How to Clean Suede Shoes

How to Clean Suede Shoes

In this article I will show you how to clean suede shoes. Caring for suede shoes is an essential skill for anyone looking to preserve the elegance and longevity of their footwear. Suede, with its unique texture and delicate nature, demands specific care and attention. This comprehensive guide, spanning 1,200 words, will delve into the nuances of suede shoe maintenance, offering detailed, practical advice to keep your shoes in top condition.

Understanding Suede’s Distinctiveness

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand what makes suede special. Unlike traditional leather, suede is crafted from the underside of the animal skin, giving it a softer and more vulnerable texture. This delicate nature requires a different approach compared to other materials.

Essential Tools for Suede Shoe Care

To begin, gather the following items: a specialized suede brush, a suede eraser, a soft cloth, suede cleaner, white vinegar, and a waterproofing spray. Each tool plays a specific role in the cleaning and maintenance process.

The Cleaning Process: Step-by-Step

1. Initial Brushing: Start by gently brushing the suede to remove surface dirt. Always brush in the direction of the fibers to avoid damaging the nap.
2. Scuff Removal: Use the suede eraser on marks and scuffs. Rub lightly to lift the dirt, being careful not to harm the material.
3. Stain Treatment: For liquid stains, blot with a cloth without rubbing. For tougher stains, apply a small amount of suede cleaner or white vinegar with a cloth, dabbing gently.
4. Drying Method: Allow the shoes to air dry naturally, avoiding direct heat sources.

Dealing with Water and Moisture

Suede and water are not the best of friends. If your shoes get wet, blot the excess moisture with a towel and let them dry evenly. Once dry, brush them to restore the texture.

Routine Maintenance

– Regular Brushing: Frequent brushing helps maintain the appearance of suede and prevents the buildup of dirt.
– Use of Protective Spray: Regular application of a suede protective spray can help repel water and prevent stains.
– Proper Storage: Store your suede shoes in a dry, cool place away from sunlight.

Expert Tips for Suede Shoe Care

– Minimize Water Exposure: Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet conditions.
– Act Quickly on Stains: The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it is to remove.
– Seek Professional Help: For stubborn stains or doubts about cleaning, consult a professional.
– Avoid Home Remedies: Homemade cleaners can damage suede; stick to commercial suede products.


Additional Tips and Tricks

– Seasonal Care: Adjust your suede care routine according to the seasons. Use more protective spray during rainy months.
– Reviving Old Suede: If your suede shoes have lost their luster, a professional suede revival treatment can restore their former glory.
– DIY Suede Refreshing: For a quick refresh, lightly steam the shoes over a boiling pot (at a safe distance) and then brush. This can help lift the nap.
– Spot Testing: Always spot test any cleaner on an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire shoe.


Caring for suede shoes involves a blend of regular maintenance, careful cleaning, and mindful storage. By adhering to these practices, you can keep your suede shoes looking as good as new, ensuring they remain a stylish and functional part of your wardrobe for years.


In essence, maintaining suede shoes requires attention to detail, from regular brushing to prompt stain treatment and appropriate drying. Employing a protective spray and avoiding exposure to water will further preserve their quality. For challenging cleaning tasks, professional services are recommended. By following these guidelines, your suede shoes will continue to be a valued asset in your fashion repertoire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use regular leather cleaner on suede shoes?
A: No, regular leather cleaners are not suitable for suede. Always use products specifically designed for suede.

Q: How often should I apply a protective spray to my suede shoes?
A: It’s advisable to apply a protective spray every few months, depending on how frequently you wear the shoes.

Q: Is it safe to dry suede shoes with a hairdryer?
A: No, drying suede shoes with a hairdryer can cause damage. Always let them air dry naturally.

Q: Can I prevent my suede shoes from getting dirty?
A: While it’s challenging to completely prevent dirt, regular use of a protective spray can help minimize stains and dirt accumulation.

By mastering the art of suede care, you’ll ensure that your shoes retain their sophistication and durability, making a statement wherever you go.


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