You have a great sense of fashion if you own a pair of suede shoes.

Suede shoes offer style, comfort and warmth, making them a wardrobe staple, especially in gloomy weather. Suede shoes are a versatile style option and you can pair them with any outfit: formal or casual. The only challenge is when the velvety nap of these shoes becomes prone to moisture, dirt and oils, thus getting dirty.

When you wear your suede shoes regularly, they can pick up scuff marks, dirt, water spots, salt marks, and other things like grime, especially in cold weather. This material can be easily damaged by excessive moisture. So you can’t just soak your kicks in a soapy water solution to remove stains and other buildup. You should handle your shoes with care.

How do I clean my suede shoes?

Cleaning suede shoes is not rocket science. With the right tools and techniques, you can get rid of dirt, grime, and other substances, keeping your shoes clean for the long haul.

Here are some tips to help you properly clean your suede shoes.

Invest in a good quality suede cleaning brush

First of all! You can clean your suede shoes without a proper cleaning brush, but if you invest in a good quality brush, you’ll be making a wise decision.

Suede cleaning brushes are readily available. You can find them on online and offline platforms. Once you have it, be sure to only brush in the direction of the fibers and avoid moving the brush back and forth. Even a little moisture can leave a permanent stain on the fabric. So, make sure you dry the shoes completely when brushing them.

Clean scuffs and dirt

Cleaning scuffs and dirt from your suede shoes can be done by following the steps below.

  • Grab a suede brush and make sure your shoes are dry before you start cleaning. The suede comes with a soft grain that is best cleaned when using a special brush.
  • Gently brush the surface to remove dirt. Use the cleaning brush to lightly remove dust or dirt that has accumulated on your shoes. Don’t go back and forth. Brush several times in the same direction. Once the layer of grime is removed, your shoes will look newer.
  • If your pair of shoes has scuffs, brush vigorously. When you rub your shoes, the grain of the suede may be pressed in one direction. Lift it up by brushing the scuffed areas back and forth.
  • If the marks on your shoes are too stubborn, use an eraser and clean them off. Scratches and marks that don’t fade can often be removed with a pencil eraser. Alternatively, you can also take a piece of pancake rubber. Do not apply pressure when using this stain cleaning trick.
  • Once you’ve cleaned your shoes with the methods listed above, spray a coat of suede protectant sprays on them. It will prevent other stains and marks from building up on the surface of the shoes.

Clean dirt and mud from suede shoes

To remove dirt or mud that has accumulated on your shoes, make sure the material is dry. Use a suede brush or toothbrush to remove as much dirt as possible. If you still see marks, use a steamer and loosen the dirt. After this step, blot with a paper towel or cloth to remove it. Dry the area before storing your shoes.

Removing oil or grease from suede shoes

If your shoes have traces of oil or grease, the best remedy is to apply cornstarch to the area and allow it to absorb the excess liquid for a few hours. Then gently scrape off the cornstarch using a pastry brush. You will notice that the stain has become lighter. Repeat as needed until it disappears completely.

For grease spots that have dried, clean the area with a small amount of dish soap. Let the soap sit on the mark for ten minutes. Rinse off the residue by dabbing with a damp cloth. Do not soak your shoes directly in water.

Clean salt stains from suede shoes

Salt stains from snow and ice give your suede shoes an aged look. To solve this problem, start by eliminating as much salt as possible. Dip a clean cloth in cold water mixed with a small amount of dish soap and dab the stain. Do not rub it on the shoe. Repeat as needed until you see the stain disappear completely. Dry completely.

Treating Water Stains on Suede Shoes

It may seem counterintuitive to some, but do you know that adding water can help remove water stains from your suede shoes? You can use a spray bottle to lightly spray water on the surface. Brush it with a suede brush or toothbrush. If you find excess water, blot it up with a clean rag or paper towel.

You can also invest in a suede waterproofing spray to save yourself the hassle.

Other treatments to treat stains on suede shoes

  • It’s a good idea to apply white vinegar to stubborn stains on your suede shoes. Use a small amount of vinegar with a soft cloth or towel and pat it dry. Once it’s completely dry, scrub in the vinegar with a suede brush.
  • If the stains on your suede shoes have dried out and you want to treat them, use steel wool. Vigorously brush wool against dry spots.
  • You can also try a steamer or a nail file if you don’t have a suede brush. The heat opens the pores and facilitates cleaning.

In addition to this, it is good to take care of your suede shoes to maintain them over the long term. For example, if you won’t wear the shoes for an extended period of time, wrap them in tissue paper and store them in the shoebox. Be sure to keep the box away from light or excessive moisture. Do not use suede dyes on your shoes. Clean the laces of your suede shoes in a laundromat.

We hope the tips above will help you clean your favorite pair of suede shoes. Stay in touch for more.