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How to Clean Suede Shoes?

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How to Clean Suede Shoes

Are suede shoes looking dull? Here is how you can get suede shoes cleaned and restore their charm with our simple and efficient cleaning tips.

From unexpected spills to stubborn marks, we have covered the best way to clean suede along with some suede stain cleaner hacks!

The Suede shoes are often considered the ultimate symbol of elegance, but once you step in to venture outdoors, they can easily attract dirt and damage. Its delicate and velvety texture requires special attention for maintaining its flawless appearance.

Whether it’s your cherished pair of boots, a fashionable handbag, or even those impressive blue suede shoes in true Elvis style, ensuring their irresistible charm is simpler than you think. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective strategies to clean suede heels and maintaining suede shoes.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase a service or a product through the links, I sometimes earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

Let’s begin!

The Best Way to Clean Suede: Basic & Most Effective Method

While you may have come across various practical and easy-to-go methods for “The best way to clean suede,” nothing in the world can beat this! You will be surprised by the amazing results-works exactly like the suede stain cleaner kit!

Restoring your favorite pair of suede shoes to their former beauty is easier than you think. Let’s tackle this challenge together by following our “the best suede cleaner hack” for transforming your suede shoes into perfect condition.

Supplies Required

Before you begin to clean suede heels, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies within easy reach.

While there are specific cleaning and maintaining suede shoes, you’ll be amazed at how often items you already have in your pantry or cleaning cupboard work just as well.

  • Toothbrush (with soft bristles)
  • Clean microfiber cloth (white)
  • White vinegar
  • Suede eraser (or even a pencil eraser can be used)
  • Suede protector spray


  • Step 1: Assess & Prep
    The first and foremost step is to evaluate their current condition. Determine if they are just dusty or if any stubborn stains need attention. Now, modify your cleaning method considering the state of the shoe.Assess & Prep
  • Step 2: Make sure they are Dry
    It’s important to ensure that they are completely dry. Trying to remove stains or spills while the shoes are still damp can make matters worse. Carefully dab any moisture with paper towels or a gentle cloth and let the shoe air dry naturally.Make sure they are Dry
    Note:  Avoid using heat sources such as hairdryers or direct sunlight as they may harm the suede material.
  • Step 3: Brush Away the Dirt
    To start, brush the suede shoes by using a toothbrush with soft bristles; this will effectively eliminate loose dirt and revive the natural nap of the suede. Try doing it in line with the pattern or direction of the nap. If there is still dirt that won’t come off easily, change your brushing motion to a gentle back-and-forth movement to deal with those stubborn spots.Brush Away the Dirt
  • Step 4: Remove Stains with an Eraser
    If you have any small marks on your suede shoes, try using a suede eraser or a clean block eraser. Simply move it back and forth calmly over the mark while avoiding rubbing with too much friction.
    In case the eraser doesn’t give you satisfactory results of clean suede heels, consider trying other methods to remove stains from suede.
    One effective suede stain cleaner method is using an emery board nail file with light pressure to lift the nap and get rid of stains.Remove Stains with an Eraser
  • Step 5: Use White vinegar
    Now, the fourth step to get suede shoes cleaned is to take a microfiber cloth and dampen it with some vinegar and gently rub the stained area using a cloth.
    Let the spot air dry completely and inspect for any traces of lingering stains. If needed, repeat these steps until all signs of staining are gone.
    Finally, brush off any remaining residue to clean stain from suede shoes and restore its appearance. Moreover, bear in mind that vinegar might change the shoe color temporarily, however, it will fade away with time.Use White vinegar
  • Step 6: Apply Suede-on Protector Spray
    To keep your clean suede heels or shoes in top-notch condition, use a spray specifically made to protect them from moisture and stains. Simply follow the instructions of the best suede cleaner given by the manufacturer to apply it correctly.
    Although, this might sound an additional step to many, but it’s the perfect way to keep your suede footwear protected and maintained for longer time.Apply Suede-on Protector Spray

DIY Hacks to Clean Stain from Suede Shoes

You can’t just sit and let your expensive suede shoes get ruined by that stubborn oil stain. After the best way to clean suede heels, below we have discussed the ideal suede stain cleaner hacks for you to take help from. Have a look!

Oil or Grease Stain

If you’re dealing with oil or grease stains on your suede shoes, get suede shoes cleaned by sprinkling some cornstarch over the affected area. Let it sit for a few hours so that it can absorb the excess grease. Afterward, gently brush off the cornstarch and repeat this process if needed until the stain is gone.

When tackling dried-up grease stains, you can use a small amount of dish soap instead. Apply a little amount on the stained area and let it sit for 10 minutes, until it get dry.

Remember not to soak your suede shoes in water directly as that could damage them and your suede stain cleaner hack will not work!

Dirt and Scuff Marks

To get rid of dirt or mud on your clean suede heels and shoes, make sure the material is fully dry. Take a suede brush or soft toothbrush and run it over the shoe to remove the dirt particles.

If there are still some marks left, try using a steamer to gently loosen up the dirt and then dab it with a paper towel or cloth to lift it away. Just let that area air-dry afterward. The best suede cleaner trick!

Salt Stains

Suede shoes can face some challenges during the winter due to salt stains caused by snow and ice melt. To get suede shoes cleaned, start by brushing off as much salt as you can from the shoes.

Then, grab a microfiber cloth and dip it in cold water mixed with a small quantity of dish soap. Dab gently on the stain without rubbing it vigorously.

Finally, repeat the procedure until stain goes away and allow it to dry before you break in the clean suede heels again. You will not regret not buying the suede stain cleaner kit!

Gum or Wax

Now for wet gum or wax removal from clean suede heels and shoes, try using the edge of a credit card to scrape off as much as you can. Be careful not to pull on the sticky residue.

Instead, cover the affected area with a plastic bag that contains several ice cubes and let it sit until the gum or wax hardens. Once hardened, use a suede brush to gently brush away any remaining residue.

Note: It’s best to avoid using household chemicals or sticky residue removers as a suede stain cleaner because they might stain or damage your suede shoes.

5 Amazing Tips for Maintaining Suede Shoes

  1. To prevent damage and for maintaining suede shoes, it is crucial to shield your suede shoes from water and moisture.
  2. Restore the nap and clean stain from suede shoes by using a suede brush on your shoes.
  3. Act quickly when dealing with stains by utilizing gentle cleaning methods such as a suede eraser or white vinegar.
  4. Store your suede shoes in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight, to avoid any potential fading or discoloration.
  5. Protect your suede shoes against stains and water damage by applying a coat of suede protector spray.

By following these simple guidelines, maintaining suede shoes will not be that hard for anyone! You can effectively maintain the appearance of your favorite pair of suede shoes while also extending their lifespan.

Can You Wash Suede Shoes at Home?

Yes, you can get suede shoes cleaned at home by making a solution of water and suede shampoo in a ratio of 2:1.

You can dip a brush with bristles into the soapy water and gently go over the entire shoe. After that, take a paper towel dipped in warm water to remove extra debris and use soft cloth to remover excess moisture.

To ensure proper drying and maintaining suede shoes, stuff your shoes with newspapers and allow them to air-dry completely. It’s crucial not to spot-clean specific areas as it may cause uneven coloration; instead, wash the entirety of the shoe surface for consistent coloring.

Lastly, avoid washing machines or dryers since they could potentially damage suede footwear.

Final Thoughts

You must be feeling overwhelmed by different ideas to get suede shoes cleaned, right? But, don’t worry! Just take some time to assess the situation of your shoe and choose the best way to clean stain from suede shoes.

All of the hacks will make it a breeze for you, just opt for the right way to clean suede heels. Follow our guide for maintaining suede shoes and you’ll be able to achieve impeccable results in no time!


Q1. What is the Best Suede Cleaning Kit?

Answer: There are many best suede cleaner kits out there but our recommendation would be the Angelus Easy Cleaner kit which is absolutely non-toxic and the best suede cleaning kit. It comes with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a microfiber cloth too.

Q2. Is soap safe for suede?

Answer: We  advise to get suede shoes cleaned by hand-washing with diluted soap and water only but avoid washing them in the washing machine.

Q3. Can I use hand sanitizer on suede?

Answer: No, you actually cannot use hand sanitizer to clean stain from suede shoes as it will ruin your shoes more than before and leave a clear spot if it’s a lighter color suede shoe.

Q4. Can You Clean Suede Shoes with Baking Soda?

Answer: Absolutely, yes! You can get suede shoes cleaned with baking soda. Instead, baking soda is the most easily available item in the pantry that is widely used as a cleaning agent due to its mild alkaline properties. Plus, it easily captures dirt, grim and other particles.

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