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How to Clean Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are a stylish and versatile addition to any wardrobe, but they require special care to keep them looking their best. Unlike leather or synthetic materials, suede is delicate and can easily become stained or damaged if not cleaned properly. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to effectively clean and maintain your suede shoes, ensuring they stay fresh and stylish for years to come.

How to Clean Suede Shoes

Understanding Suede

Suede is a type of leather with a soft, napped surface that gives it a luxurious and velvety texture. While suede is prized for its aesthetic appeal, it is more susceptible to damage from water, dirt, and other contaminants compared to smooth leather. Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to preserve the appearance and longevity of suede shoes.

Cleaning Suede Shoes

1. Gather Your Supplies:

  • Soft-bristled brush or suede brush
  • White vinegar or suede cleaner
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Suede protector spray (optional)

2. Brush Away Surface Dirt:

  • Start by using a soft-bristled brush or suede brush to gently brush away any surface dirt or debris. Brush in the direction of the nap (the raised fibers) to avoid damaging the suede.

3. Treat Stains:

  • For light stains, dampen a clean cloth or sponge with water and blot the affected area gently. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain and damage the suede. For tougher stains, mix equal parts white vinegar and water and dab the stain with the solution using a clean cloth. Allow the area to air dry.

4. Remove Scuff Marks:

  • To remove scuff marks, rub the affected area gently with a suede brush or pencil eraser. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this can damage the suede.

5. Restore Nap:

  • After cleaning, use a suede brush to restore the nap of the suede. Brush the entire surface of the shoe in a back-and-forth motion to lift the fibers and revive the texture.

6. Apply Suede Protector (Optional):

  • To protect your suede shoes from future stains and water damage, consider applying a suede protector spray. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and test the spray on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first.

Tips for Suede Shoe Care

  • Avoid Water: Suede is highly susceptible to water damage, so avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or rainy conditions.
  • Store Properly: When not in use, store suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration.
  • Rotate Shoes: Rotating between multiple pairs of shoes can help extend the life of your suede shoes and prevent excessive wear.

Professional Cleaning

If your suede shoes require more intensive cleaning or stain removal, consider taking them to a professional shoe cleaner or cobbler. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to safely clean and restore suede shoes without causing damage.


With proper care and maintenance, suede shoes can remain a stylish and timeless addition to your footwear collection. By following the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating regular cleaning into your shoe care routine, you can keep your suede shoes looking their best for years to come. Remember to treat stains promptly, avoid exposing suede shoes to water, and invest in a suede protector spray for added protection.

Also read: How to Clean White Shoes: Keeping Your Footwear Sparkling

Dane Jean
Dane Jean
Senior Editor and Writer At Armlet News.


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