How to clean suede shoes is an eternal question. However impractical they may be, but we can’t resist to show affection towards them. They are versatile, stylish and often very comfortable.
But we don’t like it when they get (really) dirty and need some cleaning. But how do you clean things that don’t get wet? That’s a good question. There is actually a very easy way to do this. Everything you need should be at home.
How often should I clean my suede shoes?
Not how often, but how to clean suede shoes is the question that comes first. You can clean suede every day if you want, but you should avoid using an abrasive brush, especially for shoes made from soft suede.
If you have a lighter coloured suede, it’s generally a good idea to clean it twice or thrice in a season. Brush the pair with a soft brush thoroughly once a month to prevent dust and debris from accumulating without worrying about stripping the shoes.
How to clean suede shoes
What you’ll need:
- A suede cleaning brush/ old toothbrush
- Pencil eraser/rubber
- White vinegar
- Microfibre Cloth
- protective suede and leather spray
1. Take Precautions
As in most cases, prevention is essential, so the best way to eliminate the need for repeated cleaning of suede is to buy a sealant and spray your shoes every few months to keep it out of dirt. You’ll spend a little money now and have some quality velvet shoes to wear later.
2. Let the mud dry out
In general, it’s best to react quickly when dealing with stains in any case. However, when cleaning wet and dirty suede shoes, it is best to air dry them first. If they are too wet, fill it with newspaper to absorb moisture.
If your suede shoes or boots are stained with more liquid, such as coffee or tea, or any beverage, clean them with a white kitchen towel or a clean cloth to remove the stain as much as possible before it dries out . After this process, let them air dry.
3. Brush Vigorously Using Suede Brush
Start by removing dirt with a suede brush or an old clean toothbrush.
Lightly wipe the affected area in one direction. Cleaning in one direction will help remove dirt from the fibers.
4. Use rubber to remove residual marks
It will be much better if you use suede rubber, but the regular pencil rubber will also work fine. Just make sure you have clean rubber in the first place and rubber itself does not have any stain on it. The rubbing should be rigorous and appropriate pressure should be applied to help remove the debris and remaining dirt particles.
After the effort, if you find out that it’s not working. Do not over do it as you may risk damaging the suede.
5. Treat the stain with White Vinegar
In a small bowl, mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Soak the microfibre cloth in the solution and try to run it throughout the stained and dirty areas of the shoes. You want it to be damp enough to wash off the salt and dirt. It doesn’t need to get drenching wet. Fill the inside of the shoe with crumpled newspaper to keep it in shape while it dries. Always air dry the suede. Do not try to speed up the process by blow drying it or putting it near a heater as it may change the shape of your shoe. When done, rinse the suede brush in a vinegar solution, rinse and set aside to air dry.
6. Spray the Suede protector
You may as well let the shoes dry thoroughly overnight and spray them with protective suede and leather spray the next day. This will help protect them from the elements, they should be beautiful, nice and clean for long.
Spray each shoe in a circular motion from a distance. There is no need to saturate the surface. Let it dry for about 30 minutes, then repeat once again.
After this complete process, you will get your suede shoes looking just like when you bought them. You can repeat this process once every 2-3 months (or as required). If you do it and maintain your shoes properly, they may last you years even with regular uses.
Can I clean suede shoes with soap and water?
When cleaning beautiful suede shoes, do not use soap and water. Unfortunately, suede does not repel water naturally unless treated with a suede protector spray. For cleaning, It is best to use white vinegar or other cleaning products specifically recommended for suede.
How to clean suede shoes with baking soda
If you accidentally get oil or grease on your suede shoes,
- Get baking soda as quickly as possible
- Drain excess oil as soon as possible with a dry paper towel/ tissue paper
- Sprinkle the affected area with baking soda.
- Let it sit for 10-15 seconds and wife it carefully.
- Sprinkle another layer of baking soda. Keep doing this for a couple more times unless you feel most of the oil or grease have been removed.
- Finally reapply the baking soda, let it sit there for a few hours to start work its wonders. After the wait, brush it off with the suede brush.