How to Clean Suede Shoes – Step by Step Guide

cleaning suede shoes

How to Clean Suede Shoes – Step by Step Guide

Table of Contents

Suede shoes get dirty easily, and you need to clean them to maintain them for years. Suede shoes are prone to stains and will easily collect scuff, dirt, water spots, and grime. Before you start cleaning your suede shoes, check for care instructions and if they are made with faux or real suede. Wait until your shoes are dry and remove the dirt.

Avoid washing your suede shoes because excessive water will cause damage. Check the care label on your shoes to verify if they can be washed. Knowing how to clean your suede shoes is not difficult with the right techniques and tools. Avoid cleaning your shoes when still damp because the stain will go deeper, making it hard to remove. Never dry the shoes in direct sunlight or use other heat sources, as it can cause the suede to harden. Here are 4 easy steps to clean your suede shoes.

What you’ll need

  • Suede rubber
  • Suede brush
  • White vinegar
  • Microfibre cloth Suede protector


Step 1: Remove excess dirt

You should never clean your shoes when they are wet. Use a clean towel to absorb the wetness and allow your shoes to dry before cleaning them. The first step in cleaning your suede shoes is to remove dirt from the shoe surface. Use a suede brush and apply light strokes to remove loose dirt particles. You can also use a toothbrush if it is only a small area. Always brush along the grain. If your shoe has stubborn stains, apply more pressure and move the brush in a back and forth direction. Repeat until all the debris is removed.

Step 2: Use a suede rubber to remove blemishes

For surface stains, use a suede rubber to get rid of any blemishes that remain. Move the rubber back and forth until the marks are removed. Don’t force any stain that won’t come out. You can try another stain removal product. Rubbing your shoe too hard will only damage it.

Step 3: Use white vinegar

If the stain still won’t come off after using the suede rubber, you should try something else. White vinegar is acidic and will break down the clumps causing the scuffs. Do not dilute it with water to avoid causing damage to your shoes. Dip the white vinegar in a microfiber cloth and rub it gently on the stain. Be careful not to dampen the shoe surface.

The vinegar can change the colour of your shoe while it’s damp. The shoe will return to its original colour once the moisture evaporates. Allow the area to dry and check if there is still some stain. Repeat the process if needed until the stain is gone. Brush the show surface once it is dry to restore its appearance. The key to using white vinegar to remove a stain is patience and repetition.

Step 4: Apply the suede protector

Now that your suede shoe is clean, you need to protect it with a suede protector. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the suede protector. A suede protector will reduce the times you have to clean your suede shoes. Leave your shoes to dry after applying the protector spray. The protector spray will protect your shoes from scuffs, stains, and water. Avoid wearing your suede shoes in wet weather to avoid splatter and maintain them for a long time.

Now you know how to clean suede shoes, don’t allow the stains to prevent you from wearing your shoes. Suede may seem like a tricky fabric, but once you know how to care for it, you’ll maintain it for longer. Follow the above simple steps to clean your suede and have them look brand new.

Regional Services

Regional Services

Regional Services are an experienced commercial and office cleaning company based in London. Regional Services are an award winning and fully accredited cleaning company who provide a full range of facility management services and expertise including cleaning, maintenance, waste removal, pest control, gardening and more.


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