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How to Clean Suede Shoes

Have you ever been shoe shopping and avoided a pair of beautiful suede boots because they’re too difficult to clean? You’re not alone. Suede is an excellent material that needs a little more TLC than others. Cleaning suede shoes requires a little bit of elbow grease, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.

Everything you need to know to clean suede shoes:

Don’t Use Water When Cleaning Suede Shoes

The first tip to keep in mind is never to use water when you’re cleaning suede shoes. Using water is counterproductive as it will stain the shoes and alter the appearance of the soft material. Instead of using water, use a suede cleaning kit that includes a specialized brush and eraser. It’s essential to use materials designed for this unique material instead of just your typical soap and water.

Suede Shoe Cleaning: How-To Guide

How to Use a Suede Brush

Once you’ve acquired a suede cleaning kit, the first step is to use the suede brush. Start by brushing in one direction to loosen any surface-level dirt. Once you’ve done a once-over brush of your suede shoes in one direction, go over the material once again more vigorously in a back-and-forth motion. By brushing your suede shoes twice in two different directions, you’ll get rid of more dirt that is deeper within the fibres.

How to Use a Suede Eraser

A suede eraser works the same way as a pencil eraser. All you have to do is rub it on a stain until it goes away. Keep in mind this process may take some time and pressure but don’t give up. Like with a pencil eraser, there may be some debris, so we recommend doing this step on a towel, over a bathtub or sink for easy clean-up.

Also Read: How to wash your shoes in the washing machine without destroying them

How to Remove Deep Set Stains

If you have any major stains, dip a microfibre cloth in white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Rub the cloth onto the suede stain in a circular motion. Wait for the material to dry, then brush the area gently to comb through the suede fibres and loosen any dirt and debris. 

 Even if your shoes aren’t stained, you can try this step to brighten up dull-looking suede. It will add some lustre to the material and breathe new life into your shoes!

How to Remove Deep Set Stains

How to Use a Razor on Your Suede Shoes

Yes, you read that correctly. You can use a shaving razor to reduce the appearance of “stringy” suede. Shave the material like you would your body if you notice the suede has started to look stringy. Once you’ve used the razor, brush away the excess material with your suede brush.

Never Forget to Protect

Last but not least, the most critical step is to use a suede protectant spray to prevent future stains. Once your suede shoes are cleaned, spray a protectant onto the fabric surface. This step will ensure your shoes last longer and will make them easier to clean down the line. It’s a total win-win.

How to Clean Specific Stains on Suede Shoes

Our how-to guide should help you clean basic stains from your suede shoes. There are, unfortunately, specific stains that can cause further damage and require extra attention. The following are some extra tips for removing tough stains:

Water Stains

Yes, we mentioned never use water to clean suede shoes at the beginning of this blog, but you need to “fight fire with fire” in some cases. Use a damp brush to add a very tiny amount of water to the stain. Soak up any surplus water with a paper towel or dry microfiber towel. Dab at the wet spot; do not rub. Let the shoes dry overnight but avoid direct sunlight as it will cause discolouration.

Oil or Grease Stains

Use cornstarch to soak up the oil or grease. Sprinkle a pinch of cornstarch on the stain and let it sit overnight. The next day, brush away the excess corn starch, and your stain should be gone!

Oil or Grease Stains

Wax or Gum Stains

This tip may sound crazy but hear us out; put your suede shoes in the freezer to harden the gum or wax. Once it’s frozen, break it into smaller pieces and brush away the debris.

Blood Stains

Dip a microfibre cloth into a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide, then lightly dab at the bloodstain on your shoe until it comes out. Wait for the suede to dry, then brush it to fluff up the material.

Mud Stains

Do not attempt to clean wet mud stains. You have to wait until the mud has dried, or you’ll risk rubbing the dirt into your shoes and making an even bigger mess. Once it’s dried, loosen any large pieces of mud by clapping the soles of the shoes together. Then use your suede brush to remove any remaining bits of dirt.

Mud Stains

Ink Stains

If the ink isn’t dry, dab at it with a paper towel. If it’s already dried onto your suede shoe, use the rubbing alcohol step followed by your suede eraser to remove the stain

Ink Stains

How Love Your Shoes Can Help You Clean Your Suede Shoes

If you’ve tried all of the tips and tricks in this blog and are still struggling to clean your suede shoes, contact Love Your Shoes. We specialize in suede shoe cleaning, shoe restoration, shoe repair and UGG boot cleaning in Toronto.  There is no stain that our talented shoe cleaning experts can’t get out. Give us a call today or fill out our online quote form to learn more about our services and what we can do to help you clean your suede shoes.

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