How to Clean Suede Shoes | Super Easy Instructions and Tips


Suede shoes have a timeless elegance and unique texture. Unfortunately, that very texture is also a double-edged sword. Based on my experience, while it’s easy to care for, suede shoes can be tricky to maintain. If you have a pair of suede shoes, you might find the steps below on how to clean suede shoes useful.


Suede tends to be what we think of when the word “leather” is said. However, suede is not a type of leather: it’s merely a technique in the process of tanning leather, which seals the edges and pores to produce a smooth, velvety finish.
The problem with suede is that it can get dirty very easily.

Things you’ll need:

  • Brush
  • Paper Towel
  • Suede Brush
  • Suede Rubber or Pencil Eraser
  • Leather Degreaser

How To Clean Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede is a delicate process. However, it’s not incredibly complicated. The wrong approach will ruin your suede shoes (or worse, dye the material), so using a wipe or attempting to clean the shoes with liquid can do more harm than good. 

I want you to know that you don’t have to stress about how to clean suede shoes because I’m here to help! 

Below are simple guides to show you just how easily your suede boots, trainers, heels, and sandals can be cleaned. It’s quick, efficient and it’s the only guide you’ll need.

1. Drying Wet Suede Shoes with Paper Towels

How to clean suede shoes _ Drying Wet Suede Shoes with Paper Towels

Before you start cleaning your suede shoes, make sure the suede is dry.

If your suede shoes get wet, stand on a paper towel or cloth towel and use another to blot the water. Don’t rub; press gently. Soak up as much as possible with paper towels, then stuff a dry paper towel at the bottom of the shoe and let them air-dry overnight.

Place your suede shoes in a safe, dry place to dry. Once they’re completely dry, begin cleaning your suede shoes. 

And if you’re thinking “can you put shoes in the dryer – suede shoes to be specific – without damaging them?” We have an answer for that in our other post, so do check that out as well.

2. Brushing Suede Shoes’ Surface

How to clean suede shoes _ Brushing Suede Shoes’ Surface

Rubbing suede the wrong way will wear out the material, creating unsightly creases. 

Rubbing away from the direction in which the fiber naturally lies is also a bad idea. Use your fingernail to feel for the direction of the fibers and use that as a guide when you brush your suede. Pay attention and make sure to brush in the same direction every time.

Using a suede brush, you can brush your shoes with the grain. If that doesn’t completely remove dirt and grime from the fabric, brush back-and-forth with and against the grain to gently remove any spots.

See also  What does GS mean in Shoes? GS Size Chart and Guide

You can also use a regular toothbrush or fingernail file. For best results, use the toothbrush only and avoid the harsher file — just lightly brush the suede until it is clean of dirt and dust. 

3. Using Suede Rubber or Pencil Eraser 

How to clean suede shoes _ Using Suede Rubber or Pencil Eraser

Suede rubbers like the ones from Sof Sole come with a brush are also an effective way to clean your shoes, but a pencil eraser can do in a pinch. Apply light pressure and rub the area with a back-and-forth motion until the mark or stain is gone.

4. Using Leather Degreaser

A good quality leather degreaser is a great product choice for cleaning and removing stains from suede shoes. However, be sure to use a leather degreaser specifically created for suede materials and not leather.

5. Brush Surface for the 2nd Time

How to clean suede shoes _ Brush Surface for the 2nd Time

Finally, with a suede brush or toothbrush, you can brush again gently, moving with the grain of the suede.

How to Clean Suede Shoes With Household Products

When it comes to cleaning your suede shoes, there is no need to buy all sorts of tools and cleaners — you can use home products and supplies instead. If you’re wondering how to clean suede shoes with household products, here are a few products to help you.

Using a toothbrush, a clean nail brush, or the bristles of a standard household brush, gently brush the dirty suede surface of your shoes with the regular toothbrush or any clean brush available. 

Then, you just need to add a little water, some soap, and a few drops of baby oil for tougher grime. Afterward, put aside to dry.

How to Clean Suede Shoes With Baking Soda

How to Clean Suede Shoes With Baking Soda

When cleaning suede shoes, you can’t go wrong with baking soda. It’s a great option for cleaning dirt and absorbing grease or odors. 

Sprinkle some baking soda on the suede, where it’s dirty, and then rub it in with a soft brush. It will also work to help remove stains from your suede shoes. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so — it’s amazing how much dirt and grime comes off!

How to Clean Stained Suede Shoes

If you need to get stains off of your suede shoes, there are three things that you can attempt. First, if the stain is fresh, try dabbing some alcohol or white vinegar on it with a clean cloth. 

If you don’t have any alcohol or vinegar handy, rubbing some shoe polish into the stained area will help soak up the stain. You could also try some of the methods on how to remove yellow stains from shoes here

How to Clean Suede Shoes With Vinegar 

How to Clean Suede Shoes With Vinegar

Before you try to clean a stain, blot up as much as you can with a dry, white cloth. You can then pour a little bit of white vinegar — just a few drops — onto the suede fabric so it seeps onto the stain. Let it sit for an hour or so before you gently rub any remaining pieces away with a suede brush.

If you get suede wet, there’s no need to worry — white vinegar will evaporate as the material dries, returning the suede to its original color. 

Once you’re done cleaning, wait for it to dry. If you notice that there is still some stain remaining on the suede shoes, repeat the process until all of it is gone.

How to Clean Light Suede Shoes

How to Clean Light Suede Shoes

To clean light suede shoes, rub the surface of the shoes gently with a white cloth dampened with vinegar or alcohol. The vinegar or alcohol will help to loosen any dirt that’s attached to the suede. After that, just let the shoes dry completely. 

See also  What Is Eva Midsole and Why It Matters

Once they are dry, use a soft-bristled brush to fluff up the nap of the suede again.

How to Clean Faux Suede Shoes

How to Clean Faux Suede Shoes

Faux suede shoes are not only more durable than their traditional counterparts, but also more stain-resistant and easier to care for. That means you don’t have to worry about excessive wear and tear, keeping your investment looking new no matter how many times you wear them. 

To clean faux suede shoes, you can wipe your shoes with a vinegar and water mixture to remove dirt and keep them looking new.

Then, stuff your shoes with paper towels before drying to bring them back to their original softness.

How to Clean White Suede Shoes

If you’re a fan of white suede shoes, but not the standard cleaning routine, here are some tips that’ll make them look brand new. First, blot up excess moisture. To remove the stains from your shoes, use an eraser. 

For tougher stains, such as finger grease or red wine, mix a cleaning solution of one part vinegar with three parts water and gently scrub the area with a soft cloth. 

How to Clean Suede Tennis Shoes

If your suede tennis shoes have dust and smudge marks, use an old, dry toothbrush to clean and gently brush the marks away. For stubborn stains that don’t respond to brushing, try a suede shampoo and a damp sponge.

How to Clean Black Suede Shoes

How to Clean Black Suede Shoes

Cleaning black suede shoes can be a real hassle. When it comes to keeping your kicks in top condition, however, some basic maintenance is essential.

Once you’ve removed any dirt or stains, you have two good options for tackling fading: either rub shoe dye onto the area with a cotton bud or use a black crayon to gently fix faded areas.

How to Clean Suede Shoes At Home

It’s tempting to take suede shoes to a professional cleaner every time they get dirty. But that can be expensive and you might not get the same results. 

You can clean suede shoes at home by first, stuffing a paper towel in each shoe, then brush out any loose dirt or dust.

For tougher spots, you can use a fabric eraser — or even a pencil eraser. If cleaning still hasn’t lifted the stain, brush away the spot or treat it with an eraser.

How to Clean Mud Off Of Suede Shoes

How to Clean Mud Off Of Suede Shoes

Any number of things can ruin a pair of suede shoes — mud and dirt are the most common. To keep them in good condition, make sure that you dry off mud and dirt before attempting to remove them. Then, use a brush to remove any soil that remains.

For remaining marks, a little steam should help you take out dirt from your shoes. Then, brush them off with a soft-bristled brush and erase the marks with an eraser.

How to Clean Suede New Balance Shoes

Suede New Balance shoes look great and are comfortable for everyday wear, but the material can make them vulnerable to dirty streets and snow. Walking around in these shoes can lead to different marks and dirt trapped in the crevices. 

To keep your suede New Balance shoes clean and looking as good as new, simply remove the laces and insert a shoe tree to help them hold their shape. Then, use a suede eraser to remove any loose dirt before cleaning with a suede brush, suede cleaner, and water.

See also  How to Remove Paint from Canvas Shoes | Super Easy!

How to Clean Blue Suede Shoes 

How to Clean Blue Suede Shoes

To clean blue suede shoes, brush off any loose dirt and grime. Wet a clean white cloth with either vinegar or rubbing alcohol, and then wipe the grime away. Let the area dry, then use a new brush to fluff the fabric back up and brush away any loosened dirt.

How to Clean Adidas Suede Shoes

Be mindful when you’re cleaning Adidas suede shoes. Always use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and stains before wiping away the residue with a soft cloth dipped in warm water and laundry detergent.

How to Clean Grease off Suede Shoes

How to Clean Grease off Suede Shoes

To clean greases off suede shoes, first, sprinkle cornstarch over the stain. Let it sit overnight to absorb the grease. Next, brush away the cornstarch with a soft brush and wash as usual. 

If this doesn’t work, repeat the process and wet the suede shoes with water before brushing away the cornstarch. 

How to Clean Water Stains On Suede Shoes

It helps to use the right tool for the right job. In cleaning water stains on suede shoes, you’ll need a damp brush with zero harsh chemicals. Use it to wet the water stain and let it dry overnight. If you’re in a hurry, avoid sunlight because it may fade the dye.

How to Clean Suede Nubuck Shoes

How to Clean Suede Nubuck Shoes

To clean your suede Nubuck shoes and to make them last a long time and keep looking their best, always use the right cleaning products. 

Start by taking out all of the laces and pouring a small amount of suede cleaner into a small bowl or container. 

Then, wet a soft bristle brush with warm water and use circular motions to apply the suede cleaner evenly across your lid.

Repeat the process on the other nubuck shoe, and let both thoroughly dry for at least 24 hours. Once dry, you can use a soft bristle suede brush to ensure they are completely smooth and free of scuff marks.

How to Clean Scuff Marks Off Suede Shoes

The best way to get rid of scuff marks off suede shoes is to take your time and soften them with a suede eraser. Gently rub the eraser on the scuff until it lifts, then brushes off any shavings with a suede brush. You can use a regular pencil eraser in a pinch.

How to Clean Oil Stain from Suede Shoes

If you have oil-stained suede shoes, there are a couple of ways to clean them. First, dust the oil stains with cornstarch overnight to absorb the oil. 

The next morning, brush off the powder with a toothbrush and wash your shoes as you normally would. If that doesn’t do the trick, try repeating the process and wetting the suede shoes with water before brushing away the cornstarch.


I hope you found this article helpful on how to clean suede shoes. You can now be worry-free every time you see cute shoes in suede material because you know how to keep and maintain them to their pristine condition.

Use these simple steps and tips to clean and keep your suede shoes looking new. You can always opt for basic supplies present at home but I suggest you invest in a great quality suede brush and eraser. These tools will help you clean your suede shoes every day.

Remember to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. And also, share these steps and tips with your friends and family who love to wear suede shoes as much as you do.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *