What to Clean Suede Shoes With in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

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what to clean suede shoes with

Best Methods for Cleaning Suede Shoes

Suede shoes require special care when it comes to cleaning. The best method for cleaning suede shoes is to use a soft-bristled brush or a suede eraser to gently remove dirt and stains. Start by brushing the entire shoe to loosen any dirt or debris. Then, use the suede eraser to gently rub away any stubborn stains. Be sure to follow the grain of the suede and avoid applying too much pressure, as this can damage the material.

If your suede shoes have water stains, you can try using a clean, damp cloth to lightly blot the affected area. Avoid rubbing as this can cause further damage. Once you have removed any dirt or stains, allow your suede shoes to air dry naturally before wearing them again.

Tips for Cleaning Suede Shoes:

  • Always test any cleaning method on a small, inconspicuous area of your suede shoes first.
  • Avoid using water or liquid cleaners on oil-based stains, as this can spread the stain further.
  • Use a specialized suede brush or eraser rather than a regular brush, as these are designed specifically for delicate suede materials.

When to Seek Professional Help:

If your suede shoes have deep stains or are heavily soiled, it may be best to seek professional help from a shoe repair shop or leather specialist. They will have the expertise and tools necessary to safely clean and restore your suede shoes without causing damage.

How Often Should You Clean Your Suede Shoes?

The frequency with which you should clean your suede shoes depends on how often you wear them and the conditions in which they are worn. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to clean your suede shoes every few months to keep them looking their best.

If you notice any dirt or stains on your suede shoes, it is best to address them as soon as possible. The longer dirt and stains are left untreated, the more difficult they can be to remove. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help prolong the life of your suede shoes and keep them looking fresh.

Tips for Maintaining Suede Shoes:

  • Store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place when not in use to prevent moisture and mold growth.
  • Use a suede protector spray to add a layer of protection against water and stains.
  • Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or muddy conditions, as this can cause permanent damage.

Using Water to Clean Suede Shoes: Is it Safe?

Using water to clean suede shoes can be risky, as it can cause the material to become discolored or damaged. However, in some cases, a small amount of water may be necessary to remove certain stains or dirt from suede shoes.

If you decide to use water to clean your suede shoes, it is important to proceed with caution. Start by using a clean cloth dampened with water to gently blot the stained area. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can cause the stain to spread further. After blotting, allow your suede shoes to air dry naturally before brushing them with a soft-bristled brush.

Tips for Using Water on Suede Shoes:

  • Always test a small, inconspicuous area of your suede shoes before applying water or any cleaning solution.
  • Use distilled water if possible, as tap water may contain minerals that can leave behind stains or residue.
  • Do not soak your suede shoes in water, as this can cause the material to become misshapen and lose its texture.

When to Avoid Water:

If your suede shoes have oil-based stains, it is best to avoid using water altogether. Water can cause these types of stains to spread and become more difficult to remove. In such cases, it is recommended to seek professional help from a shoe repair shop or leather specialist.

Recommended Products for Cleaning Suede Shoes

When it comes to cleaning suede shoes, using the right products is essential to avoid damaging the delicate material. There are several recommended products that can effectively clean and maintain suede shoes. One popular option is a suede brush, which has soft bristles specifically designed to gently remove dirt and stains from the surface of the shoe. Another option is a suede eraser, which can be used to rub away scuffs and marks.

In addition to brushes and erasers, there are also specialized suede cleaners available on the market. These cleaners are formulated specifically for cleaning suede and can help remove tough stains and restore the texture of the material. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions provided with these products and test them on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe before applying them to the entire surface.

Brushing or Wiping Off Dirt: Which is Better for Suede Shoes?

When it comes to removing dirt from suede shoes, both brushing and wiping can be effective methods. However, it’s important to use caution and choose the method that is best suited for the specific type of dirt or stain.


Using a soft-bristled brush is generally recommended for removing dry dirt or dust from suede shoes. Gently brush in one direction to lift off any loose particles without rubbing them into the material. Be sure to brush lightly to avoid damaging or flattening the nap of the suede.


If your suede shoes have wet or sticky dirt, wiping may be a better option. Use a clean cloth or sponge dampened with water or a mild detergent solution to gently dab at the affected area. Avoid rubbing vigorously as this can spread the stain further into the material.

DIY Solutions for Cleaning Suede Shoes at Home

If you prefer to clean your suede shoes using household items, there are a few DIY solutions that can be effective in removing dirt and stains. One option is to mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the stained area and use a soft cloth or brush to gently rub away the dirt. Another DIY solution involves using a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water. Apply the soapy solution to the stain and use a soft brush or cloth to work it into the material, then rinse with clean water.

It’s important to note that when using DIY solutions, it’s always best to test them on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first to ensure they do not cause any damage or discoloration.

Specialized vs. Regular Shoe Cleaner for Suede Shoes

When it comes to cleaning suede shoes, there is often a debate between using specialized suede cleaners versus regular shoe cleaners. While both options can be effective, there are some key differences to consider.

Specialized Suede Cleaners:

  • Formulated specifically for cleaning suede
  • Gentle on delicate suede material
  • May contain ingredients that help restore texture and color
  • Instructions tailored for suede shoe care

Regular Shoe Cleaners:

  • Multipurpose cleaners suitable for various materials
  • Potentially harsher ingredients that may damage or discolor suede
  • Limited instructions specific to suede care
  • May require additional precautions and testing before use on suede shoes

Ultimately, the choice between specialized suede cleaners and regular shoe cleaners depends on personal preference and the specific needs of your suede shoes. If in doubt, it’s always best to opt for a cleaner specifically formulated for suede to ensure the best results and minimize the risk of damage.

Steps to Follow When Cleaning Suede Shoes to Avoid Damage

Cleaning suede shoes requires a gentle touch and careful attention to detail to avoid causing any damage. Here are some steps to follow when cleaning suede shoes:

  1. Remove any loose dirt or dust by gently brushing the surface with a soft-bristled brush in one direction.
  2. If there are stains or marks, use a specialized suede cleaner or DIY solution mentioned earlier, following the instructions provided.
  3. Dab at wet or sticky stains with a clean cloth or sponge dampened with water or a mild detergent solution. Avoid rubbing vigorously.
  4. After cleaning, allow the shoes to air dry naturally away from direct heat sources.
  5. Once dry, gently brush the nap of the suede using a soft-bristled brush to restore its texture.
  6. To protect your suede shoes from future stains and water damage, consider applying a waterproofing spray specifically designed for suede.

Safe or Not? Putting Suede Shoes in the Washing Machine

Putting suede shoes in the washing machine is generally not recommended as it can cause significant damage to the material. The agitation and water exposure can lead to shrinking, warping, discoloration, and loss of texture in suede shoes. It’s best to avoid machine washing and instead opt for more gentle cleaning methods like brushing and spot cleaning.

Tips and Precautions for Cleaning and Maintaining Suede Shoes

Here are some tips and precautions to keep in mind when cleaning and maintaining suede shoes:

  • Regularly brush your suede shoes to remove dirt and prevent the nap from becoming flattened.
  • Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or muddy conditions to minimize the risk of stains and water damage.
  • If your suede shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper or shoe trees to help maintain their shape as they dry.
  • Store suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration.
  • Consider using a protective spray specifically designed for suede to help repel stains and water.
  • If you’re unsure about cleaning or treating a specific stain on your suede shoes, it’s best to consult a professional cleaner who specializes in suede care.

In conclusion, when it comes to cleaning suede shoes, it is important to use the right tools and products specifically designed for suede.

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