10 Best Tips for Cleaning Suede Shoes

Last Updated on July 24, 2021 by Ellen Christian

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Wondering how to get stains out of suede? Check out these tips to get stains out of suede and how to keep suede looking like new.

Whether you have suede ankle booties or a pair of winter boots, removing stains like salt and oil from suede can be a challenge.

Wondering how to get stains out of suede? Check out these tips to get stains out of suede and how to keep suede looking like new.

Get Stains Out of Suede

We all have those pairs of shoes that we love to wear but hate to clean. Suede shoes are one of the most difficult types of footwear to keep looking like new, but with these 10 tips, you will be able to maintain your suede shoes and keep them looking great for years!

There are all sorts of suede cleaning kits available on Amazon that will remove stains from suede. But, if you don’t have a kit, you can still remove the stain with a few common household ingredients. 

Before we get to it, I really do recommend that you keep this kit on hand for emergencies. It works the best of any of the suede cleaning kits I’ve tried yet.

One of the worst parts about owning a suede pair of shoes is that oftentimes, they don’t come with instructions on how to take care of them. So, if you’re wondering how to get stains out of suede, here are some helpful tips for taking good care of your footwear without having to purchase expensive cleaners:

What is the best way to clean suede shoes?

First and foremost, never try to clean suede in any way other than wiping it off with a dry cloth. This includes running water from a hose over the surface or using an old toothbrush or nail brush to scrub at stains. Even if you’re only trying to remove dirt, doing this will actually cause irreversible damage!

The fine hairs which make up the fabric can become tangled and matted down as well as discolored by chemicals found in detergents. So, just stick to the dry cloth if you want to restore suede shoes.

the back of a pair of suede ugg boots

How to remove dirt from suede

If the dirt is dry rather than wet, this method will work great. Use a brush to remove any dirt or sand from the suede. Use a dry cloth afterward, and work in small circles to buff out the surface of your shoes. This will help keep them looking new for longer!

Make sure that when rubbing out dirt or stains on your shoes that you do it in small circles, and use a light hand. You don’t want to end up causing more scratches than necessary!

Wondering how to get stains out of suede? Check out these tips to get stains out of suede and how to keep suede looking like new.

Is water good on suede?

It is best to avoid using water to clean suede. The material is very porous and if it gets wet, it can destroy the delicate suede fibers. It can cause stains that are difficult (or impossible) to get rid of later on.

An exception would be if you have some horrible stain on your shoe that cannot be removed with wax polish remover, etc., then by all means go ahead and try getting rid of it using warm water and soap – but please don’t do this with expensive suede shoes unless absolutely necessary!

a woman wearing a pair of brown boots with ribbons

How do you make suede look new?

A great tip for cleaning suede shoes without hurting them is to take care of them in sections instead of doing an all-over wipe down. This can help avoid scuffing up the surface and causing light scratches on the material.

When wiping down the shoe, start at one side (either left or right) and work your way towards the end, working in small circles as you go around until there’s nothing more for you to do!

How to clean suede shoes with household products

When trying to clean suede with household products, make sure you are using items that are non-abrasive. This could be anything from soap (be sure not to get this too wet!) to rubbing alcohol – just make sure there is no chance of damaging the fabric because we all know how expensive new pairs can be!

Remove ink from suede

If you have an ink stain on your suede shoes, try using a pencil eraser to remove it. Rub the area in circular motions and then wipe off with a dry cloth or tissue paper if necessary. If that doesn’t work, dab some white vinegar onto the spot and wait for up to five minutes before wiping clean again.

Wondering how to get stains out of suede? Check out these tips to get stains out of suede and how to keep suede looking like new.

How to care for suede boots

Remove excess residue by wiping down the fabric using a damp cloth; then apply either suede protector spray or another clear protectant for best results. These will help ensure against future damage as well as extend the life of your footwear (doing so can also prolong their wear).

It’s important to remember that if you need to clean them more than once per year, this may mean that they are too often worn out and should be retired from regular use.

If you want to know how to clean Ugg suede boots, you can use the same process. However, they do have a name-brand boot cleaner you might want to try as well. 

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