How To Clean Suede Shoes

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Suede shoes are costly but excellent for every occasion since they make me appear much more fashionable than I actually are. As a result, the fact that they are rather demanding maintenance makes sense.

You can’t even clean suede with water!

Water will cause the shoes to deteriorate and make them seem worse. So, how exactly do you clean suede shoes? Actually, it’s not as difficult as you think. In this step-by-step suede cleaning tutorial, I’ve covered every element of cleaning suedes.

Depending on how unclean your shoes are, you may not need to complete all five stages.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

How to Clean Suede Shoes in 5 Simple Steps

Suede Brush

Suede brushes, generally for lighter stains, can be used to remove dirt and scuff marks on shoes. The secret is to just brush in one direction, which is ly the direction of the fibre.

If there is too much dirt, wait for it to dry before scraping it off with your hands.

But don’t get too carried away and start overbrushing, or you’ll wind up with a spotty-looking shoe! It’s alright if you don’t have a suede brush.

A clean terrycloth towel or a soft-bristled toothbrush would suffice. An emery board will work just as well on the dirt or scuff marks, but be careful not to scrape the shoe into oblivion.


This is where the heavy guns come in to remove the persistent, OMG-I’m-going-to-rip-your-hair-out-because-this-stain-won’t-come-off markings. Back and forth movements with a suede eraser or any conventional eraser can be used on the afflicted region.

If the eraser technique does not work, sandpaper or a Mr. Clean Magic eraser might be used in such extreme instances. Before rubbing these items on your shoes, fill them with newspapers.

Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

This method is most often utilized with your beloved light-colored suede shoes. Apply vinegar or rubbing alcohol to the afflicted area and cover with a folded paper towel.

Wait a few minutes, then remove the towel while counting 1-2-3s under your breath to pass the time.

Examine the appearance of the shoe before determining whether to add extra vinegar or alcohol. Trust your judgement; it is the finest verdict.

The nicest part about needing alcohol or vinegar is that it quickly evaporates, so don’t worry about getting the shoe It!


If you find that the texture of your shoe is uneven, it’s time to groom it back to perfection! A basic plastic razor or specialist shaving equipment will assist in restoring the shoes to their former brilliance.

If the fibre’s hair is excessively long, softly brush the strands by hand first, then use the razor on the longer threads.

Alternatively, brush the fibres up and shave the area as needed, as brushing too hard can damage the shoe.

The objective is to make the shoe smooth again, without gouging it, and to make it appear like a hairless cat.

Suede Spray

Invest in a waterproof suede protectant spray to use on the shoes before laying them to keep liquids from penetrating them. This works very well if the shoes are dry, and even better if the shoes are brand new.

This is an excellent strategy for avoiding stains or liquid spots on your shoes in the first place. It will also remove the bulk of stains from your shoes with ease.

However, there are certain stains that are even more difficult to remove than the ones described above. Continue to read! I will not abandon you as the finale of Inception did!

Tips for Removing Stains from Suede Shoes 

Remove Grease From Suede

These are the most difficult stains to get out of suede shoes. It’s similar to removing dry plaster from a wall. Cover the stain with cornstarch and disregard the “a little goes a long way” adage.

You can never have too much cornstarch, so use enough. If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, talcum powder or baking soda can suffice.

Leave it on for around 30 minutes, or overnight if possible. Then, needing a towel, remove the cornstarch.

Remove Water Stains From Suede

Did you walk in a puddle by mistake and wind up with shoes that seem like they belong underwater? Don’t be alarmed. Allow the shoes to dry completely first.

After a few hours, evaluate the situation. If it’s still It, blot it dry with paper towels, rotating the towels continually to soak up as much liquid as possible until it’s dry.

When the shoes are totally dry, restore the texture needing a suede brush or toothbrush.

Remove Ink Stains From Suede

Many individuals wind up paying too much money to have ink stains professionally removed when they may easily be removed at home.

Rub away the ink with an emery board, but make sure to conduct a test run before needing it entirely.

Choose an inconspicuous area to test and appraise the shoe before needing the board on the entire shoe. If the stain persists, the next step is to use vinegar or rubbing alcohol to remove it.

Don’t overdo it, because too much can fade the shoe and you won’t be able to show it off at a party.

Remove Wax or Gum From Suede

In general, removing wax or gum from shoes is tough.

However, gum and wax may be effectively removed from suede, just as they have been removed off Everest. Not all strategies are effective, but here are a handful that are.

Place the shoes in a plastic bag and freeze them for about 20 minutes. If you can’t put the shoes in the freezer, place ice cubes on the gum. Then, carefully peel off the vexingly sticky gum with a dull knife or spatula.

If the gum is very tenacious and refuses to budge from its parking location, Windex or white vinegar might be of great assistance. Always remember to dab, not massage, the liquid!

Things To Avoid While Cleaning Suede Shoes

  1. Water should not be used to clean suede shoes.
  2. Never use a blow dryer to dry your shoes.
  3. Don’t forget to stuff the shoe with rolled newspaper to preserve its form.
  4. When needing an eraser or emery board, try not to rub too hard.
  5. When needing vinegar or alcohol, dab the liquid rather than scrubbing!

Preventing Future Stains On Suede Shoes?

I’ve all heard the adage “prevention is better than cure,” but let’s be honest. I am all clumsy from time to time, no matter how “careful” I attempt to be.

I can’t just lock those beauties up in a closet and ignore their worth to the rest of the world! Most of all, it would be a waste of money, and who wants that? So here are a few tips to help you avoid stains:

Maintain the shoes on a regular basis by needing an eraser or suede brush at least every other day.
To keep the shoes from drying out or fading, keep them in a cool place away from any artificial heat.
After laying the shoes, pat them dry needing paper towels or a terry cloth towel.

Suggestions for Making Suede Shoes Last Longer

You may extend the life of your suede shoes by doing the following easy things:

  1. Resoling/Recrafting: Suede shoes can be recrafted or resoled if the outsole is easily replaceable.
  2. Despite the fact that it may appear obvious, regular care increases their lifespan!
  3. To keep the shoes in pristine condition, use a brush, eraser, or emery board.
  4. When laying the suede shoe, use a shoe horn to avoid a smashed heel counter.
  5. Use a shoe tree, which is inserted in the shoe when it is not being used to keep the form.

Frequently Asked questions On Cleaning Suede Shoes

How To Clean Suede Shoes Bottom Line

Although suede shoes have a reputation for being tough to maintain, you don’t need to worry now that you’re equipped with all the information you need. Remember, they are divas, so treat them with respect. They are as sensitive as a person’s feelings. They, like a Louis Vuitton bag or a BTS signature, needs to be protected and maintained. For the time being, I’ll stop making parallels, but you get the idea, don’t you?

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