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How To Clean Suede

How To Clean Suede

How To Clean Suede
Suede is technically described as a napped – velvety-textured – leather made from the underside of an animal's skin.

It's important to note that when we talk about suede and how to clean it, we're referring to both the leather as well as the fabric. Suede leather's rough surface is all that this cloth manages to capture. Washing and drying suede clothing is as simple as reading and following the care recommendations on the garment's label. Upholstery, gloves, coats, and purses are just a few of the goods made from suede leather. Besides suede, other materials such as doeskin and cow leather are also utilized to make suede shoes.

Because of the spongy surface of suede sneakers, they scuff quite quickly. Because scuffs are tough to remove, it's better not to let people or dogs walk on them. But whether it's scuffed or not, suede will become dirty over time and will need to be cleaned.

Suede is a high-maintenance fabric, therefore if you have young or awkward children, a slobbery dog who is disobedient, or you yourself are slobbery, I would advise against buying an original suede sofa. Suede has a limited lifespan when cleaned fat home, so if your suede gets too dirty (or stained), you'll need professional help. This will cost you approximately $100 for suede items like shoes, coats, hats, and purses (not to mention gloves). The cost of furniture would be significantly higher. Not all microfiber suede is produced the same way, and a lot of what you see on the market is actually faux suede, given the name suede because of the nappy finish. Some synthetic suedes are easier to clean than others, but only if done correctly. As a result, READ THE DIRECTIONS ON THE LABEL BEFORE CLEANING OR USING PROTECTIVE PRODUCTS. Using the wrong method to clean suede can make professional assistance impossible, so here are some tried and true, conservative methods to clean suede boots, jackets, couches, shoes, or any other type of suede you own.

Suede is technically described as a napped – velvety-textured – leather made from the underside of an animal's skin. To be very technical, we're talking about the animal's dermis — the softer, more fragile underskin – as opposed to the harder epidermis utilized for traditional leather. It is also ovine in nature: most commercial suede is made from the underskins of goats and sheep, rather than cow, buffalo, or even deerskin.

Suede was originally utilized in glove-making because of its delicate nature. Sweden became so well-known for the extraordinary quality of its gloves (the renowned gants de Suède) that the French translation of the country's name became the generic phrase for the material. Suede's application has expanded beyond glove-making throughout the years. It has also led to the development of cold-weather apparel such as cloaks, coats, jackets, and shoes.

While the smooth and velvety feel of suede is attractive, it is also the reason why suede shoes are difficult to clean. Its open-pored surface is prone to scuffing and smearing. Suede's porous structure also means that if it becomes wet, it will absorb liquids quickly, causing irreversible discoloration and degradation. However, many commercial shoe manufacturers seal their products with waterproof coatings to avoid water damage - but without adequate care, this will merely keep one's suede shoes in excellent shape. Is there, at any rate, a proper technique to clean suede shoes?

Keeping Suede Clean

When producing leather, the outermost layer of skin is generally employed, which is harder and more durable than the inner surface used for suede. Suede is more soft and flexible than full-grain leather, but it comes at a cost to the wearer. Suede accumulates dirt more quickly and is more difficult to clean. It also stains quickly; even water stains it, thus suede shoes and coats should be avoided in really damp conditions. Water also harms the leather by darkening it, making it less supple, weakening it by eliminating oils, and making it seem scuffed. Suede can be waterproofed or stain-proofed, but there is no assurance against stains or damage.

Before You Begin

  • Brush away loose particles from the suede surface using a soft-bristled brush. This should be done after each use of the item, or at least once a week. Suede is a natural absorber of oils and dirt.
  • Allow damp suede to dry gradually away from direct heat or sunlight. Use the brush or a clean cloth to elevate any crushed nap.
  • To begin stain removal, immediately dust any oily stains with cornstarch or talcum powder.
  • Always test cleaning solutions and procedures on a small, hidden area first to ensure there is no discoloration or damage.
  • The majority of synthetic suede fabrics can be machine washed. Simply follow the care label's instructions.

How to Clean Suede Safely

Read any cleaning instructions and acquire any essential cleaning supplies. Any cleaning instructions on your item will teach you how to clean suede with cleaning chemicals that are safe for use with your suede and its specific finish. Depending on the size of the mess, you may also want a blade or knife, a suede brush (a nylon nail brush or toothbrush would suffice), and crepe rubber or a #2 pencil. You may also require a bath towel and low-grade sandpaper. As you can see, the tools vary depending on the situation, but when combined, they are still less expensive than dry cleaning.

The first step in cleaning suede is to massage the nap into a beautiful, fuzzy state. This may be accomplished with a dry bath towel, a nail brush, or a toothbrush. Buying a suede brush is a wise investment because suede is costly and suede brushes are not. When working on shoes or suede bags, use the metal side of a suede brush or low-grade sandpaper. If the nap is matted down smooth, you can revive it using sandpaper or even a razor.

To remove markings, gloss, and certain dry stains, use a suede eraser, crepe rubber, or a pencil. The suede eraser is excellent, and it is only a few bucks. Start softly with whatever you're using and gradually increase the pressure. When dealing with dirt or stains, you'll see that the markings actually peel off the suede and onto the rubber—even if they've been ground deep into the suede. When you're done, use the suede brush or bath towel to massage the nap back into its natural state.

To remove markings, gloss, and certain dry stains, use a suede eraser, crepe rubber, or a pencil. The suede eraser is excellent, and it is only a few bucks. Start softly with whatever you're using and gradually increase the pressure. When dealing with dirt or tough stains, you'll see that the markings actually peel off the suede and onto the rubber—even if they've been ground deep into the suede. When you're done, use the suede brush or bath towel to massage the nap back into its natural state.

Blot off any excess liquid from new, poisonous stains such as ink, oil, food, or blood (I hope not). This should be done with utmost caution since applying too much effort can drive the oil stain deep into the pores of the suede. Allow the suede to dry before attacking the adversary with a suede eraser and suede brush. If it doesn't work, try sandpaper. If your suede garment came with cleaning instructions, they would most likely have specific suede degreasers and cleansers in mind for this type of catastrophe.

Protect your suede with a suede and leather spray-on solution. This is extremely critical. There are several “how to clean suede” articles on the internet with varying techniques, but one thing they all agree on is the need for prevention and upkeep. Many stains and markings are hard to remove once they have dried. The majority of staining and waterproofing sprays should be reapplied every six months. Suede should be brushed on a regular basis to maintain it vibrant and beautiful.

Make careful to test any of these procedures on an inconspicuous section of the suede first to observe how the suede—with its specific finish—reacts.

How to Clean Suede: Last Resorts

If you tried cleaning suede with the techniques above and it didn't work, it's time to take it to a professional. However, even pros make mistakes from time to time, and you may not have the financial flow to travel in the first place. You will discover how to clean suede using various experimental ways against stains, dirt, and grime in the sections below. Make careful to test any of these procedures on an inconspicuous section of the suede first to observe how the suede—with its specific finish—reacts.

  • Cleaning suede with white vinegar is a common method. Allow drying after gently massaging the affected region with a wet cloth, cotton balls, cotton swabs, or paper towel. After that, use a nylon or suede brush to finish the job.
  • Some people use stale or fresh bread to remove stains from suede. Some swear by it, but it appears to me to be a poor man's suede eraser, except that bread is more costly.
  • Your freezer is an excellent tool for removing wax from suede. This appears to be a frequent issue; it's as though the same emotions that drive individuals to buy suede also drive them to roughhouse by candlelight. Freeze your suede jacket, gloves, and so on until you can break off the wax and comb out the tiny things with a suede brush.
  • Many people have successfully removed new ink from suede couch and furniture using window cleaners, which I never use to clean windows.

Natural Cleaning Products

box of baking soda, which absorbs acidic, unpleasant odors, is the remedy if your suede stinks. Chemical sprays and deodorants should be avoided as they may damage the quality of your suede. Leave some baking soda in your suede shoes overnight and remove them in the morning. Sprinkle some over the surface of a suede sofa and vacuum in the morning. If you have a nasty suede jacket, put baking soda in a garbage bag, throw it in, mix it up, and let it overnight.

Sprays that resist water and stains are essential for suede footwear. When it comes to cleaning suede, prevention is important, and purchasing a suede or leather spray is far less expensive than hiring a professional. Most suede stain repellents must be done every six months or so, but if you live in a volatile or unpleasant environment, you may want to apply it every four to five months.

Many suede cleaning packages include a suede eraser as well as a suede brush. Some suede brushes are straightforward, such as the one shown. Others include a variety of brush heads to accommodate a variety of nap kinds and mess severity levels. Suede erasers function by transferring stains from suede to the eraser. Suede erasers are less prone than pencil erasers to further ground in stains. You can get something a little more involved.

6 Brilliant And Easy Ways To Clean Suede

1. Use Protectant Spray as a Precautionary Measure

On fresh, clean shoes, we recommend applying a tried-and-true protectant spray free of silicones to help resist small stains, spills, and splashes. Use a spray that is indicated for fine leathers and suede in particular, and carefully follow the directions.

2. Check the Weather Forecast

Shoes have never bravely stated that they can withstand rain, sleet, or snow because, well, they can't. Even if you 'waterproof' your suede shoes with spray, you should avoid wearing them in wet weather and near the beach since "water and harsh salts may discolor, degrade, and weaken the material over time."

3. Steam Them

A relaxing steam shower does more than simply de-wrinkle your favorite shirt. If you need to remove marks from your shoes, use hot steam and a suede brush. Some individuals like getting their Suedes filthy, but you should not. Rather, it should rely on steam to keep your shoes clean.

4. Dry Brush Them Regularly

In addition to spray, we recommend purchasing a suede dry brush with fine, natural horsehair bristles for frequent cleaning and stain removal. On tough stains, use a suede eraser first, exerting mild pressure and softly rubbing back and forth "she claims. "Then, using your brush, remove any residue and restore the pile of the suede.

5. Be Specific When It Comes to Storage

Because suede is a natural material, you need to take additional care when storing it for the season. Choose a fabric bag over a plastic bag to preserve it from dust and damage while still allowing for proper air circulation.

6. Invest In a Suede Kit

Some companies sell suede care kits that include everything you need to protect and clean your suede shoes. Some of these items include a rain/stain repellant spray, a brush, and a cleansing conditioner. "It's wonderful to have on hand not just for preserving new suedes but also for removing any stains," he adds, adding that his favorite product in the package is the repellent spray, which protects new suedes, and the brush, which treats any stains.

Suede protector

There are several suede protection solutions on the market, which are often sprayed with a spray bottle. (Always try the product on an inconspicuous area first, such as the inside of the shoe/boot.) Make sure your boots are clean (or as clean as you can get them), that they are dry, and that you have applied suede protection to all outside portions of the boot. Make sure your boots are clean to your liking (or as clean as you can get them), that they are dry, and that you have applied suede protection to all external portions of the boot.


If you reside in a snowy location, treating your suede with a waterproofer is a smart idea since it prevents salt stains. When initially applied, the waterproofer will darken your boots, but don't worry: they will lighten with time. Keep in mind that waterproofer merely repels water and must be used on a regular basis.

And there you have it! Hopefully, your suede has been restored to like-new condition, and you may resume wearing your beloved suede leather boots. See? That wasn't so awful, was it? The attractive appearance of suede does not have to be accompanied by concern that it would not survive. It only takes a few common home products and a little TLC to keep your suede boots looking fantastic for years to come.


To summarize, there are several techniques to care for suede shoes or boots. However, one thing is constant: no matter how hard you try to maintain your suede shoes or boots in immaculate condition, they always require adequate care. So follow this advice and begin caring for your suede shoes right now. You'll be glad you did it afterward.

Understanding how to clean suede is just as essential as knowing how to store it. Keep the sun away from your suede furniture. The sun may degrade suede, especially colored ultrasuede. Brush or vacuum your furniture with a soft bristle brush on a regular basis to eliminate grime and dust. Colored suede clothes should be kept in a dark closet. Consider using a dust cloth to protect it. If a cherished suede clothing becomes damaged, don't despair; suede that has lost its color or has gotten stained may be dyed to a new or darker hue.

Suede, while beautiful to wear, may be difficult to clean. You may spot treat your suede shoes and apparel to save money on dry cleaning. Just keep in mind to be careful and always test the approach on a hidden region first.


How do I remove a stain?

If a stubborn stain is dried, use a pencil eraser to remove it. Using tiny circular motions and minimal pressure, rub the eraser over the stain.

How do I keep my suede shoes, hats, home furnishings, and gloves looking good?

Regular preventative care is the greatest method to keep your suede shoes, caps, home furnishings, and gloves looking beautiful.

What is the best thing to clean suede shoes?

A decent suede brush is essential for cleaning suede shoes. Small stains and glossy patches on your shoes are frequently easy to remove with a good brushing. Look select a brush with a variety of bristles so you can give your nubuck shoes the most thorough cleaning possible.

How do you clean suede shoes without a suede brush?

You may clean suede shoes without using a suede brush by using a soft towel and other ordinary home items (like vinegar). You may also get a suede cleaning brick if you're interested: Consider it similar to a magic eraser, but for your expensive leather shoes.

Can you use soap and water to clean suede shoes?

You should avoid cleaning your beautiful suede shoes with soap and water. Unfortunately, unless sprayed with a suede protectant spray, suede is not inherently waterproof. To clean suede, stick to vinegar, cleaning blocks, and other items designed particularly for suede.

Is it OK to wash suede shoes?

Washing suede shoes is OK as long as you do so in a safe, suede-protecting manner. When cleaning your suede shoes, avoid using water. Instead, use a clean cloth, a suede cleaning brick, and vinegar to restore the luster of your suede shoes.

Is it okay to just put my suede shoes in my shoe rack?

Storing your shoes in a rack is great, but if you want them to retain their form for an extended period of time, place them on shoe trees before storing them. Because many of these goods are constructed from unvarnished cedar, fir, and pinewood – all of which have natural anti-microbial and moisture inhibiting characteristics – they not only help your shoes keep their shape, but they also prevent moisture damage and limit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

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