Cleaning Suede Shoes

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John, Medford, OR asks
Question: I’m always having trouble with cleaning suede shoes and, unfortunately, they get dirty easily. Is there a proper way to do it?

Answer:

The proper way is to take them to professional leather cleaners. Even better thing is to not let your suede shoes get dirty at first place. But you knew that already, didn’t you.

These few tips might help you have less trouble with cleaning your shoes:

- Treat your shoes with protective spray against water damage and stains.

- Keep the shoes away from water as much as possible.

- If they get wet, never dry with heat dryer. Sop the water with towel and let your suede shoes dry naturally. Repair the nap with the suede brush.

- You can also restore the nap with steam. Hold your suede above a steaming pot.

- When cleaning always apply your cleaning product or treatment method on a small area to prevent disasters.

- Cleaning is generally accomplished by either gently brushing with fine brushes (for dry marks) or by lightly soaking with piece of cloth (for wet stains). Never use hard pressure and fast motions.

- You can partially to entirely remove dry stains by lightly rubbing with pencil eraser on the affected area.

- It is reported that using nail file can remove mud and scuff marks on shoes (- do at your own risk).

- Some people also reported success by gently rubbing with cloth dunked in vinegar (- do at your own risk).


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Comments

  1. Kat says:

    So I definitely advocate the sandpaper/nail file/steel wool approach to restoring the nap.

    I had suede shoes that got dog poop on them and were wet. The nap was completely flat and shiny. The shoes looked ruined. I couldn’t find any sandpaper but I used a nail file and now they look practically new. I also tried steel wool and that made them look even better!