Suede shoes are in limelight when it comes to footwear. They’re stylish and make you feel comfortable. Many street style stars wear it and stomp on the road with confidence. This may be a treat for your eyes. Furthermore, it may encourage you to go and shop for one. But, the fashion story doesn’t end here. The most important part is yet to unfold: how to clean suede shoes DIY ways.

Maintaining the new stain-free look of suede shoes doesn’t need expertise. Just follow the steps discussed below to extend their life. All the processes discussed here are pocket-friendly. Moreover, the materials used here for cleaning are also easy to get.

Table of Contents

1. Read the instructions

2.How to Clean Suede Shoes?

3.Removing Oil from Suede Shoes

4.How to remove vomit from it

5.Ways to remove mud from your suede boots

6.Removing ink marks

7.How to remove gummy stains

8.How to remove water stains

9.Using toothbrush to clean them

10.Ways to restore your suede’s color

11.How often should you clean them?

12.How to prevent future scuffs

14.Seek a professional’s help

1.Read the Instructions

Each suede material is different. The suede of your shoes can be made from deer’s skin, sheep’s skin, or goat’s skin. You should know the material before cleaning it. Therefore, reading the manufacturer’s label is vital.

Strictly follow the instructions written on it. This will help you to prevent damaging of the material.

2.How to Clean Suede Shoes DIY ways?

With Household Items: Cleaning suede shoes doesn’t require a lot of investments. You can do it easily using items from your kitchen. Many kitchen items are perfect to take away your woes. Some of these are:

White Vinegar: White vinegar is extremely useful to remove tough grimes such as wine, food, or salt. Pour a few drops of vinegar on a paper towel. Rub it gently on the stained area. The stain will start to fade as you go on rubbing.

Cleaning shoes with apple cider vinegar

Pro Tip: If the stain is tougher, take some towels and soak them in water. Place them as layers on the stained part. Keep it as it is for few hours. Then, remove the layers. You’ll find that the stain has gone completely.

Baking Soda: Your suede shouldn’t get too wet while cleaning. So, play safe with dry cleaning method using baking soda. Baking soda can clean dirt and absorb odors and grease. Sprinkle baking soda on the shoes where they’ve stains. Use a soft-bristled brush to rub the area gently. Leave it for 15 minutes. Gently rub again to get rid of grease and other tough stains.

Pro Tip: Never rub in back and forth direction. Always rub in the same direction to maintain the uniform look of your suede.

Steel Wool: Rub the stained area vigorously with steel wool. However, you may observe that the surfaces of the shoes have become little rough once the stain is removed. So, if possible, try to avoid using the steel wool method.

Eraser: Stubborn marks are hard to remove. In this case, use a pencil eraser. Apply little pressure to brush the area. Go on increasing the pressure to remove the mark.

Pro Tip: You can also use crepe rubber instead of a pencil eraser.

3.Removing Oil Stains

Grease and oil are some of the toughest stains your shoes can have. If the stain is wet, sprinkle some cornstarch on the soil. Take a dry and clean towel and dab it on the sprinkled cornstarch. Now, rub them on the stain in back and forth motion.

Let the cornstarch sit on it overnight. The next morning, clean the suede on shoes to get rid of the cornstarch.

4.Removing Vomit

Scrape gently to remove the solid particles. Put a mild soap in lukewarm water. Swish it. You’ll get a solution with a huge volume of suds. Dip a sponge into the foam. Apply them on the vomit. Rub gently. Now, use a damp cloth to wipe of the area properly. Let your shoes dry. Once dried, you’ll find the vomit stains are no longer there.

5. Removing Mud

Make sure the mud is dry before you start cleaning. Use an old toothbrush to brush the entire shoes gently against the affected area. Avoid applying too much pressure to prevent the mud from penetrating the fiber. Go on rubbing until no more soil is coming off.

After that, remove loosen matted suede fibers with vigorous brushing.

6.Removing Ink

Once you notice the ink on shoes, blot it ASAP. However, the blotting works only if the ink is fresh. Use rubbing alcohol to blot the ink stains gently. But, the use of rubbing alcohol can fade the color of your shoes.

Or, you can use very fine sandpaper to rub the area gently. If you find that the nap of that area is affected, rub the sandpaper gently all over the shoe. It will prevent the formation of patchiness due to discoloration.                                          

7. Removing Gummy Stains

Suede shoes with gummy stains

Apply this suede shoe cleaning process only when the shoes are completely dry. If so, keep it in the freezer for 3 hours minimum. Use a semi-sharp edged tool to scrape off as much soil as possible. Here, you can use a sharp edged plastic spatula or a comb to do the job.

Finally, brush the nap out with a suede brush.

8. Cleaning Water Stains

Absorb water with dry paper towel. Once the shoes are dried, scrape off the stain with fine side of an emery board. Apply steam from a kettle to moisten the shoes slightly. Be careful to not to allow the formation of droplets on the shoes.

Once the shoes are completely treated, get rid of the excess water using blotting paper. Brush the nap gently to maintain the uniform look of your suede.

9. Can You Use Toothbrush To Clean Your Suede Shoes in DIY ways?

cleaning suede shoes with toothbrush

Yes, of course. However, the toothbrush has to be cleaned properly before using. It’s recommended to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Otherwise, the suede may get affected. If you want to avoid using toothbrush, pick a nail file or an eraser for rubbing.

10. How to Restore the Color of Suede Shoes DIY?

Cleaning white suede shoes are extremely difficult. A little mistake can damage the color. Go for a suede protector to restore its white color. Blot the excess moisture. Use only white vinegar and soft cloth for cleaning. Once dry, restore the suede fabric by brushing the nap.  

Black color of suede also tend to fade. So, you’ve to be very careful while cleaning. Clean the shoes regularly to maintain its black shine. Once you remove stains from your black suede shoes, apply black suede dye to touch up the scuffed marks. Or, you can rub black crayon on those areas.

11. How Often Should You Clean it?

Now, you know how to clean shoes with suede. But one question still may arise in your mind. ‘How often should I clean the shoes?’ Clean it once weekly to enjoy a well-groomed suede look. On the contrary, if you clean it frequently, the nap may lose its appearance.

However, if you observe any dirt or stain on the shoes, get rid of it immediately. You can simply brush your shoes after each wear.

12. How to Prevent Future Scuffs?

Regular maintenance is the key to prevent your suede shoes from getting scuffs in future. Follow these rules to increase the look and potential of the suede shoes.

Apply protectant sprays. Read directions on the package and then apply suede protectant sprays on the shoes while not using it. It will help you to keep the suede clean for a long time. The sprays also prevent stains from penetrating deep inside the fabric.

Keep in dry place. Store the shoes in dry place after each wear. Also, clean the dirt from the shoes without late.

Crumple paper to absorb excess moisture. Apart from absorbing moisture, newspaper crumpling is also a great way to maintain the shape of the shoes.

Use shoe bag or cloth to cover. Cover the shoes with a cloth or shoe bag after using them to wear a dust-free shoes the next time.

13. Seek a Professional’s Help

If all your efforts mentioned in this how to clean suede shoes DIY processes to remove stains fail, take it to a professional cleaner. This is the safest solution to extend the lifespan of the shoes without hurting them. With a little investment of time and effort, you can easily find a cleaner who is experienced and offers the service at a reasonable rate.


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