Tips for Cleaning Suede Shoes


There are suede shoes everywhere, including combat boots and sneakers. Few things compare to how luxurious and stylish a nice pair of suede shoes feel and look. Despite what some people may believe, suede shoes can be worn all year long. They can be tailored for all your outfits, anywhere in the middle or dressed up or down. However, your favorite suede shoes may require some care if you were caught in a downpour or dropped a slice of pizza while wearing them. Suede shoes are made from animal leather with a napped or fuzzy finish, providing a natural suede appearance. It can be colored or left undyed and is thin and porous. Microfiber suede shoes have the smooth, fluffy feel of genuine suede. Still, they are more stain-resistant since they are made of polyester and nylon strands that are woven and cut. 

You must learn how to clean suede shoes without damaging them if you want to keep up your suede footwear fashion. This frequently occurs when suede shoes are exposed to environmental deterioration, stains, or regular wear and tear over time. In addition, the suede’s supple, “velvety” nature makes it easier for dirt, oils, or other buildup to adhere, which can spoil the chic appearance and feel of your suede shoes. In any event, it can be difficult to thoroughly clean suede shoes without damaging them. You can’t just soak it in soapy water or toss it in the washer, unlike understanding how to clean white sneakers or get oil stains from clothing.

Tips for Cleaning Suede Shoes

The main disadvantage of suede shoes is how quickly they may get dirty. Anyone who has owned a pair of suede shoes knows how promptly and efficiently they can become discolored. They are difficult to remove, and occasionally, using the improper cleaner (such as one that is water-based) might enlarge the blemishes. However, we’ve got you covered. To help you care for your suede shoes, we asked a footwear specialist to provide expert advice below. Here are some suggestions for cleaning your priceless.

  1. Be sure to act before you have a stain. The key is to prevent. Spray a suede protection on your shoes before you wear them for the first time to help protect them from scuffs and water stains. Before applying, please read the directions and test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t leave any marks. After wearing, lightly brush suede shoes with a suede brush to remove any loose dust before storing them.
  2. To start, carefully brush any dirt or loose debris from the shoe’s surface using a suede brush or toothbrush. Brush lightly in the same direction as the grain or pattern, and gently scrub the area in a back-and-forth motion for very tough grime.
  1. A suede eraser should remove Any stains or tiny marks. Avoid rubbing too hard and scratching the surface by rubbing back and forth over the spot.
  1. White vinegar can be used to clear up stubborn stains. Gently massage the stain with a flannel or microfiber cloth after dipping it in white vinegar. Lightly dampen the surface, being cautious not to saturate it with vinegar. Repeat as necessary to remove the stain, then let the area dry before brushing it to give it a tidy appearance.
  1. After cleaning the shoes, apply a suede protection. Always use a suede protector designed exclusively because most are pre-treated to withstand stains or dampness.

How to Remove Different Kinds of Stains from Suede Shoes

You must treat suede shoes carefully when trying to clean them. If you are not careful, cleaning your boots could wind up causing damage. If they are made entirely of suede, you should only clean them with your hands and not run a dryer or a washing machine over them. Before you begin washing the shoes, make sure there aren’t any tags on them.

1. Oily Stains

Apply a thick layer (about 1/4 inch thick) of cornstarch or baby powder on the oily stain. Give the cornstarch at least four hours to absorb the oil. Use a suede brush to remove the cornstarch. Continue until the stain is removed.

2. Mud Stains

Remove as much mud as you can with the edge of a credit card or a blunt knife.

Avoid wiping the mud stain because doing so will lead it to etch more deeply into the suede. Allow the paint to dry before brushing the dried dirt from the suede and finishing the overall cleaning. Suede shoes frequently get stains from mud and dirt. They should be cleaned thoroughly before they leave a stain on your suede shoes. You can remove the mud or dirt with a brush once it has dried. If the stains persist even after you wash them, consider softening your shoes with steam before letting them completely dry by air drying. Up until the stain is eliminated, repeat the procedure several times.

3. Blood Stains

Apply hydrogen peroxide to a cotton ball to dampen it. Dab the bloodstain gently. Repeat the procedure if necessary after letting the suede dry.

4. Sticky Adhesive, Gum, or Wax Stains

Put the shoe in a bag made of plastic. The bag should be frozen for at least an hour. To remove the residue, use a blunt knife or the edge of a credit card. If any residue is left, refreeze it before using the edge of a credit card or your fingernail to scrape away the sticky goo carefully. Any tiny particles still on the suede can be removed with an emery board.

5. Blot Fresh Stains

As soon as a stain appears, blot it with a paper towel. Sprinkle baking soda on the area, then let it dry for the night. The next day, use an emery board to buff away the powder and any lingering discoloration or try a suede cleaner product.

Cleaning Tips for Different Types of Suede Shoes

1. Suede Trainers and Sneakers

Many of us choose suede athletic shoes for regular wear. They complement the majority of clothes and provide style to your wardrobe. But if you use them every day, you risk getting them dirty and wearing out soon. It would help if you periodically cleaned them whenever they get soiled. To keep the shape of the shoes, first, unlace them and get a shoe tree. Rub off dust using suede erasers, then remove stains with suede brushes and cleansers. Remember to let it air dry thoroughly before brushing to restore the nap.

2. Suede Boots

Sued or nubuck boots must be kept spotless to retain a polished appearance. Remove the shoelaces and clean your sneakers like you would a suede pair. To avoid scratching your shoes when cleaning them, soak the soft bristle brush in water. Then, gently scrub the surface in small circles. Allow it to air dry for at least 24 hours after removing the stain to ensure it is completely dried. Apply mink oil with a small suede brush to restore its polished and refined appearance so that it will appear soft and smooth.

3. Black Suede Shoes

Unexpectedly, black suede shoes are more challenging to maintain. Despite the rarity of stains, there’s a chance the black color can deteriorate as you clean them. After cleaning them like you would other colored suede shoes, brush on some black suede dye or use your fingers to apply black crayons to the cleansed area. Your suede shoes will then still be as lovely as they were.

4. White Suede Shoes

One can never go wrong with a pair of white suede sneakers. But they are straightforward to stain. Use suede protection to remove any dirt and prevent it from leaving a stain while keeping your white suede shoes looking clean and polished. After lightly wetting the area, rub the stain away with an eraser. Apply white vinegar with a soft cloth if your shoes still appear worn out, then let them completely air dry. To get the nappy texture back, brush the surface.

5. Faux Suede Shoes

Clumsy users should go for faux suede. Compared to regular suede shoes, they are more durable and less likely to get stained. Even though it requires less upkeep, regular brushing and cleaning will elevate it. To keep the shape of your shoes, wipe off the dirt with water and vinegar, stuff paper inside the sole, and let your shoes air dry. In the end, brush them after they have thoroughly dried.


Suede is an excellent material that has a sophisticated, fashionable appearance. But leather is also susceptible and is easily damaged or discolored. As a result, maintaining the appearance of your suede footwear might be challenging. Knowing how to clean suede shoes is crucial because there’s no purpose in purchasing a great pair of shoes only to keep them in the box.

Suede shoes may be cleaned at home using basic supplies you most likely already own. The most crucial material for cleaning loose soil from suede is a soft-bristled brush, which should be used frequently. Refrain from scrubbing when cleaning suede shoes since they must be handled delicately. Work slowly and follow the nap of the suede. Clean the entire shoe evenly to avoid water stains. For suede shoes, distilled white vinegar clears most stains, scuffs, and grime well. Take your suede shoes to a shoe repair shop and inquire whether they may be cleaned and repaired if all else fails. We know that it can be inconvenient sometimes, but if you cherish your shoes, give them the TLC they need.