Not sure how to clean your suede shoes? Looking for a quick and damage-free way to clean them up? If so, then you are at the right place.
Suede is a delicate material and it can ruin if you don’t clean it correctly.
In this blog post, we”ll share the right process for cleaning suede shoes.
We will also tell you how to restore faded suede shoes.
But, let’s start with the precautions.
Before starting the cleaning process, it’s essential to take some precautions.
- Don’t scrub wet suede shoes. Wet naps are easily damaged.
- Dry suede shoes away from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will fade, crack, and wrap suede leather.
- Never wash suede shoes in the washing machine. Suede leather is not meant to be wet cleaned.
- If you are using a suede cleaner, or a homemade cleaning solution, for the first time, test it on an old pair.
- Check the care label. If the shoes are labeled “dry clean only,” do not attempt to clean them at home.
- Insert a shoe tree into each shoe to help them hold their shape during the cleaning process.
How to Prepare Suede Shoes for Cleaning
Remove the laces and insoles from your suede shoes and clean them separately. You can wash the shoelaces with soap and water or white vinegar. Make sure your shoes are completely dry before the cleaning process.
- Suede brush
- Suede eraser
- Microfiber cloth
- Nail file
- Suede protectant spray
Cleaning suede shoes is a six-step process
- Getting rid of surface dirt, dust, and grime.
- Getting rid of scuffs and stains.
- Cleaning with vinegar solution
- Restoring the nap
- Applying suede protectant spray
- Brushing Off the Dirt and Grime
Use a suede brush to remove the surface dirt, dust, and grime.
- Gently brush the entire surface of the shoes with a suede brush. Pay special attention to the seams and stitching.
- Brush the suede in the direction of the nap. You can insert a shoe tree into each shoe to help hold its shape while you brush it.
- Removing Scuff Marks and Stains
If there are scuff marks or light stains on the surface of your suede shoes, remove them using a suede eraser. Follow this simple three-step process for removing minor scuff marks and stains from suede shoes.
- Rub the suede eraser over the scuff marks and light stains in circular motions until they disappear.
- Apply a moderate amount of pressure in the beginning. Increase the pressure for more stubborn scuff marks and light stains.
- Brush off the residue of the eraser using a suede brush.
If you don’t have a suede eraser, you can use a pencil eraser.
- Cleaning Suede Shoes with Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can remove tough dirt and stains from your suede shoes. Vinegar is also a safe cleaner. It usually does not damage the suede.
- Dip a microfiber cloth into distilled white vinegar. Wring out excess vinegar.
- Gently rub the damp microfiber cloth over the entire surface of your shoes. Focus on areas that are particularly dirty or stained. Make sure the suede does not get too damp.
- White vinegar might temporarily darken the suede leather. However, the suede will return to its original color once it dries.
- Let the Suede Shoes Air-dry
- Dab your shoes with a dry, clean microfiber cloth to absorb surface moisture.
- Let your shoes air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area. Do not dry them in the sun, as direct sunlight will discolor the suede leather. Keep suede shoes away from heat sources such as a radiator or fireplace.
- Restoring the Nap
Once your suede shoes are completely dry, use a suede brush to restore the nap. Restoring the nap is simple
- Gently brush the entire surface in a back-and-forth motion using a suede brush.
This will help raise the suede’s fibers and restore the suede’s soft, velvety texture.
- Protect the Suede Shoes with Protectant Spray
After cleaning your suede shoes, it is essential to protect and waterproof them with a suede protectant spray.
Suede shoes are susceptible to water damage and stains.
The suede protection spray works by creating a barrier between the suede and the elements. The spray will help to repel water, dirt, and stains thus protecting the suede.
- Hold the suede protectant spray about 6 inches away from your shoes and evenly spray the entire surface of your suede shoes.
- Let the suede shoe air dry completely before wearing them.
You should spray your suede shoes with a suede protectant spray every two to three months to keep them in good condition.
How to Remove Stains from the Suede Shoes
Suede shoes can get stained easily because the nap tends to grab stains and marks. Let’s see how to remove different types of stain marks from suede without damaging the nap.
- Let the mud stain dry completely before attempting to remove it.
- Chip off the larger chunks of the mud from the shoes.
- Brush off the remaining dried mud using a suede brush.
Oil or grease stains
- Sprinkle some talcum powder over the oil or grease stain. Make sure that the stain is completely covered with the powder. You can also use cornstarch if you don’t have talcum powder.
- Let the talcum powder sit on the oil stain for two to three hours. The talcum powder will absorb the oil or grease from the stain.
- Brush off the talcum powder from the shoes using a suede brush.
Suede becomes dark when wet, but it will retain its original color once it gets dry. However, you can follow the following steps to check the color of your suede shoes.
- Dampen a cloth with water and dab the entire surface of the shoes.
- Let the shoes dry in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight.
- The color of the shoes will even out once they are completely dry.
- Soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and squeeze out the excess.
- Dab the blood stain with the cotton ball. Dab the stain slowly until the blood comes out.
- Once the stains lift, wipe the area with a soft, damp cloth and let the shoe air-dry.
- Dip a soft microfiber cloth in 90% rubbing.
- Blot the ink stain with the microfibre cloth. Dab the ink stain slowly until it comes out.
- Once the stains lift, let your suede shoes air-dry.
- You can remove the stubborn stains from your suede shoes with steel wool.
- Rub the stained area of the shoes with steel wool. This will buff off dry stubborn stains from the shoes.
- Rub the steel wool over the entire surface of the shoes to even out the texture of the suede.
Restoring Faded Suede Shoes
Suede shoes can fade over time due to sun exposure, dirt, and stains. You can restore the color of your suede shoes by following the steps below.
- Brush your shoes with a suede brush to remove the dirt or debris accumulated on the surface.
- Mix one part of suede cleaner in two parts of cold water. Dip a soft-bristled brush in the cleaning solution and scrub your suede shoe with that brush. Scrub the shoes in a circular motion to form the lather. You can use dish soap if you do not have a suede cleaner.
- Rinse your suede shoes with cold water and let them air-dry. You can also dab them with a soft towel to soak the excess water and speed up the drying process.
- Once the shoes are thoroughly dry, use a suede dye to restore their color. Choose a suede dye that matches the original color of your suede shoes.
- Mix the dye with water as per the instructions given on the pack. Dip a sponge in the dye and apply it evenly over the surface of your shoes. You can use a small paintbrush to apply dye to the smaller areas of the shoe.
- Let the shoes air-dry entirely in a shaded but well-ventilated area.
- After the suede shoes are completely dry, lightly brush them in a back-and-forth motion to bring back the nap and restore the velvety softness of the suede.
- Finally, apply a suede protector spray to protect them from water and stains.
You can also spray your shoes with a renovating spray for dying them. Make sure to cover the area where you are working with a newspaper or paper towel to avoid the place from getting stained.
Check out the video tutorial.
Deodorizing Suede Shoes
Deodorizing shoes is essential to keep them smelling fresh. Suede shoes can develop a musty smell over time due to sweat and dirt accumulation. You can deodorize your suede shoes using the following methods.
- Sprinkle one tablespoon of baking soda on the insole of your suede shoes. You can add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda to make your shoes smell nice.
- Let the shoes sit for a few hours or overnight. This will give baking soda time to absorb the foul odor from your shoes.
- The next morning, remove the baking soda from the shoes by shaking them well over the dustbin.
- Wipe the shoes with a dry microfiber cloth to remove the leftover baking soda.
- Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and squeeze out the excess.
- Wipe the insoles and inside of your suede shoes with those cotton balls.
- You can add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar to make your shoes smell nice. The vinegar will remove the foul odor and the bacteria that cause the shoes to smell bad. Leave the shoes overnight for drying.
- The next morning, check if your shoes are completely dry before wearing them.
- Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water with three to four drops of your favorite essential oils in a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle to mix the solution and spray the solution inside your shoes. Spay the solution highly and do not saturate the shoes.
- Leave the shoes overnight for drying.
- Once the shoes are dry completely, wipe them with a clean cloth.
Rubbing alcohol has anti-bacterial properties that can help kill odor-causing bacteria.
Caring and Storing Tips
Suede shoes require special care to keep them in good condition. Here are some tips you can follow to care for your suede shoes.
- Avoid wearing your suede shoes in rain or snow. Suede can quickly get stained and damaged with snow and water.
- If your suede shoes get wet, let them air-dry in a shaded area. Do not use a hair dryer or any other heating device to dry them as it can cause suede to wrap.
- Store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from heat and moisture. You can also store them in a shoe box lined with tissue paper to keep them dust-free.
- Do not keep your suede shoes in plastic bags, as they can cause the suede to rot.
- Use a suede brush or a microfiber cloth to remove the dirt from your suede shoes. Do not use a wire brush as it can damage the soft texture of the suede.
- Apply a suede protectant spray to your shoes before wearing them. This will help to protect them from water and stains.
- Insert shoe trees in your shoes while not in use. Shoe trees will help the shoes to retain their shape.
Products for Taking Care of Suede Shoes
- Suede brush- A suede brush is a must-have tool for taking care of suede shoes. It is made of soft bristles that help to remove the dirt and dust from suede shoes without damaging them. Shacke and Red Moose are the recommended suede brushes.
- Suede eraser- A special suede eraser is a rubber-like block that helps to remove the stains from suede shoes. It is a gentle and effective way to clean suede shoes. KIWI and Beauty Pear are two good choices for the suede eraser.
- Suede cleaner- A suede cleaner is a cleaning solution for suede footwear. It helps to remove the dirt and stains from suede footwear without damaging the material. CLOUT and KIWI are two recommended suede shoe cleaners.
- Suede protectant spray- A suede spray is a must-have product for suede shoes. It helps to protect them from water and stains. KIWI and Nikwax are two good options for suede protectant spray.
- Suede renovator spray- A suede renovating spray is a dye that can be used to restore the color of faded suede shoes. It is a quick and easy way to renew the look of your suede shoes. Tarrago and Care & Cool are two good options for suede renovator spray.
What home remedy cleans suede shoes?
There are several home remedies that you can use for cleaning suede shoes. The best one is using plain white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Firstly wipe as much dirt as possible from your suede shoes with a microfiber cloth. Then, soak some cotton balls in plain white vinegar and clean the surface of your shoes with them. Pay attention to the stains. After your shoes are clean, let them air dry in a shaved place.
Can suede shoes be washed?
No, suede shoes cannot be washed. Suede is a delicate material that can get faded and damaged with water.
You can clean your suede shoes with suede cleaner or white vinegar.
However, if your suede shoes have faded, then you can wash your suede shoes before dying them.
How to clean suede shoes with rubbing alcohol?
Firstly, brush your shoes with a suede brush to remove dirt, dust, and other loose particles. Use a pencil eraser to remove scuff marks and light stains. Then, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and gently rub it over the surface of your shoes. Pay attention to the stains. After your shoes are clean, let them air dry in a shaded place.
Does baking soda clean suede?
Baking soda can remove oil or grease stains from suede shoes. It can also be used for deodorizing suede shoes.
However, we do not recommend cleaning your suede shoes with baking soda.
How to clean suede shoes without suede cleaner?
You can use white vinegar to clean your suede shoes if you do not have a suede cleaner. Firstly, wipe your suede shoes with a microfiber cloth. Then, dip a cotton cloth in white vinegar and clean the surface of your shoes, working on the stains. After cleaning the shoes, let them air dry. Once your shoes are dried completely, apply a suede protectant to protect your shoes from future stains.
How to clean black suede shoes?
The best way to clean black suede shoes is using a suede brush. You can also use a microfiber cloth or suede eraser.
First, remove the dirt and debris from your shoes with a suede cleaning brush. Then, wipe your shoes with a microfiber cloth. Remove the stains using a suede eraser. Brush off the residue of the eraser with the suede brush. Once your shoes are clean and dry, spray them with a suede protectant spray.
Now that you know how to clean suede shoes, you can keep your shoes looking good for longer.
Follow the steps properly to get the best results. Also, suede shoes require special care, so make sure to follow the tips that we have mentioned in this article.
If you have any other tips, share them with us in the comments below.