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How To Clean Suede Shoes? Do’s and Don’ts When Taking Care






Suede shoes add an element of elegance and fashion to any attire, yet they necessitate specific maintenance to preserve their optimal condition. If you lack familiarity with the correct methods, cleaning suede shoes might seem overwhelming. Nonetheless, armed with the appropriate understanding and a handful of practical suggestions, you can effortlessly uphold the luxurious texture and vibrant appearance of your suede footwear.

Ensuring the cleanliness of suede shoes primarily relies on prevention. By implementing consistent maintenance and promptly addressing any stains, you can effectively safeguard their aesthetic appeal. This guide will explore the step-by-step process of cleaning suede shoes effectively, from removing dirt and scuff marks to tackling stubborn stains. 

Suede Shoes

Whether you have a pair of suede boots, loafers, or sneakers, mastering the art of cleaning suede will extend their lifespan and ensure they continue to make a fashionable statement. So, let’s delve into the world of suede shoe cleaning and discover the secrets to keeping your favorite suede footwear in impeccable condition.

Guide on How to Clean Suede Shoes

To retain the impeccable allure of suede shoes, it is essential to provide them with specialized care. This comprehensive guide offers a systematic approach to cleaning suede shoes, ensuring their long-lasting splendor. You can make sure that your suede shoes keep their best shape for a long time by following these guidelines.


Step 1: Brushing

Brushing is an essential first step in cleaning suede shoes, as it helps remove surface dirt and stains. For this particular task, two types of brushes are commonly employed: a brass brush and a crepe brush.

1.1 Brass Brush

Begin by using a brass brush to remove deep stains and ingrained dirt from the suede. The stained area should be carefully brushed in one direction while holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. Applying the proper amount of pressure is essential to prevent suede damage. Avoid pushing too firmly; the appropriate pressure is when the bristles bend around 50%.

1.2 Crepe Brush

After using the brass brush, switch to a crepe brush. The crepe brush is designed to restore the smooth texture of suede. Using light, circular motions, brush the entire surface of the shoe with the crepe brush. This process helps revive the suede’s nap and maintain its softness.

Step 2: Cleaning the Side Sole

The side sole of suede shoes often accumulates dirt and grime, requiring specific attention during the cleaning process. To clean the side sole effectively, you will need a foam cleaner and a clean cotton cloth.

2.1 Foam Cleaner:

Choose a foam cleaner suitable for suede, leather, and fabric. Apply a small amount of foam cleaner onto a clean cotton cloth. Gently rub the side sole of the shoe with the cloth, applying firm pressure to remove any dirt or stains. Continue rubbing until the side sole appears clean. Ensure that the cleaner is only applied to the side sole and not the suede upper.

Step 3: Water Proofing

Protecting suede shoes from stains and harm in the future is the last step in cleaning them. Waterproofing your suede shoes is crucial to ensure their longevity. For this step, you will need a waterproofing spray, such as Super Invulner.

3.1 Super Invulner Waterproofing Spray:

Hold the waterproofing spray approximately 20 cm away from the suede shoe. Evenly spray the suede surface, covering the entire shoe with a thin and consistent layer of the product. Avoid oversaturating the suede, as the excessive spray can cause discoloration or damage. Ensure that the shoes are given ample time to dry following the application of the spray, ideally for a minimum of 30 minutes or as indicated by the specific product’s guidelines.

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Properly cleaning suede shoes requires attention to detail and following the right techniques. By carefully brushing the shoes, focusing on the side sole, and applying a waterproofing spray, you can maintain the quality and appearance of your suede shoes. 

Remember to always use the appropriate tools and products specifically designed for suede cleaning to avoid any potential damage. With regular care and maintenance, your suede shoes will continue to exude elegance and style for years to come.

Do’s and Don’ts When Taking Care of Suede Shoes

Taking Care of Suede Shoes

Taking care of suede shoes requires special attention and care to maintain their appearance and extend a shoe’s lifespan. Suede is a delicate material that is prone to staining, scuffing, and water damage. By following the right practices and avoiding common mistakes, you can keep your suede shoes looking fresh and stylish. Here is a detailed analysis of the do’s and don’ts when taking care of suede shoes:


Brush regularly

To effectively eliminate dirt, dust, and debris from your suede shoes, employ a suede brush with soft bristles. Employ a gentle brushing motion in a single direction to safeguard the integrity of the nap, which consists of the raised fibers.

Protect with a suede protector spray

Apply a suede protector spray before wearing your suede shoes. This creates a protective barrier that repels liquids and prevents stains. Apply the spray as directed on the can and in a well-ventilated area.

Address stains promptly

In the event of staining on your suede shoes, prompt action is vital. Swiftly address the issue by employing a suede eraser or a soft cloth dampened with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Gently rub the affected area, taking care to avoid excessive scrubbing that may harm the suede. Following stain removal, allow the shoes to air dry naturally.

Use a suede cleaner

For more stubborn stains or dirt buildup, you can use a suede cleaner specifically designed for suede shoes. Before using the cleaner on the entire shoe, try it on a tiny, discrete area first, as directed in the cleaner’s instructions.

Store properly

For optimal preservation of your suede shoes during periods of non-use, it is recommended to store them in a cool and dry place, ensuring they are shielded from direct sunlight. You may also want to consider utilizing shoe trees or inserting tissue paper inside them to assist in preserving their shape.

Rotate your shoes

Avoid wearing the same pair of suede shoes every day. Allow them to rest and recover by rotating them with other pairs. This helps prevent excessive wear and allows the shoes to breathe.


Avoid water exposure

Suede shoes are highly susceptible to water damage, so it’s crucial to keep them away from water. Do not wear suede shoes in rainy or snowy conditions, and avoid stepping in puddles or wet grass. In the event that your suede shoes become wet, it is advisable to fill them with newspaper or insert a shoe tree to aid in absorption and then allow them to naturally dry away from direct sources of heat.

Don’t use a regular brush

Using a regular brush or abrasive materials on suede shoes can damage the delicate nap. Stick to a soft-bristle suede brush specifically designed for suede care.

Stay away from heat sources

Avoid exposing your suede shoes to direct heat sources such as heaters, radiators, or hairdryers. Excessive heat can cause the suede to dry out, crack, or warp.

Don’t use excessive force

When removing stains or dirt from suede shoes, never use excessive force or scrub vigorously. This can damage the fibers and leave permanent marks.

Skip the washing machine

Suede shoes should never be washed in a washing machine. The water and agitation can ruin the texture and shape of the suede. Stick to gentle hand-cleaning methods.

Avoid darkening products

Certain suede care products have the potential to darken the hue of your shoes. If your preference is to preserve the original color, it is advisable to select products that explicitly indicate their ability to maintain the shoe’s coloration.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can keep your suede shoes looking their best and enjoy them for a long time. Remember, prevention and regular maintenance are key to preserving the beauty and integrity of suede footwear.

Tips for Wearing Suede Shoes

Wearing Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are a timeless and luxurious addition to any wardrobe. Known for their soft texture and refined appearance, suede shoes can elevate your style effortlessly. However, proper styling is crucial to make the most of this elegant footwear. This post will go over some fundamental strategies for wearing suede shoes with confidence and grace.

Choose the Right Color

When selecting suede shoes, consider colors that complement your existing wardrobe. Classic hues like tan, brown, navy, and black are versatile options that pair well with various outfits. These neutral shades allow you to create numerous stylish ensembles, making them ideal for both formal and casual occasions.

Match with the Right Outfit

Suede shoes can add a touch of refinement to any ensemble, but it’s important to match them appropriately. For a sharp and formal look, pair suede dress shoes with tailored suits or dress pants. Opt for a darker shade that matches the overall tone of your outfit. On the other hand, suede loafers or desert boots are perfect for smart-casual or semi-formal attire, making them a great choice for business-casual events or weekend outings.

Mind the Season

Consider the season when wearing suede shoes. While suede is often associated with colder months, it can also be worn during transitional seasons like spring and fall. In warmer weather, opt for suede loafers, espadrilles, or suede sneakers, as they provide a lighter and more breathable alternative to traditional leather footwear. In colder months, suede boots or oxfords paired with warm socks can be a stylish and practical choice.

Protect and Maintain

Suede shoes require extra care and attention compared to their leather counterparts. Apply a suede protector spray before wearing them for the first time to guard against stains and water damage. Regularly use a suede brush to gently remove dirt and revive the nap of the suede. In case of stains, use a suede eraser or a specialized suede cleaner. Remember to store suede shoes in a cool, dry place to prevent mold or damage.

Experiment with Textures

Suede textures

Suede shoes can add a subtle textural contrast to your outfits. Pair them with different fabric textures to create interesting and eye-catching combinations. For example, wear suede shoes with corduroy pants for a vintage-inspired look or with a tweed blazer for a sophisticated twist. Combining suede shoes with other materials can create a visually appealing outfit with depth and character.

Consider Suede Accessories

Suede accessories, such as belts, bags, or even suede watch straps, can help tie your outfit together and create a cohesive look. Opt for accessories in the same or similar color as your suede shoes to create a harmonious ensemble. This subtle coordination demonstrates attention to detail and enhances the overall sophistication of your style.


Wearing suede shoes is a surefire way to elevate your fashion game. By choosing the right color, pairing them with appropriate outfits, and considering the season, you can effortlessly exude sophistication and style. 

Don’t forget to protect and maintain your suede shoes to ensure their longevity. Keeping these pointers in mind will enable you to step out boldly while showcasing your perfect sense of style and subtly adding a touch of sophisticated elegance to any ensemble.

View more: 3 Ways To Clean White Vans Shoes in this article


Can suede shoes be cleaned at home, or should I take them to a professional?

Suede shoes can be cleaned at home with the right tools and techniques, but it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper guidelines.

How can I remove stains from my suede shoes?

For dry stains, use a suede brush or a clean, dry towel to gently brush or blot the stain. For wet stains, use a clean cloth or sponge to blot the excess moisture and then follow up with a suede brush. If the stain persists, you can try using a suede eraser or a specialized suede cleaner.

Can I use water to clean my suede shoes?

Water can cause discoloration or damage to suede, so it’s generally recommended to avoid using water directly on suede shoes. Instead, use dry cleaning methods or specialized suede cleaning products.

How do I remove scuff marks from suede shoes?

To eliminate scuff marks, softly rub the impacted spot using a suede brush or suede eraser. Begin with gentle strokes and gradually apply more pressure if needed. It’s important to be cautious not to excessively brush or vigorously scrub, as this can potentially harm the suede.

Are there any home remedies for cleaning suede shoes?

Yes, you may attempt a few at-home cures. For example, you can use white vinegar diluted with water to gently remove stains. Baking soda can also help absorb oil or grease stains. To ensure there are no adverse effects, it is crucial to test these methods on a small and inconspicuous area beforehand.

Can I use regular shoe polish on suede shoes?

No, regular shoe polish is not suitable for suede shoes. Instead, use a suede-specific cleaner or conditioner to maintain the soft texture and appearance of your suede footwear.

How frequently should I wash my suede shoes?

The frequency with which you clean your suede shoes will be determined by how frequently you wear them and the circumstances they are subjected to. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to clean and brush your suede shoes regularly to prevent dirt buildup and maintain their overall appearance.

How can I prevent future stains and damage to my suede shoes?

Apply a suede protector spray before wearing your shoes for the first time to create a barrier against stains and water damage. Reapply the spray periodically, especially after cleaning, to maintain the protective coating. Additionally, avoid wearing suede shoes in inclement weather, or treat them with extra care if you do.

Steven Ta
Steven Ta
I am a professional photographer and shoe-lover. With a deep-rooted passion for all things footwear and years of hands-on experience, I am your go-to guide in the awesome world of shoes
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