How to Clean Stains on Suede Shoes in 2023: Ultimate Guide

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how to clean stain on suede shoes

1. The Best Method to Clean a Stain on Suede Shoes

Suede shoes can be quite delicate and require special care when it comes to cleaning stains. The best method to clean a stain on suede shoes is to use a suede brush and a specialized suede cleaner. These products are designed to gently lift stains without damaging the delicate material.

When using a suede brush, make sure to brush in one direction only, following the natural grain of the suede. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may be causing the stain. After brushing, apply a small amount of suede cleaner onto a clean cloth and gently rub it into the stained area using circular motions.

Recommended Products:

  • Suede brush
  • Suede cleaner
  • Clean cloth


  • Avoid using water directly on suede shoes as it can leave watermarks.
  • Test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe before applying it to the stain.
  • If the stain persists after cleaning, consider taking your shoes to a professional cleaner who specializes in suede.


It’s important to note that not all stains can be completely removed from suede shoes, especially if they have set in or are oil-based. In these cases, it may be necessary to accept some discoloration or seek professional help for stain removal.

2. How to Start Cleaning a Stain on Suede Shoes

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s important to assess the type of stain you’re dealing with on your suede shoes. Different stains may require different cleaning methods.

For dry stains such as dirt or dust, begin by using a suede brush to gently remove the loose particles. Brush in one direction following the natural grain of the suede.

If the stain is wet or liquid-based, first blot the excess moisture with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing the stain as it can spread and penetrate deeper into the suede.

Recommended Products:

  • Suede brush
  • Clean cloth or paper towels


  • Act quickly to clean fresh stains on suede shoes, as they are easier to remove before they set in.
  • Avoid using colored cloths or towels when blotting wet stains, as the color may transfer onto the suede.
  • If you’re unsure about how to clean a specific type of stain, consult a professional cleaner who specializes in suede shoes for guidance.


Always test any cleaning product or method on a small, inconspicuous area of your suede shoes before applying it to the stain. This will help ensure that it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration to your shoes.

3. Recommended Products and Solutions for Removing Stains from Suede Shoes

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

When it comes to removing stains from suede shoes, it is important to choose the right cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the delicate suede material. Instead, opt for specialized suede cleaners that are specifically formulated for this type of leather. Look for products that are gentle yet effective in removing stains without causing any discoloration or damage.

Some recommended products for cleaning stains off suede shoes include:

  • Suede cleaner spray: This convenient spray is designed to penetrate deep into the suede fibers and lift away stains.
  • Suede eraser: A suede eraser is a handy tool that can be used to gently rub away surface stains on suede shoes.
  • Suede brush: A soft-bristled suede brush can be used to restore the nap of the suede after cleaning and remove any remaining dirt or debris.

4. Step-by-Step Instructions for Cleaning a Stain on Suede Shoes

Cleaning a stain on suede shoes requires a careful and systematic approach to ensure the best results without causing any damage. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Blot the stain immediately with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  2. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread it further into the suede.
  3. Gently brush off any dry dirt or debris using a soft-bristled brush.
  4. If the stain persists, use a small amount of suede cleaner spray on a clean cloth and dab it onto the stained area.
  5. Blot the stain again with a clean cloth to lift away the dirt.
  6. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.
  7. Once dry, use a suede brush to restore the nap of the suede and remove any remaining stains or residue.

5. Is Water Safe to Use When Cleaning Stains off Suede Shoes?

Using water to clean stains off suede shoes can be risky as it can cause water spots or discoloration. However, in some cases, water can be used if done carefully:

  • If the stain is fresh and still wet, blotting it with a clean cloth dampened with lukewarm water may help remove it before it sets into the suede.
  • Avoid soaking the entire shoe in water or using excessive amounts of water, as this can lead to damage.
  • After using water, make sure to thoroughly dry the shoes and use a suede brush to restore the nap of the suede.

6. Effective Home Remedies for Removing Stains from Suede Shoes

If you prefer using natural ingredients or don’t have specialized suede cleaners on hand, there are some effective home remedies that can help remove stains from suede shoes:

  • Cornstarch: Sprinkle cornstarch on the stained area and let it sit overnight. The cornstarch will absorb oils and grease from the stain. Brush off the powder gently with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Vinegar: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dab a clean cloth into this mixture and gently blot the stain. Allow it to air dry and then brush off any residue.
  • Baking soda: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for a few hours before brushing it off with a suede brush.

7. How Long Does It Take to Clean a Stain off Suede Shoes?

Factors Affecting Cleaning Time

The time it takes to clean a stain off suede shoes can vary depending on several factors. Firstly, the type and severity of the stain play a significant role. While some stains may be easily removed with simple cleaning techniques, others may require more time and effort. Additionally, the age of the stain can also impact the cleaning time. Fresh stains are generally easier to remove compared to older, set-in stains.

Furthermore, the cleaning method used can affect the duration as well. Different cleaning products and techniques may have varying effectiveness and efficiency in removing stains from suede shoes. Therefore, it is important to choose an appropriate method based on the specific stain and shoe material.

Tips for Efficient Stain Removal

  • Promptly attend to stains: The sooner you address a stain on your suede shoes, the easier it will be to remove.
  • Pre-treat with suitable products: Using specialized suede cleaners or gentle solvents before attempting to clean the stain can help expedite the process.
  • Gently blot instead of rubbing: Rubbing vigorously can spread the stain further and damage the suede material. Instead, gently blot using a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Allow sufficient drying time: After cleaning, ensure that your suede shoes are thoroughly dried before wearing them again. This helps prevent any residual moisture from causing damage or attracting new stains.

8. Precautions and Special Considerations for Cleaning Stains from Suede Shoes

Cleaning stains from suede shoes requires careful handling to avoid damaging the delicate material. Here are some precautions and special considerations to keep in mind:

1. Test on a small, inconspicuous area

Before applying any cleaning solution or technique to the entire stained area, it is crucial to test it on a small, hidden portion of the shoe. This ensures that the cleaning method does not cause discoloration or damage to the suede.

2. Use gentle and suede-specific cleaners

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can harm the suede material. Instead, opt for cleaners specifically designed for suede shoes. These products are formulated to effectively remove stains without causing harm.

3. Follow manufacturer’s instructions

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions provided with your suede shoes or cleaning products. They may contain specific guidelines and recommendations for stain removal that are tailored to your particular shoes.

9. Difficult-to-Remove Stains from Suede Shoes: Types and Challenges

Suede shoes can be prone to various types of difficult-to-remove stains due to their porous nature and delicate texture. Here are some common types of challenging stains encountered with suede shoes:

1. Oil-based stains

Oil-based stains, such as grease or oil spills, can penetrate deeply into the suede fibers, making them particularly stubborn to remove. These stains often require specialized solvents or absorbent materials to effectively lift the oils from the material.

2. Water stains

If water comes into contact with suede shoes, it can leave behind unsightly watermarks or discoloration. Removing water stains from suede can be tricky as improper techniques may worsen the problem by spreading the stain further or causing permanent damage.

Tackling Difficult Stains

When dealing with difficult stains on suede shoes, it is advisable to seek professional help or consult a suede cleaning specialist. They have the expertise and experience to handle challenging stains without causing harm to the shoes.

10. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Stains off Suede Shoes

While cleaning stains off suede shoes, it is important to avoid certain common mistakes that can potentially damage the material or worsen the stain. Here are some mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Using excessive water

Suede is highly sensitive to water, and using excessive amounts can lead to water stains or discoloration. It is crucial to use minimal moisture when cleaning suede shoes and ensure they are thoroughly dried afterwards.

2. Scrubbing vigorously

Vigorously scrubbing the stained area can cause irreversible damage by roughening up the delicate suede fibers or spreading the stain further. Instead, opt for gentle blotting motions with a clean cloth or sponge.

3. Applying heat sources

Avoid using direct heat sources such as hairdryers or heaters to speed up drying after cleaning. Excessive heat can cause shrinkage, distortion, or even scorching of the suede material.

Taking Care of Your Suede Shoes

  • Regular maintenance: Regularly brush your suede shoes with a soft-bristled brush to prevent dirt buildup and maintain their appearance.
  • Protective sprays: Apply a suitable suede protector spray before wearing your shoes to create a barrier against stains and moisture.
  • Storage precautions: Store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity. Use shoe trees or stuff them with tissue paper to help maintain their shape.

In conclusion, by following the proper cleaning techniques and using appropriate tools, it is possible to effectively remove stains from suede shoes and restore their original appearance.

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