July 11, 2020 2 min read

Suede Shoes and boots are lovely to wear in colder weather and look luxurious; however, once they get dirty even the most expensive pair can look scruffy.  Getting your suede footwear professionally cleaned can cost a fortune, but they can be cleaned at home for much less.  Here is how you can do the job yourself.

 

Here are the items you’ll need to have on hand:

 

  • A suede brush (usually made of metal)
  • A suede eraser or pencil eraser
  • A dry, clean, lint-free soft washcloth.

 

Before attacking any dirty spots or stains on your boots or shoes, you’ll need to prepare the suede surface.  Do this by rubbing the boots or shoes gently with the clean, dry washcloth.  Along with preparing the surface for cleaning, it will also help restore the suede, making it look newer.

 

The next step is to remove dry stains that are ground in.  Rub the suede eraser or pencil eraser over all areas that have dry stains.  What rubbing the eraser does is lift out any sub-surface dry debris.

 

After rubbing out the dry stains, it’s time to smooth the suede’s surface.  Take the suede brush, and using a circular motion, brush the surface of the shoes or boots.   What this will do is even out the areas that have been rubbed with the eraser, and the brush should also remove minor scuff marks.

 

Once you’ve brushed and cleaned your shoes, treat the suede with a protective spray.  This will protect your footwear from water damage and can help prevent stains.  Most shoe stores sell suede protective spray; you can also find suede spray at shoe repair establishments.

 

Additional tips

 

If there is mud on your suede boots or shoes, before attempting to clean them, let the mud dry naturally.  Once the mud is dry, you should be able to break off most of it; use the suede brush to remove particles that are left behind.

 

To get rid of salt lines or recalcitrant stains, apply some white vinegar on the clean, dry washcloth, and press the cloth on the stain.  Let the area dry, and then brush the area with the suede brush.  However, if you are concerned that the vinegar may discolour your footwear, test the vinegar on a small, inconspicuous area first.  If any discolouration occurs, then you may want to take your shoes or boots to a professional suede cleaner.

Aoife McManus
Aoife McManus



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