How to Get Your Suede Shoes Looking Brand New



  • Suede cleaner, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Corn starch (optional)
  • Suede protectant spray (optional)
  • Suede cleaning brush, toothbrush, microfiber cloth or soft-bristle shoe brush
  • Suede rubber eraser or pencil eraser
  • Soft cloth

Navigating the realm of suede shoes is akin to traversing a delicate dance between allure and vulnerability. The supple, velvety allure of a fresh pair of suede shoes beckons with promises of elegance, yet their encounter with the outdoors promptly unfurls a tale of susceptibility—a magnetism to dirt and distress that is intrinsic to this fabric’s nature.

Suede, a fabric of delicate predisposition, readily imbibes moisture and succumbs to staining, necessitating a bespoke regimen of meticulous care and conscientious maintenance to retain its pristine allure. The prudent intervention of a suede protectant offers a shield of defense, extending the longevity of these suede ensembles.

Nonetheless, the inevitability of scuffs and stains necessitates a savoir-faire approach to reinstating their initial resplendence.

How to Clean Suede Shoes.

Embarking on the odyssey of cleaning suede shoes is an endeavor fraught with caution and precision. Preliminary to this expedition, the imperative stipulation demands absolute dryness for the shoes.

Endeavoring to confront spots or splatters whilst they linger in a state of dampness presages peril, for it perpetuates the stain’s descent into the fabric’s inner sanctum, rendering its expulsion an arduous endeavor. Engage in a delicate ballet with paper towels or the gentle caress of a soft cloth, dabbing with a finesse to extract every droplet of moisture ere granting the shoes a rendezvous with the natural course of drying. 

Alas, a word of admonition must be proffered—eschew the siren call of expeditious drying through means of a blow dryer, the intrusive glare of direct sunlight, or any such fervent heat sources, for they wield the power to desiccate and harden this delicate fabric.

A solemn adherence to patience shall yield bountiful rewards, safeguarding the suppleness of the material.

Subsequently, ensconced in the sanctuary of complete dryness, the saga of restoring suede shoes unfurls its chapters. Embrace these guidelines as your compass in navigating the labyrinthine passages of restoring suede shoes to their former glory.

Step 1, Brush Away Loose Particles, calls for the initiation of the cleansing ritual by employing the brushstroke mastery of a specialized suede brush ($7, Amazon). With an air of finesse and purpose, sweep away the ephemeral dance of loose particles and dirt adorning the surface.

However, when confronting miniature realms, an alternative maestro, the humble toothbrush, wields its own command. Begin this choreography by orchestrating the brush’s movements in tandem with the nap’s pattern or grain, an intricate pas de deux delineating the harmony between brush and suede.

Should the pernicious spot persist, escalate the maneuvers into a gentle yet determined back-and-forth motion, a crescendo of effort to dislodge the stubborn grime.

Step 2. Rub out Stains with an Eraser, advocating for the annihilation of stains through the instrumental prowess of an eraser. Enter the suede eraser, a virtuoso in its own right, endowed with the power to efface the remnants of marks tainting the shoe’s visage.

Should this luminary be absent from the stage, the humble pencil eraser or household cleaning eraser emerges as the understudy, a testament to resourcefulness. However, exercise caution and restraint in this endeavor, for excessive zeal in the act of rubbing might precipitate irreparable harm upon the delicate fabric.

Employ a calculated application of pressure, navigating the eraser in a gentle back-and-forth motion to exorcise these obstinate stains from their suede abode. Should their stubborn persistence remain unyielding, the narrative evolves, urging the protagonist towards a more formidable solution.

Step 3, Clean Suede with Vinegar, advocates the utilization of white vinegar as a vanguard against obstinate stains besmirching the suede’s pristine countenance. A microfiber cloth, baptized in the acidity of vinegar, is enlisted as the emissary to embark upon this odyssey.

Caution is the watchword, as this journey demands a mere dampening, not a deluge, of the suede’s surface. Anticipate a temporary alteration in the suede’s hue during this encounter, an ephemeral transition that dissipates as the moisture retreats, leaving behind the unblemished countenance of the suede.

Upon the cessation of this aqueous ballet, survey the landscape for remnants of the erstwhile stain; should any vestiges linger, a reprise of the ritual becomes requisite, each iteration an ode to persistence until the stain’s annihilation is absolute.

After this purgation, as the suede dries and returns to its state of purity, the resumption of the brush’s gentle caress serves as the denouement, reinstating the fabric’s erstwhile allure.

Step 4. Use A Razor On Stringy Areas, acknowledging the aftermath of diligent brushstrokes and eraser-led purges—a residue of straggling fibers reminiscent of the strings of a melody hanging in the air.

Enter the unsung hero, a disposable shaving razor, summoned to trim these wayward strands. Glide the razor deftly over these stringy domains, the culmination of this momentary intervention, before the brush assumes its mantle, sweeping away the remnants of this brief sojourn.

Step 5, Apply Suede Protector Spray, heralds the defense of suede sovereignty through the application of a suede protector spray, an additional layer of armor to safeguard against the perils of moisture and stains.

Select a protector spray designed exclusively for suede ($8, Target), adhering meticulously to the manufacturer’s directives in its application. Despite the augmentation of this impervious shield, the ultimate custodianship of pristine suede rests in judicious stewardship—reserving these treasures for arid climes and evading encounters with spills and splatters whenever providence permits.

How to Remove Stains from Suede Shoes.

The enigmatic labyrinth of stain vanquishing upon suede footwear necessitates an arsenal of arcane methods, each a delicate dance between success and potential devastation.

Step 1. Remove Excess Dirt and Debris—initiate with the grace of a suede brush or a modest toothbrush, orchestrating a minute to whisk away surface impurities.

If bereft of these implements, resort to a pristine cloth, but avert the siren call of soap or water, lest chaos ensues. Minor scuffs, akin to fleeting shadows, succumb to the swift undulations—side-to-side brushstrokes, coaxing the suede fibers to relinquish their entanglements, a prelude to the ensuing steps.

Step 2. Oil or Grease—oil or grease stains, a nemesis of astute guardianship. Anoint the afflicted area with the talisman of cornstarch, a harbinger of salvation as it absorbs the excesses of grease.

A delicate choreography ensues—gentle scrapes with a brush, a saga of patience and persistence until the stain capitulates. Should the greasy imprints congeal, anoint them with the ritualistic touch of dish soap, a brief interlude of waiting before the soapy effluvium is banished by a damp cloth. Water’s embrace remains anathema to suede’s sanctity.

Step 3. Salt—a ubiquitous herald of snow’s passage etching its mark on suede footwear. The graceful ballet of brushing away salt precedes the symphony of dabbing, a divine waltz between cold water and dish soap, each motion a gentle benediction against the stain’s persistence.

Step 4, Water Stains, enshrines water as a remedy for water stains—gentle misting heralding the ballet of brushing, a counterintuitive tango. Absorbing the aqueous remnants with cloth or towel, a tableau of patience precedes the anointment with a waterproofing elixir, safeguarding against future aqueous incursions.

Other Techniques For Specific Types of Stains:

Step 1. Gum or Wax—the glacial embrace of the freezer enshrouding the shoes until the gum and wax congeal into submission. Peel or scrape this icy incursion from the shoe, an act of separation born from the sub-zero chrysalis.

Step 2. Blood Stains—the gentle caress of cotton imbued with hydrogen peroxide, anointing the suede with fleeting dabs, each a plea for absolution. A paean to patience and resilience, the shoe must languish in dry solitude ere this sacrificial ritual concludes.

Step 3. ink-stained—an altar adorned with paper towels, absorbing the ink’s liquid lamentations. The rhythmic rub with a cloth anointed with the spirit of rubbing alcohol, an invocation to erase the indelible mark, a fervent prayer for expurgation. However, a caveat lingers—the age-old adage that some ink stains shall defy even the most fervent entreaties for erasure.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Can Suede Shoes Be Washed?

A cautionary parable surface—suede, an ardent devotee of absorption, rebuffs the aqueous enticements, stains entrenching deeper in its fabric. A chronicle unfolds—the dry brush, the rubber eraser, and the tryst with rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or a suede-cleansing elixir, guardians against the stain’s obduracy.

What will ruin suede?

Water—the harbinger of its ruination. A plea unfurls—eschew the rainy odyssey, lest suede succumbs irreparably to the aqueous embrace.

Can Magic Eraser clean suede?

An enigmatic testament to its efficacy unfolds—a delicate pas de deux on a small spot, a litmus test are the suede’s baptism in the eraser’s alchemy. The scuff-marked suede finds solace in the Magic Eraser’s ministrations, an incantation to restore its pristine countenance.

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