If you haven’t been wearing your favorite pair of suede shoes lately because they’re ridden with scuffs and water stains, it’s time to clean suede shoes, remove all stains and make them look like new.

Elegant as well as comfortable, suede shoes fit any occasion. Strutting around in your suede will definitely up your style quotient. The only catch is keeping them clean, as suede shoes dirty easily.

Advertisements

People often cringe at the thought of cleaning suede, afraid of ruining it during the process. And since you can’t dream of getting rid of your beloved suede shoes, they often end up relegated to the back of the closet.

Suede is a cousin of leather, made from the underside of a hide. It is much softer and more comfortable than full-grain leather. But its napped finish makes it particularly prone to stains and scuffmarks. The smooth surface of leather repels water naturally, whereas the napped surface of suede is extremely porous and readily absorbs water.

Dirt also gets lodged in the hairs of the suede.

The key to keeping your suede in top condition is regular maintenance. Here, you’ll learn how to go about the regular cleaning of your suede shoes as well as how to tackle certain stains. So no need to shy away from wearing your suede shoes to the fullest, so long as you give them the care they deserve.

Advertisements

Here are four methods for various types of cleaning needs for your suede shoes:

Method 1: Regular Cleaning

You should clean suede shoes at regular intervals, depending on how often you wear them. It’s a simple two-step process.

Things you’ll need:

Method 1 things need
Things needed to clean your suede shoes
  • Suede shoes
  • Suede cleaning brush
  • Eraser

Step 1. Brush the shoes with a suede cleaning brush

Brush with a suede cleaning brush

Brush in one direction

Brush the shoes

Advertisements

Brush the entire surface

Brush the entire surface of your shoes using long, even strokes in a single direction. Don’t brush them using a back-and-forth motion.

Always use a suede cleaning brush, as other coarse brushes might ruin the nap of the suede.

Step 2. Erase scuff marks and other stains

Erase scuff marks and other stains

Advertisements

Use a simple eraser from your stationery supplies to get rid of any scuff marks and stains. Erase the stains on your shoes just like you erase a pencil mark on a piece of paper. Brush them again to remove the eraser dust.

This is as easy as it sounds, without any catch. You can get a variety of basic stains out of your suede this way.

Basic cleaning method

It’s as simple as that. Your suede shoes are now ready to wear.

Method 2: Cleaning Water Stains

Water stains appear as dark patches on your suede. The key to treating water stains is to merely even out the tone of the entire surface of the shoe.

Things you’ll need:

Method 2 things need

  • Suede shoes
  • Suede cleaning brush
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Sponge scrubber
  • Lint-free towel
  • Paper towel

Step 1. Spray water evenly over the entire surface

Spray water over entire surface

This may seem counter-intuitive, but it works. Spray water over the entire surface of the shoe. A spray bottle will help distribute the water evenly.

Step 2. Soak up excess water with a dry sponge scrubber

Soak excess wate with sponge scrubber

Use a dry sponge scrubber to soak up excess water from the entire surface of the shoe. A sponge works best to soak up the water evenly.

Step 3. Dry the shoes with a lint-free towel

Dry the shoe with lint free towel

Dry the shoes with a lint-free towel. Lift up as much moisture as you can.

Step 4. Stuff paper towels inside the shoes to soak up any moisture

Stuff paper towels inside shoes

Stuff paper towels inside the shoes to soak up moisture from the underside of the suede. Let the shoes dry. Pull out the soggy paper towels and replace them with fresh, dry ones if needed.

Never use newspaper as an alternative. The ink from the newspaper will stain your shoes.

Step 5. Give the shoes a final brush

Give the shoes a final brush
Use brush to clean suede shoes
Give the shoes final brush
Water Stains have been removed from the suede shoes

After the shoes have dried, give them a thorough brushing to restore the fuzz and even tone of the nap.

Taking proper care of the suede might increase the life span of your shoes.

Method 3: Cleaning Mud Stains

This method comes in handy if you’ve accidentally taken a stroll through mud.

Things you’ll need:

Method 3 things need

  • Suede shoes
  • Suede cleaning brush
  • Eraser

Step 1. Let the mud dry

Let the mud dry

There is no use grappling with a soggy mess. You might end up making things worse for your shoes. Let the mud dry first. Give it a half or full day and the mud will be dry enough to brush off.

Step 2. Brush off the dry mud

Brush off the dry mud

Brush off dry mud

Brush the dry mud

Brush off the dry mud with a suede cleaning brush using even, single-direction strokes. Keep at it until you’ve completely removed the dirt lodged within the nap of the suede.

Step 3. Erase any scuff marks or stains

Erase scuff marks or stains
Erase marks or stains with a normal eraser

Erase scuff marks with a simple eraser from your stationary supplies. If the mud stain has left a visible rim, erasing will also diminish that.

Step 4. Brush to finish

Brush to finish

Brush for finish
All mud stains have vanished from the suede shoes

Give your shoes a final brush. This will remove the eraser dust as well as help restore the smooth look of your shoes.

Method 4: Cleaning Oil and Grease Stains

As a general rule, prevention is better than the cure. But if you’ve gotten an oil or grease stain on your suede somehow, clean it promptly with the following method.

Things you’ll need:

Method 4 things need

  • Suede shoes
  • Suede cleaning brush
  • Water
  • Pan
  • Cotton
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Talcum powder

Step 1. Heat up some water

Heat up some water

Heat some water in a pan. Hot water will help clean oil and grease stains better. Be sure the temperature of the water is comfortable to the touch. You wouldn’t want to sustain burns on your skin.

Step 2. Dip a cotton ball in hot water

Dip a cotton ball in hot water

Dip a cotton ball into the hot water.

Step 3. Lift out the stain with soaked cotton balls

Lift up oil and grease stains with soaked cotton-ball

Remove grease stains with soaked cotton ball

Lift up stains with cotton ball

Rub off stains with soaked cotton ball
Using cotton to remove stains from suede shoes

Use a hot, soaked cotton ball to lift up the grease or oil from the surface of the suede. Replace the soiled cotton ball with a clean, soaked one as needed. Keep at it until the oil or grease is removed from the nap and the suede starts appearing considerably cleaner.

Remove stains with cotton

Wipe the surrounding surface with a hot, soaked cotton ball as well.

Step 4. Dry the shoes with a lint-free cloth

Dry the shoes with a lint free cloth

Dry the shoes with lint free cloth

Dry the nap of the suede with a lint-free towel. Set the shoes aside for some time to fully dry out.

Step 5. Treat stubborn grease stains with talcum powder

Treat stubborn grease stains with talcum powder

Most oil stains go away with the steps above, but some stubborn grease stains might remain. Sprinkle some talcum powder over the remaining grease stains and let it sit for 12 hours. Talcum powder will soak up the rest of the grease.

Brush off the talcum powder

Treat stubborn grease stains
No more oil and grease stains on the suede shoes

After 12 hours, you can brush off the powder with the suede brush.

Additional Tips

  • Give your beloved suede shoes a break during the rainy season. Instead, wear waterproof shoes when it’s raining.
  • Clean your suede shoes after every use and before storing them away.
  • Always brush your suede shoes in one direction, preferably in the direction of the nap so as to better preserve them.
  • When not in use, wrap your suede shoes in tissue paper and store them in a shoe box away from sunlight and humidity. Sunlight can cause discoloration in your suede, while humidity can make it moldy.
  • Food or inks stains should be dealt with promptly. Blood stains should be lifted off with a cotton ball soaked in peroxide.
  • After buying new suede shoes and after each regular cleaning, spray your suede shoes with a protective spray to help repel stains and save yourself a lot of cleaning work.
Advertisements