How to Clean Suede Shoes Without Destroying Texture | 2024

Suede shoes are a must-have in colder seasons. They're not only stylish and comfy but also keep you warm. However, the soft and fuzzy texture of suede...
Suede Cleaner for Shoes

Suede shoes are a must-have in colder seasons. They’re not only stylish and comfy but also keep you warm. However, the soft and fuzzy texture of suede that makes it feel nice also means it can easily get damaged.

When you wear suede shoes regularly, things like dirt, oils, scuffs, and even moisture and salt can make them look dirty, especially if you use them in bad weather. The problem is, you can’t just soak them in soapy water to clean off stains and build-up because suede doesn’t handle excess moisture well.

We’ll guide you through the process step by step below and provide suggestions for getting rid of common stains on suede footwear. These cleaning techniques help bring back the soft, clean look of your beloved suede items.

1. Time to Work: 30 minutes 2. Skill Level: Easy
3. Expected Cost: $0 to $15 4. Overall Time: 45 minutes

Things to use:

Soft brush or toothbrush
Special rubber for suede or a clean eraser block


Nail file like an emery board
White vinegar
Spray to protect suede
Soft cloth made of microfiber


Before you clean suede shoes, make sure they are completely dry. If you try to remove spots or stains while the shoes are still a little wet, it might push the stain deeper into the material and make it tougher to get rid of.

Use paper towels or a soft cloth to soak up as much moisture as possible before letting the shoes air dry. Don’t use a hairdryer, direct sunlight, or any heat sources to speed up drying; this might make the material dry out and become stiff.

After your shoes are totally dry, do these steps to clean your suede shoes.

To remove hard stains from suede shoes, use a soft cloth and dip it in white vinegar. Gently rub the stain, making sure not to make it too wet. The vinegar might change the suede’s color a bit while it’s wet, but as it dries, it should go back to its usual color.

Let the wet spot dry, then check if the stain is still there. Do this process again if needed until the stain is totally gone. Once it’s clean and dry, brush the surface again to make it look like it did before.

Even if you use a spray to stop water and stains, the top way to keep your soft shoes clean is to wear them when it’s not rainy and try not to spill things on them.

Some marks on suede shoes need special methods for cleaning. Follow these suggestions to get rid of typical stains on your suede footwear.

To get rid of dirt or mud on suede shoes, make sure the material is totally dry first. Use a suede brush or a toothbrush to take off as much dirt as you can. If there are still marks, use a steamer to gently loosen the dirt, then pat with a paper towel or cloth to lift it away. Allow the area to dry.

To get rid of oil or grease spots on suede shoes, sprinkle cornstarch on the stain and let it soak up the extra grease for a few hours. Use a brush to softly remove the cornstarch. 

Do this again if necessary until the mark disappears. If the grease stain is already dry, clean the spot with a bit of dish soap. 

Let the soap stay on the stain for around 10 minutes, then wipe away the soapy residue with a damp cloth. Remember not to soak suede shoes in water directly.

Stains from salt due to snow and melted ice can be a common issue when you wear suede shoes or boots in the winter. To get rid of the salt on your suede shoes, begin by brushing away as much salt as you can. 

Take a clean cloth and dip it in cold water with a bit of dish soap. Pat the stain gently; don’t rub. Repeat as necessary until the stain disappears. Allow it to dry completely.

Even though it might seem a bit surprising, putting water on suede shoes can actually help get rid of water marks. Grab a spray bottle and lightly spray water on the shoes. 

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