How to Clean Suede Shoes

How to Clean Suede Shoes

So you’ve invested in a new pair of suede shoes and you're petrified someone's going to spill a drink on them during your next trip to the pub. But worry not, this is the essential guide on how to keep your suede shoes looking fresh.

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Best Way to Clean Suede Shoes

When that first muddy smear appears on your suede shoes, you may be tempted to grab a cloth, flick on the tap, and get scrubbing. But you really shouldn't, as doing so will cause even more harm to the shoe. Instead, it's a lot simpler to clean suede shoes when they're dry.

What you will need:

  • Suede Brush
  • Suede Eraser
  • Nail Brush
  • Crep Protect Spray

How to Use a Suede Brush

  • Firstly, fill your shoes with newspaper or a shoe tree to retain the shape of the shoe.
  • Brush the surface of the suede lightly with the brush to remove any large clumps of dirt.
  • Make sure you use the suede brush gently, sweeping in short, gentle strokes to freshen up the nap of the fabric.
  • Finally, always follow the grain of the fabric.

How to Use a Suede Eraser

These handy products are made of rubber and are one of the best suede cleaners around. They're perfect for carefully removing dried stains or more deeply ingrained scuffs.

  • Rub the eraser over the mark, again following the grain of the fabric.
  • Gently brush away eraser shavings left on the surface of the shoe.
  • If the eraser isn't working or you don't have one then try using a nail brush.
  • Once you have distressed the nap, use a suede brush to restore it.

suede eraser
Suede Shoes Cleaning


How to Use Suede Protector

Once you've removed all the dirt and scuffs from your shoes, keeping them protected from the elements is extremely important. When it comes to protecting suede shoes, it's best to use a waterproof spray from brands like Scotchgard or Crep Protect.

  • Hold the can about 10-15 cm away from the shoes.
  • Spray evenly across the entire upper of the footwear.
  • Leave the coating to dry before wearing the shoes.

How to Wash Suede Shoes

If cleaning your shoes whilst they're dry isn't working then you may need to give them a more extensive wash. However, this doesn't mean you should put your suede shoes in the washing machine as this will most probably ruin them. If you're wondering how to wash suede trainers properly then the first step is to get some specially designed cleaner.

Suede Trainer Cleaner

A suede cleaner is a specially formulated cleaning product that removes stains from the material without ruining the nap. Although you can get this product in most shoe cleaning kits it can also be purchased on its own.

  • Remove the laces and stuff the shoe with paper to maintain its shape.
  • Apply the cleaning solution to a brush that's been soaked in warm water.
  • Work the cleaner into the shoe and create a lather.
  • Wipe off the excess solution with a clean dry cloth.
  • When you've finished cleaning suede shoes, allow the shoe to dry naturally in a well-ventilated room.

Suede shoes are a ultimate style piece

How to Remove Stains from Suede Shoes

Stains can be extremely tricky to remove from suede. Unlike leather where stains can easily be washed off, suede's softer texture means that marks can be more tenacious. For instance, when it comes to knowing how to get stains out of suede shoes that have water damage, there are certain things you need to take into account.

  • If a section of the shoe is wet or damp then begin by making the entire shoe evenly wet.
  • Use a soft dry cloth to blot any excess water from the surface.
  • Place the shoes in a dry and well-ventilated area to naturally dry off.
  • Once the shoes are dry, use a suede brush to restore the nap.
  • If this hasn't worked then use a more substantial suede cleaning product.

How to Get Oil out of Suede Shoes

Despite what you might think, cleaning suede trainers with oil on them isn't as hard as it sounds. Although it may take a bit of effort, getting oil out of suede is achievable. However, remember that just trying to rub the oil off will probably just make it worse.

  • Begin by making sure your shoes are dry and applying the affected area with cornflour or talcum powder.
  • Leave the powder to sit overnight to absorb any moisture and excess oil.
  • Use your suede brush and a damp cloth to gently sweep away the excess powder.
  • If the stain is still there then consider using something more extensive like a suede dye or suede polish.

clarks suede desert boots
Keep your suede shoes clean and protected


How to Get Mud off Suede Shoes

You may be wondering how to clean suede boots with mud on them. If you're unlucky enough to be wearing suede shoes in a muddy area then you will know just how hard they can be to clean.

  • Firstly, wait for the mud to dry completely on the shoe.
  • Using a thick nail brush and a butter knife, chip and scrape the excess mud off.
  • Use a damp cloth to remove the remaining mud. A toothbrush can be helpful as well.
  • Wait for the shoes to dry and use a suede brush to restore the nap.

clarks walking on beach
You need to be cautious about where you wear your suede shoes

How to Care for Suede Shoes

How to Waterproof Suede Shoes

When it comes to suede care, one of the best ways to defend your footwear from becoming dirty or damaged is to make them waterproof. The easiest way to do this is with a spray from brands like Crep Protect or Scotchgard.

How to Clean Suede Shoes

  • Use a suede brush and eraser for a quick and easy way to clean your shoes. Just make sure you know how to use it!
  • For a more substantial wash use some shoe cleaner, just be careful when it comes to colour.
  • Cornstarch or talcum powder are great for absorbing liquids like oil from shoes as it's always best to make sure the shoe is completely dry before cleaning.
  • Protect your footwear from the elements with some spray from Crep Protect. Do this at the very beginning and the shoes will last a lot longer.

clarks wallabees
Clarks are the ultimate suede shoe

On that Note

In the world of men’s footwear, wearing suede shoes has often been a choice between fashion and practicality. However, it doesn't have to be this way. With a bit of care and attention, even the most worn pair of suede shoes can be brought back from the brink and restored to their original glory.


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