How to Clean Suede Shoes, Sneakers and Boots at Home : The Easiest DIY Method

Posted In : Boots Care
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A year ago, I had no idea how to clean suede shoes and boots properly, so I just gave up and put them away in the closet. A few months later, I decided to give them another try. This time, I did some research and found great methods for cleaning suede at home.

So you’ve got a pair of suede shoes or boots that you love but you’ve been noticing they’re starting to look a little dirty. What can you do?

Well, before you go out and buy a commercial cleaner, why not try cleaning them at home with some simple items you probably have in your kitchen? It’s easy to do and it won’t damage your suede shoes or boots like some commercial cleaners can.

How to clean suede shoes and boots

Cleaning suede can be a bit of a pain, but it’s definitely worth it to keep those shoes looking good. I learned that the hard way when I first got my suede boots. I was so excited to wear them out and show them off, but within minutes they were covered in dirt and mud.

I was able to get the dirt out with a suede cleaning brush, but I still couldn’t get their original sheen back. So if you want your suede shoes and boots to look really clean and shiny, you should definitely be with me to go through the rest of this interesting article.

So what we are waiting for?!!

Let’s dive in!

Contents

Quick Recap : What are Suede Shoes and Boots?

Suede is a type of fabric that is made from the underside of an animal skin. It can be suede leather or suede cloth, which is usually found in footwear and clothing.

Suede comes from different animals, e.g. sheep, cows, pigs, goats, deer, and other animals but it’s most often used to make shoes and boots because of its delicate touch and feel. The texture closely resembles velvet or silk, and it has a natural sheen that makes it very eye-catching.

Suede boots and shoes are made from a type of fabric that is less tough and more delicate than regular leather. This means that it’s important to take care of them and clean them properly, or they can become stained or damaged quite easily.

Suede is usually tan, brown, or black in color, and it has a soft, velvety texture. Many people choose to wear suede boots and shoes in the wintertime because they provide extra warmth and comfort.

Why Are Suede Shoes So Popular?

Suede has a gentler touch and feel with an elegant and sophisticated look. Leather is stiffer, which is what makes it popular in the winter when we need something to keep out the cold weather. However, suede is just as warm, yet it’s softer and more flexible.

This makes it a great choice for boots that are worn in the winter or even at different times of the year. The texture makes them very comfortable to wear because they are not stiff like leather.

How to Identify If Your Boots or Shoes are Made from Suede?

Identify Suede Material in shoes

First of all, it’s important to know how to identify if your shoes are made from suede. The easiest way is to look at the inside of the shoe- if you see a fabric that looks like felt then you probably have a pair of suede shoes.

Another good indicator of whether or not your shoes are made of suede is to look at the outer bottom of your shoes- if it has a rough or bumpy texture to it, then you probably have suede boots or shoes.

If your shoes are made from suede, they will most likely be considered fashion products instead of everyday items. This means that they are more susceptible to getting ruined because they are not made with as much durability as regular boots and shoes.

If you want to keep your suede shoes looking new, then it’s important to clean them on a regular basis. This ensures that they will last as long as possible before needing to be replaced.

Why is It Important to Clean Suede Boots and Shoes Properly?

There are many good reasons as to why it’s important to clean suede boots and shoes properly.

  • One of the most common reasons is because they can easily become stained or damaged if not cared for correctly.
  • Suede is a delicate fabric, so using the wrong materials or methods for cleaning can be harmful to your boots and shoes.
  • Another reason it’s important to clean suede shoes and boots is because you want them to look nice for as long as possible.
  • Cleaning your suede boots and shoes on a regular basis will ensure that they retain their color and shape for a long time. If your shoes are starting to look dirty or worn down, then this affects the overall appearance of your outfit.
  • Cleaning suede shoes and boots at home is very easy, but you need to use the right materials to make sure they come out looking their best.
maintain velvet shoe

When and How Often Should You Clean Suede Boots and Shoes?

If your shoes become stained, then the color around the area starts fading away. This makes it look worn out and old, which isn’t desirable if you want your boots or shoes to look nice all the time.

If you’re going to invest money in a nice pair of suede boots and shoes, then it’s important to clean them on a regular basis so they last as long as possible.

Also to mention, suede has a soft, velvety texture that makes it very vulnerable to getting scraped or punctured by objects in its environment. This means that it’s more likely than other materials to get torn or scuffed.

The easiest way is to try and clean your shoes after every wear. If you’re like most people and don’t have time to clean them after every wear, then you can try and do it after every ten wears.

This ensures that stains and dirt don’t build up too much before they get cleaned out. However, if you only wear the shoes or boots less than ten times then it might be best if you clean them after every wear.

How to Clean Suede Shoes and Boots at Home Mostly with Household Items from Kitchen

Caring for suede shoes is similar to caring for leather shoes and sneakers. There are various methods for cleaning suede boots and shoes based of intensity level of cleaning. Few of them are:

  1. General cleaning for regular maintenance of suede shoes and boots
  2. Deep cleaning for unclogging stains of suede shoes and boots
  3. Stain removal for removing moisture stains from suede shoes and boots

We will go over each methods one by one here.

Velvet brush

Method-1 : General Cleaning for Regular Maintenance of Suede Shoes

General cleaning for regular maintenance of suede shoes and boots is the easiest way to clean them and it’s also the most common. It’s important to do this on a regular basis so your shoes look nice and clean all the time.

30 min

Easy

$0 – $5

Time Required 30 minutes
Difficulty LevelEasy
Budget Required $0-$5

Logistics Required

  1. Suede brushes (suggested : Simple Shine / Jason Markk)
  2. Suede eraser/normal eraser (suggested : Saphir Gommadin / Kiwi Eraser)
  3. Soap-warm water solution
  4. Wet wipes/ clean microfiber cloth
  5. Lint roller
  6. Paper towels
  7. Shoe tree (optional)

Steps to Clean Suede Shoes : General Cleaning for Regular Maintenance

  1. Step 1 – Prepare’em: Make sure you have the right materials at your reach. Remove laces and inner soles(if any) before the process. Insert shoe trees before cleaning for additional support.
  2. Step 2 – Brush’em: Using a lint roller or tape, gently roll over the surface of your shoes. This will pick up any extra pieces of dirt and debris that may be on your shoes. Then use a suede brush to brush any residual dust and dirt.
  3. Step 3 – Erase’em: If you notice any minor spots on the surface of suede, use a suede eraser or normal pencil eraser to rub on the spotty area in circular motion until it is gone. If the spot is not gone, you need to jump to our stain removal method described below.
  4. Step 4 – Wipe’em: Wipe off excess dust, dirt or residue from spot removal with wet wipes or with a moisten microfiber cloth or a clean cloth dipped in soapy warm water.
  5. Step 5 – Buff it: Dry off your suede shoes and boots with paper towels. Once you’ve given them adequate time to dry, use another paper towel or a soft microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface until they look good as new.
Pro-tip: Be careful not to rub with eraser too hard, as it may damage your suede surface. For drying up, it is best to dry naturally overnight.
Velvet brush

Method-2 : Deep Cleaning for Unclogging Stains of Suede Shoes and Boots

45 min (clean) + 24 hr (dry)

Easy to Medium

$15 – $20

Time Required 45 minutes (To apply) + 24 hours to dry up completely
Difficulty LevelEasy to Medium
Budget Required $15-$20

Logistics Required


  1. Soft-bristled suede brush (suggested : Simple Shine / Jason Markk)
  2. Suede eraser (suggested : Saphir Gommadin / Kiwi Eraser)
  3. Wet wipes/ clean microfiber cloth
  4. Soapy warm water solution
  5. Suede cleaning solution (optional, suggested – Saphir Omnidaim)
  6. Suede protector spray (optional, suggested – Kiwi Suede Cleaner)
  7. Paper towels
  8. Shoe tree (optional)

Steps to Clean Suede Shoes : Deep Cleaning

  1. Step 1 – Prepare’em: Make sure you have all of the supplies you’ll need. Before beginning, remove laces and inner soles (if applicable). For added support, insert shoe trees before cleaning.
  2. Step 2 – Brush’em: Remove dust and grime with a soft-bristled suede brush. Repeat the steps 3-5 outlined in method 1 before continuing.
  3. Step 3 – Spray’em: To make the cleaning procedure simpler, spray a suede cleaning solution over the entire surface of the shoe/boot. It’s also critical to keep your suede footwear and boots dry at all times.
  4. Step 4- Clean’em: Start with the wet microfiber cloth, which you should dampen before using. In a circular motion, begin wiping the whole surface of the shoe/boot.
  5. Step 5 – Buff it: Allow your suede shoes and boots to dry naturally overnight, then use a clean, soft microfiber cloth or paper towel to wipe away any residue and buff them to a smooth shine.
  6. Step 6 : Waterproof’em (optional) : It is clear that you care about your suedes to the utmost degree. Allow the shoes/boots to dry fully after applying suede waterproofing spray (recommended – Saphir Medaille d’Or Suede Renovateur) and then polish as usual.
Pro-tip: To ensure you have fully removed residue from your suede footwear, run a piece of paper towel or a microfiber cloth over the surface. If any black marks are left behind, it's clear that you need to continue wiping until the cloth comes up clean.
Velvet brush

Method-3 : General Stain Removal from Suede Shoes and Boots

60 min (clean) + 24 hr (dry)

Medium to High

$25 – $30

Time Required 60 minutes (To apply) + 24 hours to dry up completely
Difficulty LevelMedium to high
Budget Required $25-$30

Logistics Required



  1. Soft-bristled suede brush (suggested : Simple Shine / Jason Markk)
  2. Suede eraser (suggested : Saphir Gommadin / Kiwi Eraser)
  3. Wet wipes/ clean microfiber cloth
  4. White vinegar and baking soda paste
  5. Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  6. Suede cleaning solution (optional, suggested – Saphir Omnidaim)
  7. Suede protector spray (optional, suggested – Kiwi Suede Cleaner)
  8. Paper towels
  9. Steel wool (optional)
  10. Nail file (optional)
  11. Shoe tree (optional)

Steps to Clean Suede Shoes : Dealing with Stains

  1. Step 1 – Prepare’em: Make sure you have the right materials at your reach. Remove laces and inner soles(if any) before the process. Insert shoe trees before cleaning for additional support. Prepare a white vinegar and baking soda paste with 2:1 ratio.
  2. Step 2 – Assess’em: Assess the type of stain first. Find out the cause and degree of stain. For removal of most stains (except few special ones), the following steps will do fine.
  3. Step 3 – Brush’em: Use a soft-bristled suede brush to remove dust and grime. Repeat the steps 3 to 5 of method 1 before going to next step.
  4. Step 4 Scrub’em: If any stain is remaining after the previous steps, then use a steel wool to scrub the stained area but be sure not to damage the suede by over-scrubbing. Alternatively you can use a nail file to carry on the scrubbing. Once the scrubbing done, use a moist wipe or cloth to wipe off the residue.
  5. Step 5 – Spray’em: To make the process easier, apply a suede cleaning solution over the entire surface of the shoe/boot.
  6. Step 6- Clean’em: Now take the pre-made vinegar-baking soda paste on a clean microfiber cloth/rag by dipping the rag. Alternatively you can use a liquid suede cleaner or rubbing alcohol.
  7. Step 7 – Move Around: Now apply the cleaning paste on the stained area with the moist cloth/rag and rub hard in circular motion using fingers, but do not overdo it.
  8. Step 8 – Buff it: Allow your suede shoes or boots to dry naturally overnight, then with another clean soft microfiber cloth or paper towel to clear-off any residue and buff it to a soft shine.
  9. Step 9 : Waterproof’em (optional) : It is obvious that you’d love your suedes to be waterproof to max possible extent too. For that, apply suede waterproofing spray (suggested – Saphir Medaille d’Or Suede Renovateur) and allow the shoes/boots to dry off completely.
  10. Step 10 – Store’em: Store your suede footwear in a clean, breathable box or dust bag to avoid further stains and dirt from settling on them.
Pro-tip: If there are too many stains involved then it's best to consult your local cobbler. Professional help can be taken to remove stubborn stains, while taking steps to prevent the same spots from reoccurring.
Get Sticky residue off suede

How to Remove Stains from Suede Shoes, Sneakers or Boots : The Extra-ordinary Stains

It is clear that you care about your suedes to the utmost degree. We discussed three methods of suede cleaning above, which are rather general in nature. Sometimes special kind of stains need a special kind of remedy to get rid of them. If you come across such tricky stains, we have very interesting tips for you.

Get Rid of Oil or Grease Stains

If you have oils and greases on suede shoes, corn starch or baking soda, and cleaners with a solvent action are used to lift the stain. If the stain is still wet, just sprinkle a handful of baking soda/corn starch on the stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then gently wipe off the area with a clean wipe or wet microfiber cloth. Repeat this process few times to ensure all the stains are gone.

If the stain has become dried, use a nail file to scrub off as much stain as possible and wipe off the residue. Then take soap-warm water mix (for minor stains) or white vinegar-water 1:1 solution (for persistent stains) in a bowl and apply the solution on the stained area by dipping a sponge or microfiber cloth and rub the area in a circular motion. Let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping the whole surface out. Dry your pair overnight and give a buff before wearing again.

Use suede protective sprays after cleaning to prevent your loved suede to get stained and ensure some degree of suede waterproofing.

Read more details and options : How to get rid off oil or grease stains from suede shoes


Get Rid of Paint Stains

For paints on suede, the key is to act fast right away. The more fresh the paint, the better your chances of removing it totally.

Start by blotting the paint first as much as possible with blotting paper or cotton ball/swabs. If the surface has already dried, use a spoon/steel wool to scrape off as much paint as possible.

Make a combination of warm water and mild liquid detergent or dish soap in a plastic bowl deep enough to produce a foam without removing the liquid.

Now moist a clean cloth with liquid soap-water solution and apply on the stain in a circular motion. Wipe off with a wipe and repeat the process with a cloth dipped in hydrogen per oxide or commercial leather cleaner. Allow for the leather to dry, but first lay a dry towel over it to absorb any excess leather cleaner.

If the stain doesn’t go away, visit a professional suede cleaner.

Read more about this : How to remove paint from suede shoes


Get Rid of Rust (On Metallic-Look Suede)

Get Rust out of Suede Shoes

This is where it gets interesting, because removing rust stains on suedes is not very straightforward. For removing these stubborn stains, you can either use lemon juice or vinegar to lift them out before wash suede shoes in warm soapy water with a soft bristled brush and then let the shoes to dry overnight.

For preventing rust stains you can also use suede protective sprays.


Get Rid of Nasty Mud, Dust or Dirt

Get Mud, Dust and Dirt out of Suede Shoes

If you wanna get rid off mud, dust and dirt, let the leather to be dried fully beforehand. To remove as much dirt as feasible, use a suede brush or old clean toothbrush. If stains remain, dampen them with a steamer and then blot away with a paper towel or cloth to lift the dirt out. Let the pair to be dried overnight and give a buff for a good shine before wearing.


Get Rid of Salt Stains

Salt stains caused in winter by snow and melted ice, and by working in the docks are relatively easier to remove, as it is water soluble. To lift salt out of your footwear, brush off the salts as much as possible at first. When you see that all the visible residue has been decreased and only minimum salt remains, you can go ahead and wipe it away with a wet cloth, but make sure you do not let the salt to stay on the shoes as it again starts staining from inside after drying.

Now wipe off the area with a moist cloth dipped in soap-water solution. Wipe few times to ensure all the stains are gone. Now let it dry completely overnight.


Read in detail : How to get rid of salt stains from suede shoes


Be advised that the article talks about suede boots, however the steps and options are interchangeable to dirt and dust stains on any kind of suede shoes or boots.


Get Rid of Water Stains

Get Water Stain out of Suede Shoes

If you have a pair of suede shoes and it has been raining, water stains are inevitable. However, these stains can be removed by letting the footwear to dry completely first. Once they are dried, brush off the visible dirt gently with a clean soft bristled clothes brush or small vacuum cleaner.

For removing the stains from inside creases and other tiny areas, take a microfiber cloth and dampen it with sparkling water/soda/sprite. Apply the solution on the stained area and dry it off using another portion of clean, fresh microfiber cloth. If the stains are persistent, use white vinegar-water solution instead of soda water.

Now let your footwear to dry completely overnight.

Read more about this : How to remove water stains from suede boots


Get Rid of Sweat Stains and Smell (On Suede Shoes)

If you have a favorite pair of shoes or boots, but they smell funky even after regular washes and cleaning, then this is for you.

For removing sweat stains put your sneakers in the sun because heat will help to dissolve any salts in the sweat.

For removing odor, sprinkle baking soda on the insides of your shoes or boots and leave it overnight to absorb any sweaty smell. Wipe off with a clean cloth in the morning.

Read more about this : How to get rid of smell from shoes fast at home


Get Rid of Smoke Stains

Get Smoke Stain out of Suede Shoes

If you are looking to clean smoke stains off suede shoes, then this is for you.

All the methods stated below will help remove nicotine and tar stains on your beloved boots or shoes. If your pair of shoes still has fresh stains, you can try any one option. For persistent soiled areas proceed to second method.

Remove fresh stains from your shoes by rubbing a small amount of toothpaste on the spot and let it sit overnight. In morning, wipe off with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda-water solution.

Now you can either use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to remove persistent tobacco stains from suede boots or shoes. Put these items in a spray bottle and lightly mist them over the affected areas. Let it sit for few minutes and then wipe away with a damp cloth dipped in warm soapy water.

You can either use an eye dropper or cotton swab to apply alcohol on hard-to-reach areas of your shoes.


Get Rid of Blood Stains

Get Blood Stain out of Suede Shoes

It is surprising that while cleaning your favorite shoes or boots, if you come across a blood stain, then it can easily be removed with a little care and effort.

For effective results you should immediately clean the area with soap-water before the liquid dries up on your garment. If it has already dried out, scrub it with a nail file first.

Then make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply it on the affected area and then rub with a toothbrush. Let it dry completely and then brush away the residue with a suede eraser or an old, soft-bristled toothbrush.

Follow this method twice to get rid of blood stains from suede shoes or boots.

Read more about this : How to get rid of smell from shoes fast at home


Get Rid of Crayon Stains

If your kid gets crayon stains on suede shoes, then this is for you.

For removing fresh and wet crayon stains place the affected area over a bowl and press down lightly to soak up the excess crayon marks. Then use a cotton ball dipped in hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to remove the rest of it. Wipe it well before letting it dry completely overnight.

Read more about this : How To get rid off crayon stains on suede shoes


Get Rid of Wax Stains

Get Wax Stain out of Suede Shoes

You may have accidentally dropped a burning candle on your suede shoes or boots; Don’t panic! Keep calm and follow the steps below.

Gently press a clean cloth or paper towel or blotting paper over the stained area to absorb as much wax as possible without spreading it around. Then heat up an iron in lowest heat and place it on the stained area of the suede after placing a parchment paper and a clean cloth on the stain; keep it 30 seconds.

Wipe off liquidated wax and apply a little steam with lowest heat setting to clean off the remaining stiff wax.

If any more stain remaining, then use baby shampoo or vinegar solution on the stained area with a cloth and wipe off after sitting for 10 minutes. Dry well overnight before wearing again.

Read more about this : How to get wax out of suede shoes


Get Rid of Tea or Coffee Stains

Get Tea or Coffee Stain out of Suede Shoes

If you spill your cup of tea over your favorite pair of boots or shoes, don’t worry! The steps below will help remove and clean tea or coffee stains.

Soak up as much as you can with a clean cloth and let it dry over night. If stain remains wet, then place an ice pack wrapped in a towel over the stained area for 10 minutes to tighten the fabric pores and then follow the steps mentioned below.

Heat 1 cup of water along with one tablespoon of vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a steaming boil. Let it cool for a minute and then pour the solution on the stained area with a brush or spray bottle.

Let it sit for 5 minutes and now scrub with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda or hydrogen peroxide until you remove all tea or coffee stains from suede boots or shoes.

Dry well under sunlight for thorough drying or wipe with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Let it dry overnight before wearing again.

Read more about this : How to get rid off tea or coffee on suede shoes


Get Rid of Red Wine Stains

Get Red Wine Stain out of Suede Shoes

First of all soak up as much liquid possible with a clean cloth or paper towel and then place an ice pack wrapped in a towel over the stained area for 10 minutes to tighten the fabric pores.

Prepare a solution of 2 cups of cold water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and ½ teaspoon of dish-washing liquid.

Pour this solution on the stained area and then use a brush or spray bottle to distribute it evenly on the surface. Leave it for 10 minutes and now scrub with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda or hydrogen peroxide until you remove all red wine stains from suede boots or shoes.

Dry well under sunlight for thorough drying or wipe with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Let it dry overnight before wearing again and then repeat this process in case the stains reappear.

Read more about this : How to get rid of red wine on suede shoes


Get Rid of Berry Juice Stains

If you kiddo (or even yourself!) spills berry juice on suede shoes or boots, then take a clean dry cloth and wipe off as much liquid as possible. Then let it air dry in the sunlight for 4-5 hours.

Now prepare a solution of 1 cup of warm water and ¼ teaspoon liquid dish-washing soap. Apply this solution on the stained area with a microfiber cloth and distribute it evenly. Let it sit for 20 minutes before brushing again with a clean toothbrush dipped in same soapy solution.

Wipe the complete surface with a wet wipes or moist cloth and dry well under sunlight before wearing again.


Get Rid of Ink or Marker Stains

Gently rub an eraser over the ink or marker stain. You may have to apply some pressure, depending on how fresh the stain is. If it’s still wet, blotting with a paper towel will also work.

If the stain is fresh, blot it with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove some of the ink or marker before you go on to the next step.

Blot the area with water using a soft cloth. Always test your eraser and cleaning cloth on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it won’t damage your fabric.

Continue blotting with water until the area is damp but not wet, and then let it air dry. You may want to put something heavy on top of the fabric overnight so that it dries flat without any creases or wrinkles.

Read more about this : How to get rid of ink stains on suede shoes


Get Rid of Slime Stains

Slime stains are the worst, so we’ll start with them first.

Pat the slime stain gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible and avoid pushing it into the suede. If it has dried, use a spoon or nail file to scrape off as much of it as you can. To make a paste, mix apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and warm water in a

Take a piece of cloth or a soft-bristled brush and dip it in the paste. Start rubbing on the stained region in a circular motion, while rotating the cloth with each pass to get rid of all stains. Allow it to sit for around 30 minutes before wiping it away with wet baby wipes and letting it dry overnight.

Give a good buff to make shiny with suede brush before wearing it again.

Read more about this : How to get rid of slime on suede shoes


Get Rid of Lipstick Stains

Gently rub off excess lipstick with a paper towel or cloth. If the stain has already dried, scrape off as much of the lipstick as you can using a spoon or nail file before moving on to the next step below.

Mix two parts isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and one part Dawn dish soap in a bowl deep. Gently dab the mixture on the lipstick stain with a cotton ball/swabs and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Dry with a clean cloth and let it dry overnight before using suede brush to make shiny again.

Read more about this : How to get rid of lipstick stains on suede shoes


Get Rid of Grass Stains

Getting grass stains out of suede shoes is not that difficult. What you need to do is – brush the surface well first to remove extra dust and dirt. Moist a clean cloth or wet wipes with warm water and rub the stained area to remove grass stains as much as possible.

Now mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and dish soap in bowl deep enough to produce some foam without removing the liquid. Soak a piece of cloth/soft-bristled brush/cotton ball in this mixture, and gently rub on the stains until you see them disappear.

Allow them dry overnight.

Doing this regularly will help prevent grass stains from setting into your shoes. Another way you can prevent grass stains is by pouring a few drops of glycerin onto the affected areas and allowing it to dry before wearing your shoes again. You can also try using a suede eraser, which removes tough stains without damaging the texture of the material.

Read more about this : How to get rid of grass stains on suede shoes


How to Remove Mold or Mildew from Suede Shoes or Boots

Get Mold or Mildew out of Suede Shoes

Mold and mildew can be a pain because it affects the appearance of your shoes and spreads fast making them look dirty and ugly all over again. Follow these steps to get rid of mold:

Let the suede dried completely first. Brush off any mold or mildew that comes off easily with a suede brush. Repeat few times. Now take a small amount of vaseline and add 2/3 drops of liquid glycerin in it. Then apply this on the stained area with a clean microfiber cloth and rub in a circular motion. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wipe off the area with a moist wipe or microfiber cloth.

If the mold/mildew stain is not fully gone, mix rubbing alcohol and water in 1:1 ratio and apply the above mentioned process again with a clean cloth. Dry the suedes overnight before giving a good buff to shine and wear.

Read more about this : How to get rid of mold or mildew on suede shoes


Alternative Unconventional (or Desperate..LoL!) Methods for Cleaning Suede Shoes and Boots

How to get rid of stains on suede

There are some improvised and unconventional methods of cleaning suede shoes and boots. Some of these methods might not be as successful as using a dry cleaning sponge or baking soda paste, but you should definitely try them out to see if they work for you.

1. How To Clean Suede Shoes With Cornmeal or Corn Starch

Using cornmeal is probably the easiest homemade method of getting rid of lighter and low-intensity stains from suede shoes and boots. All you need to do is sprinkle some cornmeal over the affected area and brush it away with a clean toothbrush in gentle circular motion.

2. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Baking Soda & Toothpaste

This combination of baking soda and toothpaste is another effective way to clean suede shoes at home. If you’re worried about using an abrasive product like a brush or eraser on your shoes, this is a good alternative because baking soda and toothpaste work great for removing stubborn stains without doing any damage to the fabric.

The Method:

  1. Apply some toothpaste on the affected areas of your shoes and add a few drops of water.
  2. Add baking soda next and rub it in using a soft brush or cotton ball. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before you use any of the methods mentioned above to remove it from your shoes.
Quick tips: Make sure to use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth because regular toothpastes can cause damage to the fabric. Always test out these methods on small patches of your shoes first so you can check if they're compatible with the fabric.

3. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Lime Juice

To clean suede shoes using lime juice, follow these steps:

  1. Mix lemon or lime juice with water. The proportion should be 1:1.
  2. Using a stiff brush, apply the mixture to the affected areas of your shoes. Allow it to dry naturally
  3. Once the juice has dried up completely, brush off any residue using a suede eraser or a soft bristle brush.
Pro-tips: Doing this might cause slight damage to the texture of your shoes, but it's nothing that can't be repaired easily.

4. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Mayonnaise as Helping Agent

Mayonnaise has a reputation for being good for the skin and hair, but did you know that it can also help clean suede effectively? See the following steps:

  1. Apply mayonnaise on the affected areas of your shoes using a brush or a cotton ball.
  2. Allow it to dry naturally.
  3. Now get off the dried mayo with the help of wet wipes, suede eraser and brush before following the method-2 or 3 of general suede cleaning methods.

5. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Vaseline

Using Vaseline to clean suede shoes is a natural way to care for your footwear without damaging the material or affecting its texture in any way. You can even try using petroleum jelly for this purpose. Steps are:

  1. Apply some Vaseline on the affected areas of your shoes.
  2. Allow the Vaseline to absorb overnight so it reaches deeper into the fabric.
  3. Use a soft bristle brush or suede eraser to remove any residue that’s left behind.
  4. Depending on the severity of stain, you can also now apply the method-2 or 3 of general suede cleaning methods.

6. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are another great way to clean suede shoes or boots. They are easy to use and you probably even have some lying around the house.

Start by tearing one sheet into several pieces, then begin scrubbing your shoes vigorously with them (not to the extent of damaging suede obviously!). The fibers will help break up any tough dirt that is caked on top of your shoes.

It is especially good for high traffic areas. If you have a piece of suede that has gotten stained or discolored, use your dryer sheet to rub it out and make it look like new again.

Pro-tips: never use the same dryer sheet on both shoes, because all of the dirt will be concentrated on one shoe.

7. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is one of those household items that you shouldn’t be throwing away because it can be useful for all sorts of things. You might not use shaving cream as often as the other products in your bathroom but if you’re looking to clean suede shoes, this is a good alternative to consider.

Shaving cream contains chemicals that help lift stains and dirt from fabric so using it on suede shoes will make them look like new. Steps to follow:

  1. Apply some shaving cream on the affected areas of your shoes and rub it in using a brush or cotton ball.
  2. Use any of the methods mentioned above to get rid of the dried shaving cream.
  3. You can now use the method-2 or 3 of traditional suede cleaning methods, depending on the degree of stain.
Pro-tips: Avoid rubbing too much on the fabric because this might make it even dirtier. Don't use shaving cream products that contain moisturizers or aloe vera because these chemicals could potentially damage your shoes.

8. How to Clean Suede Shoes with WD-40 and a Brush

WD-40 is one of the most versatile household products that exists and may be used for removing extreme stains under extreme supervision. The following steps will show you how to use it:

  1. Apply a generous amount of WD-40 on your shoes using a cotton ball.
  2. Allow it to sit on your shoes for 5-10 minutes so the chemicals can work on the stains. Do not wait more than that because it’ll damage the suede then.
  3. Use a towel to wipe off any excess liquid or residue left behind.
  4. If you feel necessary then use the methods-2 or 3 of general suede cleaning methods.

Caution : Applying WD-40 on suede must be dealt with extreme caution, and should not be used unless extremely necessary. Excess and unplanned use of WD-40 will damage the suede. It will shrink the suede and make it look loose & wrinkled.

Pro-tips: Don't put too much of WD-40 on your shoes because this might damage them. If you can, avoid using WD-40 altogether because there are better options out there that will not have a negative impact on your shoes.

9. How to Clean Suede Shoes Using Essential Oils and Alcohol

Essential oils such as tea tree oil and lavender oil are another great way to aid in cleaning suede shoes at home. These oils are safe to use on most fabrics and they work great for removing dirt, stains and odors from your shoes. Steps to follow:

  1. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil with equal parts alcohol.
  2. Apply this mixture on the affected areas of your shoes and scrub them out using a brush or toothbrush.
  3. Let the mixture sit on the surface and dry for 15 minutes.
  4. Wipe off the surface to remove
Pro-tips: Make sure the alcohol you're using is safe for use on suede and be careful not to spill it on your clothes or anything else in your house because it's highly flammable.

Avoid using any other type of cleaning product on your shoes in place of tea tree oil or lavender oil because chemicals could damage the suede or strip off its color.

Always test out these methods on small patches of your shoes first so you can check if they're compatible with the fabric.

Avoid using any other type of cleaning product on your shoes in place of tea tree oil or lavender oil because chemicals could damage the suede or strip off its color.

Always test out these methods on small patches of your shoes first so you can check if they're compatible with the fabric.

10. How to Clean Suede Shoes Using Olive Oil and Salt

If you don’t want to use harsh cleaning products on your shoes, then go for a mild household ingredient like olive oil because it’s safe and won’t damage the fabric in any way.

Mix this oil with salt in 3:1 proportion and apply the mixture on the affected areas of your shoes with microfiber cloth. Scrub this mixture in and let it sit for a few minutes before wipe it off by a wet wipe or cloth.

11. How to Clean Suede Shoes Using Ammonia

You’d be surprised at how effective household ammonia is when it comes to cleaning suede shoes because it’s actually able to remove stains and dirt easily. Here’s what you need to do:

Mix two parts of ammonia with one part water in a spray bottle then use this mixture to spray the affected areas of your shoes.

Leave this mixture on for about 15 minutes before you wipe it off with a wet cloth and clean water.

Pro-tips: Use ammonia with caution and don't let it sit on your suede for longer time as it may harm the suede consistency and color.

How to Clean Faux Suede Shoes

Faux suede is more delicate than real suede and it may get damaged easily if you use harsh cleaning methods on them. That’s why you should be very careful when cleaning faux suede shoes or boots, especially faux suede pumps.

Mix equal parts of water and lemon juice (apple cider vinegar for more prominent stains) in a spray bottle then spray the mixture on your shoes. Rub the stained area with a clean cloth, let the solution sit for 10 minutes and wipe them with another microfiber cloth. Let dry overnight.

If the stains are stubborn, then get rid of them by mixing equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle then spray it on your shoes. Wait till it dries completely, wipe off & let dry overnight.

Pro-tips: Test the mixture on a small section of your shoes first to check if they're compatible with faux suede shoes.

Read more about this : How to clean faux suede shoes


How to Clean Suede Cowboy Boots

If you’ve got suede cowboy boots at home, then follow these tips to avoid getting them dirty and keep them looking great.

Wipe off dirt first with a microfiber cloth then use suede brush to remove the rest of the stains.

You can use commercial suede cleaning solutions or make your own by mixing Apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water in 1:1:1 ratio. Apply the solution on the stained area (or the whole surface, if not stained) and rub with a clean microfiber tower before letting it sit for 15 minutes. Wipe the whole surface with wet wipes and let them dry overnight & give them a good buff before wearing.

Read more about this : How to clean suede cowboy boots


How to Clean Suede Shoe Laces

A quick way to take an older shoe and give it some life is to replace the laces. However, if your shoes are still relatively new, you might want keep the original laces in good condition so they last longer. The following steps will help you clean suede shoe laces and keep them looking like new.

Mix a small amount of dish soap with water in a small bowl. To give your shoes the best chance at not staining, you should use warm water. Dip your suede laces into the soapy water and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. This will help break down dirt and grime that has built up on the laces.

Rinse your laces in water to remove the soap residue. This step is especially important if you are planning to dye your shoes, as too much soap residue can affect the results of this process. Use a clean towel to dry your laces thoroughly before use.


Tips for How to Keep Your Suede Shoes Looking Good After They’ve been Cleaned

Once you’ve cleaned your suede shoes and boots, it’s important to take steps to keep them looking good for as long as possible. You can follow the following to keep your suedes like a charm, even if they are reasonably old:

  • Keep the Suedes Shiny : Apply a suede protector spray before using and after every couple of wears to keep the shoes looking good as new.
  • Don’t Trust the Rain: The weather forecast will play a huge role in your decision whether or not you take your suedes out for a walk. If rain is expected, it’s best to avoid taking them out or wear a pair of rubber boots over them so as to avoid stains.
  • Protect your Suedes from Abrasion: Try to wear your suede footwear as little as possible, and when you do wear them, make sure the weather is dry. If the shoes crease, use a shoe tree inside them overnight.
  • Use a “Staining” Shoe Brush: This is a pretty obvious one- use a staining shoe brush to remove any dirt or stains from your suedes before they settle.
  • Use a Drier Sheets: Before putting on your shoes after cleaning, wipe the excess moisture with drier sheets. Don’t wear them until they’re completely dry.
  • Clean them Once a Month: Clean your suede shoes and boots once every month to keep them looking like new.
  • Nail Polish Remover: If stains still remain, use nail polish remover (acetone) before cleaning the shoes with any of the methods mentioned above.
  • Use Rubber Gloves: When wearing your suedes during rainy weather, make sure to wear rubber gloves on your hands, so you can easily wipe off any water or dirt that settles on them.
  • Stubborn Dust/ Dirt: If the dust and dirt on your shoes are too stubborn for a typical clean, then it’s best to use an electric rotating mop (e.g. Dyson V8 Absolute), which will help loosen and lift away the dirt.
  • Store them Properly: Store your suedes in a cool, dry place and never leave them out in direct sunlight.

The DON’Ts While You are Cleaning Your Pair of Suede

While cleaning your suedes, be aware of few things that may harm/damage your shoes. Let’s have a look:

  • Don’t Rub too Hard: If there has been a lot of dirt or pomade on your suede shoes and boots, then you can use a rubber scrubber to get rid of the same. However, make sure not rub it too hard against the material.
  • Avoid Using Soap as much as Possible: Never rub soap (bar or liquid) on suede shoes. Even if your shoes get dirty, only use the soap only after you have given them a good rinse and avoid direct contact with water if possible.
  • Don’t Use Water: Water should never come in direct contact with suede shoes and boots. If any, then spray sudsy water (water mixed with the detergent) on the shoes.
  • Don’t Use Harsh Cleaning Products: Avoid any commercial cleaning product for suede shoes, especially chemical-based products like bleach or ammonia which can damage them if used frequently.

An Interesting Video on Suede Shoes Cleaning:

Courtesy : JairWoo


Related Reading : How to Remove Glue from Suede Shoes and Boots

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad for suede if I get it wet? Does water ruin suede?

Yes, it is bad and can permanently damage your shoes. Water and suede don’t go along well at all. If you want to take a leap in the rain then make sure you cover them up till they dry off. Once wet, getting rid of the moisture from your shoes becomes extremely tough. So if you really want to splash out in the rain make sure you protect your shoes beforehand.

Do I need a shoe tree after I’ve cleaned my suede shoes?

A shoe tree is the best way to maintain your shoes. If you have not purchased one already then buy yourself one before your suedes start creasing. The shoe trees will help restore the shape of your shoes and also absorb any moisture to give you a comfortable feel inside them.

What are the best ways to keep my suedes from creasing?

Most suedes crease easily and require a shoe tree to keep them from doing so. If you don’t have one then fill up two plastic bags with water and place the same in your shoes overnight. It will add volume to your shoes and stop them from creasing. In case of boots, just add a pair of socks inside it and the same trick will work wonders.

How to avoid scratching your suedes while cleaning them?

Irrespective of colors, e.g. blue suede shoes or tan, brown or black ones, cleaning suedes can be risky especially when you are using sponges or scrubbers. It’s best to avoid cleaning them yourself and you can always take help of a professional cleaner who will know exactly how to clean your shoes without damaging the nap.

How do you clean suede shoes without a suede brush?

If you do not have access to a suede brush, use a cotton cloth instead. For lighter stains, rub the cloth against the nap in small circles. For deeper stains, apply some water or baby shampoo onto the stain and let it sit for an hour before scrubbing with the cloth.

Can you put suede shoes in the washing machine?

No, do not put suede shoes in the washing machine. You can easily ruin them if you wash them in a machine. The only way to clean your suedes is by hand-washing them with mild soap and water solution.

Can you dry clean suede? Is it safe to dry clean suede shoes?

You probably should not dry clean suede shoes because harsh chemicals can permanently damage your shoes. If you don’t have access to a wet cloth then let the shoes dry naturally and then brush them down with a suede brush.

Final Words

Suede is a delicate fabric and it’s important to clean it properly so that the shoes maintain their shape, color, and quality.

It’s not hard to clean suede shoes or boots at home but you need some basic household items for deep stains. You shouldn’t use harsh cleaning products on your suede because they can permanently damage them.

if you don’t know how to keep your suedes from creasing then check out our easy guide below! We’ve also included a list of FAQs about caring for your suedes as well as final words which should be helpful in ensuring this article has been helpful and informative.

So we part for now, from Suede Shoe Cleaning Guide. You can contact us if you need more information or have any questions.

Have a nice suede cleaning day (or evening!).

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