All You Need to Know on How to Clean Suede Shoes

how to clean suede shoes

Nothing says smart and stylish like a good pair of suede shoes. Whether it is sneakers or boots, if you have a well-rounded footwear collection, then you might already have a pair or two. Suede shoes are those items in your wardrobe that can transform your look into a more elegant and luxurious one. And with great luxury comes great responsibility. Reading up on how to clean suede shoes, for starters.

Suede is a type of leather made from the underside of animal skin. It is thinner and softer than your typical leather. It is also more delicate than leather, therefore requires a little more care. Suede has soft grains and is prone to being scuffed, stained, or scratched. Don’t get us wrong! Suede is still durable, long-lasting, and has a unique look. It is a staple choice for the fall season. All it needs is a little love and care for them to last long. A little brushing every now and then, that’s all!

If you are looking for care tips or removing wine stains from suede shoes (oops, accidents happen, right!?), then you have come to the right place. No longer you have to rush to the cobbler to get them cleaned, as it is easy to do it yourself. Read ahead to know more on how to clean suede shoes.

suede shoes cleaning

Water Stain

Just like iron cuts iron, water stains can be tackled with water. Soak your suede brush in water and carefully rub it all over your shoe until it is wet. You can also take a damp cloth and dab it over your shoe. Make sure to use a sponge for soaking excess water. Let it air dry, away from direct sunlight. Once dried, you can give them one last brush.

Water Stain clean of suede shoes

Mud and Chewing-gum

If your shoe is covered in a thick layer of mud, let it dry first. Then you can scrape the pieces easily. It is the same with chewing gum as well. Put the shoe inside your freezer until the gum hardens and peel the pieces. Give your shoe a thorough scrub with a suede brush to remove the dirt. Make sure you are putting your hand inside the shoe for support. Now, take a suede eraser and rub it on all the scruff and stains to remove them. You can steam the shoe if further cleaning is required. Finish by brushing the shoes to keep the grains nice and fluffy.

Mud and Chewing-gum cleaning of suede shoes

Oil Stains

Oil is a little tough to remove, so you need to get moving while the smear is wet. Wipe the oil with a paper towel, carefully not to spread it. Cover the stain with some cornstarch and leave it overnight. You can brush the shoe clean in the morning.


Yes, we are covering (pun, intended) topic on every kind of stain on this how to clean suede shoe guide. Even the ones that remind you of every crime show. Take a cotton ball soaked in peroxide and rub it over the bloodstain. You can use rubber later. Finally, brush the fluff. 

Faded Color

The older the shoe gets, the faded it looks. It is true, especially for dark colors. The best way to cover faded spots is by using a suede dye. If you have a leather polish of the same color you might get away with that. Leather polish is a quick and easy hack for darker colors.

White Suede Shoes

White shoes are the hardest to keep clean, and when they are white suedes, it can feel like a nightmare. Therefore, always cover them with a suede protector. Clean them before the stain sets on the shoes. If you let the stain sit on a white, it can be hard to get rid of it. Find yourself a good suede shampoo. Soak your brush in the shampoo and water mixture, and scrub the shoe to remove the stain. All you need to do is dab it with a dry sponge or cloth to remove excess water. Let it dry overnight and later brush the shoes.

Faux Suede

These are more durable and stain-resistant than suede. Water and vinegar mixed can remove any stains from them. Suede rubber is also the easiest way for quick fixes and every day buffing. 

Faux Suede

General Caring Tips for Suede Shoes

  • Keep a suede treatment kit handy: If you are a connoisseur for shoes, investing in a good suede kit is a good idea. Suede shoes tend to last long, and with the right products even longer. They are inexpensive and help keep your shoes as good as new. Stains should be seen through right away if you do not want to permanently damage them.
  • Remove Shoelaces Before Cleaning
  • Clean by hand: If you want to know how to clean suede shoes correctly, we should tell you that it is always by hand. A washer or dryer can ruin the shoes.
  • Avoid Cleaning with water: There is no hard and fast rule of not using water and soap to clean them. But best to avoid as much as possible. If you do require to give them shampoo, make sure to be careful. Water can stain suede very easily.
  • Brush every day: Just give them a good scrub for a minute or two after every wear. It removes all the dirt and stain from the all-day wear.
  • Stuff them with crumpled paper: This way, the shoes will maintain their shape. It can also help to absorb any moisture and keep them dry. You can also use a cedar shoe tree for this. When leaving your shoes to dry post-cleaning, stuffing them with crumpled paper is a must. 
  • Waterproof Coating: Always cover your suede shoes with a waterproof coating. Water is really bad for suede and can easily ruin them. A waterproof and stain-resistant coating can make them look fresh for longer.
General Caring Tips for Suede Shoes

How to Clean Suede Shoes the DIY Style

  • Use a spare toothbrush instead of a suede brush. It is soft and will get the job done when in need.
  • Rubbing Alcohol and white vinegar can remove almost any stains. Be it ink, red wine, or grease. These are great for deep, old stains that refuse to go through suede rubber and brush.
  • Use your regular eraser as an alternative to suede rubber. This is recommended only for emergency purposes. Using it roughly on the fabric might scruff it.
How to Clean Suede Shoes the DIY Style

Hope you made notes on how to clean suede shoes. If you are a shoe lover, then this can someday help you save your favorite shoes.

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