe Rig

Master the Art of Cleaning Suede Shoes: Stay Stylish!

We all love the elegance that suede shoes bring to our outfits. The velvety touch, how they absorb colors, and their ability to transform an ordinary look into something chic make them special. However, like all good things, cleaning suede shoes require work to keep them looking their best. 

Cleaning suede shoes is essential to prolong their lifespan and maintain that new, fresh look.

Maintaining suede shoes involves 

  • Regular cleaning with a suede brush to remove dirt and stains. 
  • Using a suede eraser for tougher marks. 
  • Applying a suede protector spray for protection. 
  • Drying naturally if wet, then brushing. 
  • Storing in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to prevent fading.

Caring for suede shoes is much more than just an afterthought. It is a preventive measure that helps us keep our beloved shoes from losing their appeal. 

By knowing how to maintain our suede shoes properly, we can enjoy their beauty for a longer time and avoid the disappointment of seeing them wear out before their time.

Understanding Suede

With its distinct napped finish, Suede is a type of leather made from the underside of animal skin, usually lamb, although goat, calf, and deer are also commonly used. This unique composition is what gives suede its soft and flexible texture.

You might also be interested in: How To Clean Hoka Shoes?  

1. What is Suede, and Why it Needs Special Care

Because of its porous nature and open fibers, suede tends to absorb liquids and oils more readily than other types of leather, making it more susceptible to stains and water damage. This is why cleaning suede shoes and regular maintenance are so important. Proper care lets you keep your suede looking as stunning as the day you first wore them.

2. The Common Mistakes People Make with Suede Shoes

Many people assume that cleaning suede shoes is similar to other materials. They often use excessive water or the wrong cleaning products, leading to discoloration and damage. Similarly, neglecting regular upkeep and improper storage are other mistakes that can harm your suede’s quality. 

Avoid these pitfalls to ensure your shoes stay in top condition.

Preparing Your Suede Shoes for Cleaning

When cleaning suede shoes, preparation is just as important as the cleaning process itself. Getting your shoes ready for the cleaning techniques you’ll use is crucial.

1. Why Preparation is Key

Preparing your shoes properly allows you to clean them more effectively. It helps to loosen dirt and debris and makes stain removal easier. Preparation is also crucial in preventing further damage during the cleaning process.

2. Steps to Prepare Your Suede Shoes for Cleaning

Start by removing any loose dirt or dust using a suede brush. Always brush in the direction of the fibers, not against them. You can use a special suede eraser for tougher dirt or dry stains. After brushing, stuff your shoes with newspaper or shoe trees to help them hold their shape while cleaning. Now, your suede shoes are ready for deep and thorough cleaning.

Step-by-step Guide to Cleaning Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede shoes may seem daunting, but with the right equipment and a detailed, careful approach, you can keep your shoes looking fresh and new. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean suede shoes.

1. Equipment You Need

Here’s what you’ll need: a suede brush or a soft toothbrush, a suede eraser, a clean cloth, white vinegar, a small bowl, and suede protector spray. These tools will help you tackle most stains and keep your shoes in top condition.

2. A Detailed Cleaning Process

Start by brushing the shoes to remove loose dirt. Use the suede eraser to rub out dry stains. For stubborn spots, apply a small amount of white vinegar with a cloth and let it dry. Brush the shoes again to restore the nap. Finish by using a suede protector spray to shield the shoes from future stains and water damage.

How to Remove Dry Stains

Cleaning dry stains from shite sneakers

Dry stains on suede shoes can usually be tackled with a suede brush and eraser, making them relatively easy to handle.

1. Steps for Removing Dry Stains

Gently brush the stained area to remove surface dust and dirt. Then, using the suede eraser, rub at the stain until it lifts. Brush the area again to restore the suede’s texture.

2. Useful Tools for Dry Stain Removal

The suede brush and suede eraser are the main tools you need. Some people also find a clean pencil eraser or fine-grade sandpaper useful for particularly stubborn dry stains.

How to Remove Wet Stains

Wet stains, like liquid spills or mud, require more attention to remove without damaging the suede.

1. Steps for Removing Wet Stains

First, blot the area with a clean cloth for wet stains to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Do not rub; it can push the fluid deeper into the suede. Let the area dry naturally, away from direct heat. Once dry, use a suede brush to restore the texture.

2. Advice on Dealing with Water Damage

If your shoes get wet, let them dry naturally. Direct heat can alter the shape of the boots and harden the suede. Use a suede brush to fluff the nap and remove watermarks after drying.

Cleaning Stubborn Stains

Stubborn stains like oil, grease, ink, or gum can be tricky to remove from suede.

1. Dealing with Oil and Grease Stains

For oil or grease, sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and let it sit overnight. The powder should absorb the oil or grease. Brush off the powder with a suede brush.

2. How to Remove Ink Stains

Ink stains can often be removed with a little white vinegar or rubbing alcohol with a clean cloth. Dab the stain gently, let it dry, then brush the area.

3. Removing Gum or Wax from Suede

For gum or wax, place the shoe in a freezer bag, and put it in the freezer. Once the gum or wax hardens, you can break it off and brush the area gently to restore the nap. These methods can help keep your suede shoes looking their best.

Essential Tips to Maintain Your Suede Shoes

photo of a man cleaning his shoes

Maintaining your suede shoes is more than just cleaning. It involves daily care practices and a commitment to preserving their overall condition. Here are some key aspects of keeping your suede shoes looking new.

1. Daily Care Practices

The best way to maintain your suede shoes is by incorporating a few care practices into your daily routine. Give your shoes a quick brush to remove dirt or dust after each use. Address spills or stains immediately, as they’re easier to clear before they are set. Rotating your shoes can also help prolong their lifespan.

2. The Importance of Using a Suede Brush

A suede brush is a small tool that makes a big difference. It’s designed to get into the nap of the suede and remove dirt and dust without damaging the material. Regular brushing keeps your suede looking fresh and can help prevent stains.

3. Suede Protectants: Why They Matter

A suede protectant offers an extra defense against water damage and stains. Applying a protector spray after cleaning your shoes helps to shield the suede and maintain its appearance.

How to Store Suede Shoes Properly

Proper storage of your suede shoes is crucial in preserving their quality and extending their life.

A Similar Read: How To Clean White Shoes? 

1. Why Storage Matters

Correct storage protects your suede shoes from unnecessary damage. It prevents them from getting crushed or misshaped and safeguards them from dust and sunlight, which can fade color.

2. Best Practices for Suede Shoe Storage

Always store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use shoe trees or stuff them with paper to help maintain their shape. If you’re storing them longer, consider using a breathable cloth bag for protection.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips for Suede Shoes

Your suede shoe care routine might change slightly depending on the season. Here are some tips to ensure they stay in top shape all year round.

1. Summer Care Tips

Protecting your shoes from water and sweat stains is crucial in the summer. Use a suede protector spray and wear no-show socks to absorb sweat.

2. Winter Care Tips

In the winter, salt stains from the snow can be a problem. Wipe your shoes with a damp cloth after each use to prevent these stains from setting in. A suede protector spray can also offer additional water and salt damage protection. This way, you can enjoy your suede shoes no matter the season.


Your suede shoes are an investment in your style and comfort, and like all investments, they need care and attention. Regular cleaning and maintenance can keep them looking new and extend their lifespan significantly. 

Remember, always start with the right tools and products when cleaning suede shoes. Take your time, be gentle, and pay attention to the details. With proper care, your suede shoes can continue to be a part of your favorite outfits for years.

You can successfully clean and maintain your suede shoes by understanding what it is and how it responds to various stains, using the right equipment, and employing effective cleaning techniques. 

Daily care practices and products like suede brushes and protectants will further enhance their appearance. Proper storage and seasonal maintenance will ensure they’re always ready to wear.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I Clean Suede Shoes with Vinegar?

White vinegar can be an effective tool for cleaning suede shoes, especially for stubborn stains like ink. Apply a small amount with a clean cloth, let it dry, and then brush the area gently.

2. Is It Okay to Get Suede Shoes Wet?

While suede isn’t designed to be water-resistant, your shoes won’t be ruined if they get a little wet. However, avoid soaking them and let them dry naturally if they get wet. A suede protector spray can help guard against water damage.

3. How Can I Make My Suede Shoes Look New Again?

Regular cleaning and maintenance can keep your suede shoes looking new. Brush them regularly, address stains promptly, and use a suede protector spray. Remember, proper storage is also crucial to preserve their look.

4. Can I Use a Regular Brush on My Suede Shoes?

A regular brush may be too harsh for suede and could damage its nap. Using a suede brush specifically designed to clean suede without causing harm is best.

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