How to Clean Suede Shoes at Home

How to Clean Suede Shoes at Home

Suede shoes are a stylish and versatile addition to any wardrobe. However, they require special care and attention to keep them looking their best. Professional cleaning can be expensive, but with the right techniques, you can clean your suede shoes at home and maintain their beauty without breaking the bank. In this article, we will guide you through the process of how to clean suede shoes at home effectively and safely. The content is presented by

Why Suede Shoes Require Special Care

Suede is a type of leather with a soft and delicate surface that gives it a unique texture. Unlike smooth leather, suede is more prone to staining and damage, making it essential to handle it with care. Traditional cleaning methods used for other types of shoes may not be suitable for suede, as they can cause discoloration and ruin the texture.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you start cleaning your suede shoes, gather the following tools and materials:

  1. Soft-bristled brush or suede brush
  2. White vinegar or suede cleaner
  3. Clean, dry cloth or suede eraser
  4. Towel or paper towels
  5. Waterproof suede spray (optional)

Having these items ready will make the cleaning process much smoother and more efficient.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Suede ShoesHow to Clean Suede Shoes at Home

Step 1: Prepare the Shoes

Start by removing the shoelaces if your suede shoes have them. This will make it easier to clean the entire surface of the shoe. Shake off any loose dirt or debris from the shoes, and use a soft brush to gently brush the surface in one direction. This will help raise the nap and remove any superficial dirt or dust. Check out how to decorate a bedroom with slanted walls

Step 2: Treat Stains and Spots

If you notice any stains or spots on your suede shoes, it’s essential to address them before proceeding with the general cleaning. Depending on the type of stain, you can use different techniques:

  • Water-based stains: Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with a small amount of water and gently blot the stain. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain further. Let the shoes air dry naturally after this step.
  • Oil-based stains: Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and let it sit for a few hours. The powder will absorb the oil. Use a suede brush or cloth to remove the powder gently.

For stubborn stains that don’t respond to these methods, you may need to consult a professional cleaner.

Step 3: Clean the Entire Shoe

After addressing any specific stains, it’s time to clean the entire shoe. There are two common methods you can use: white vinegar or a suede cleaner.

Using White Vinegar

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl.
  2. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge in the vinegar solution.
  3. Gently rub the cloth over the entire surface of the shoe, working in small sections.
  4. Let the shoes air dry naturally.

Using a Suede Cleaner

  1. Follow the instructions provided on the suede cleaner product.
  2. Apply the cleaner to a clean cloth or sponge.
  3. Gently rub the cleaner onto the shoe in small sections.
  4. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally.

Step 4: Restore the Nap

After cleaning, the suede might appear flattened or disheveled. To restore the nap and texture, use a soft-bristled brush or a suede brush. Brush the surface of the shoes in one direction, following the natural grain of the suede. This will help lift the nap and restore the shoes’ original appearance.

Step 5: Protect the Suede

To prolong the life and appearance of your suede shoes, it’s a good idea to apply a waterproof suede spray. This spray creates a protective barrier that repels water, stains, and dirt, keeping your shoes looking cleaner for longer. Follow the instructions on the spray bottle to ensure proper application.

Additional Tips for Suede Shoe Care

  • Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or rainy conditions to prevent water damage.
  • Store suede shoes in a cool, dry place to avoid mold or mildew.
  • Use shoe trees or crumpled paper to maintain the shape of your suede shoes when storing them.
  • Regularly brush your suede shoes to prevent dirt buildup and keep the nap looking fresh.


Cleaning suede shoes at home is a cost-effective way to maintain their beauty and prolong their lifespan. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove stains, clean the shoes thoroughly, and restore the suede’s texture. Remember to use the appropriate tools and materials, be gentle in your approach, and take preventative measures to protect your suede shoes from future damage.

So, go ahead and give your suede shoes the care they deserve. With the tips and techniques provided in this article, you’ll be able to keep your suede shoes looking stylish and impeccable for years to come.

Thomas Hundley

Thomas Hundley

Thomas Hundley is a licensed contractor with over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry. His passion for helping homeowners create their dream spaces led him to start this blog, where he shares practical tips, DIY guides, and insights on the latest trends.

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