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Did you get some scuff marks, water leaks, grime, or other stains on your favorite pair of suedes? If you’re tired of wearing soiled and worn-out shoes, don’t go out to buy a new pair just yet. It’s time to learn the appropriate techniques to clean suede shoes. 

Generally, a water-resistant layer will keep your suede footwear dry, but it offers little defense against filth, grit, and dirt. Despite this, water stains are a constant concern with suede footwear, even though certain styles are water-resistant. Like most stain removal techniques, treating a stain on leather is much simpler when you act quickly. This is because the more time a stain sits on suede, the more deeply it seeps into the porous fabric. We’ll teach you how to clean your sued shoes and leave it clean like we do with house cleaning.

The Basic Guide to Clean Suede

No matter what kind of suede stains you have or how soiled your shoes are, make sure they are fully dry before you start cleaning. Keep in mind that it might be difficult to see all of the grime and stains clearly enough to clean them thoroughly since suede is naturally deeper and discolored when it’s wet.

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Brush Off Loose Dirt

Remove any fine dirt or debris by brushing it away with a suede brush. A toothbrush may also be used to clean small areas that are hard to clean with the brush. Start by brushing parallel to the pattern or grain of the nap. If a stubborn area will not budge, switch to a mild back-and-forth motion to remove the filth but be careful not to be too harsh as it may damage your suede.

Use an Eraser to Remove Stains

To remove tiny stains, spot-clean suede shoes with a leather eraser or a clean blocking eraser. Gently go over the mark with the eraser. If that does not work, switch to another suede cleanup technique. By rubbing too vigorously, you risk damaging the fabric. Therefore, if you do not see any results from the eraser, don’t continue with this method.

You can use an emery board nail file to lift the nap and remove the stains. To prevent scratching the material, use mild pressure.

Vinegar Solution

Cleaning suede footwear and boots using quick-evaporating cleaning agents won’t cause them any harm. You may have figured by now that suede cannot be cleaned with water since you needed to air out your suede sneakers before washing them.

Use a non-water-based, environmentally friendly cleaner that you probably already have on hand instead of buying one. To clean suede shoes, distilled white vinegar is one of the best options. These common home items are safe natural disinfectants and gentle yet efficient cleansers.

Scrub the stain or filthy area with the pointed end of a white, clean cloth after dipping it in white vinegar. When your cleaning cloth becomes dirty, switch to another area and continue the process. To prevent getting the suede too wet, you should try not to use too much vinegar. Let the moist surfaces dry naturally, then inspect for stains and filth. If necessary, repeat the process for tough stains.

Once your suede shoes are dry, give them one last brushing with a suede brush to remove any remaining moisture from the nap.

Spray Suede Protector 

Although some suede shoes are already treated to withstand moisture and stains, it is always a good idea to add an additional layer of defense. Select a protector spray made especially for suede, and use it as directed by the manufacturer. The easiest approach to clean, even with the use of a water – or stain-repellent substance, is to save them for dry weather and try to keep them away from spills and splatters as much as you can.

clean suede shoes

Types of Suede Stains

When cleaning suede shoes, some stains call for specific cleaning procedures. Follow these instructions to get rid of some of the most typical stains on suede boots.

Mud or Dirt

To get rid of all the filth, mud, or dirt, use a suede brush or toothbrush. If stains still exist, gently remove the dirt with a steamer before blotting with a towel or any other suitable material to remove it. Dry off the area with a hairdryer.

Grease or Oil

Greasy things, whether they are dollops of butter or splatters of frying oil, can swiftly seep into suede and embed into its fibers. As with most stains, treating marks on suede as soon as possible is advised to prevent further harm.

Pour sufficient baking soda to completely cover the oily stain. Let the baking soda sit for a few hours so it can consume the fat. With a suede brush, remove the baking soda mixture and the oil that it has absorbed. Once the suede is completely dry, examine the grease stain and repeat the procedure as necessary. Give the suede a quick brushing to bring back the nap after cleaning and drying your suede brush.

If you don’t have baking soda, you may use cornstarch, and you should use paper towels to blot the grease stain rather than massage it. If your attempts fail or you missed the grease mark before it dried, you may finally want to use a professional suede degreaser. These solutions are designed particularly to dissolve grease without harming suede shoes.


Especially in the winter, you could be perplexed as to how your suede footwear acquired salt stains and lines. The tanning procedure may be the primary cause of salt stains on suede. When suede boots become wet, salt, which is often used to protect leather and suede during the tanning process, may rise to the top. The usage of salt on roadways during the winter and sweat from your feet are two additional causes of salt stains. Suedes might seem to be damaged due to salt stains and lines, although they are often easy to remove.

In a bowl, combine water and white vinegar in equal quantities. Take a clean towel and dip one of its corners into the water-vinegar mixture. Rub the salt streaks until they are completely gone and the suede is moist. While the suede is still wet, restore the texture with a suede brush. Give your footwear one final brush after washing and drying your suede brush.

Water Stains

Contrary to popular belief, adding water may aid in removing water stains from suede shoes. Spray some water on the surface with a spray bottle. Use a toothbrush or a suede brush to gently scrub the surface. Dry fully after wiping away any extra moisture with a fresh cloth or paper towel. Apply a suede sealing spray after it has dried to prevent further water stains.

Ink Marks

The suede can be cleaned quite well using Magic Eraser pads. Before cleaning the full shoe or another suede object, always test a little area to be sure your leather item will respond nicely to the Magic Eraser. Scuffs or ink marks on suede shoes may be easily removed using Magic Erasers.

clean suede shoes

Alternative Methods of Cleaning


From ink-stained shirts to soiled suede boots, rubbing ethanol is a safe and efficient cleaning and sanitizing solution. You can restore the new appearance of shoe soles by cleaning scuff marks on their sides with rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol should be applied to a small area with a white, clean cleaning cloth. Apply the dry part of the cloth to areas that are stained or dirty, switching as necessary. Avoid rubbing the nap or soaking the suede with alcohol. After the suede has dried, assess your handy work. If required, repeat the procedure to remove stubborn stains. 

As your suede shoes dry, fluff the nap with a suede brush. Once everything is dry, brush using a little force but not too vigorously, as it will risk damaging the material. For spots like ink or paint that are often difficult to remove off suede shoes and boots, rubbing alcohol is very effective. Even the roughest suede can be cleaned as new again by following the above steps, albeit difficult stains like these might require more time and effort.

clean suede shoes

The Bottom Line

The suede may get dull with age and become flat and ragged, especially after washing suede shoes and boots. Even if you clean your suede shoes properly and often brush them, their suede material may still seem drab and stringy.

We advise leaving it to the pros like My Cleaning Angel to handle if a deeper clean is necessary or if you’re trying to deal with stubborn stains, particularly for expensive suede shoes. You’ve probably already spent a lot of money on your purchase, so it’s wiser not to run the chance of making a costly error by fiddling. The experts will definitely be able to assist.

If you are planning on a major house clean-up or are recruiting maid services, look no further than My Cleaning Angel. Book cleaning service online, it’s easy and fast. We are experienced in all types of cleaning services, not just suede shoes! You can book your next appointment in less than 60 seconds!

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