How to Clean Suede Shoes

How to Clean Suede Shoes

Elvis Presley once sang, "You can do anything but lay off my blue suede shoes". He couldn't have been more right, as it is difficult to keep them clean. However, some simple, household remedies given in this article will help you with this task.
Suede shoes make for a strong fashion statement besides looking very stylish. You can't help, but show off these lovely, warm, comfortable, shiny, and (of course) expensive shoes. Inadvertently, you end up wearing them frequently. Their beauty being hard to go unnoticed, they also have a tendency to get dirty easily.

Cleaning Suede Shoes at Home
Suede, obtained from the hides of various animals like deer, pig, lamb, and calf, is a type of leather. Being made from the under-skin of the animals, it is soft, and more porous than leather. Also, the shiny surface and velvety texture makes it vulnerable to stains and watermarks. Synthetic suede is easier to clean than the pure one.

Cleaning Material
To clean suede shoes, you need to gather some stuff first. While purchasing, you would have come across a suede shoe cleaning kit. Purchase it, as it is better to use standard material. The kit contains a suede brush, and a suede eraser. Apart from this, you will also require a nail brush, sponge, a sharp blade, and a towel.

Cleaning Water Stains
Water stains discolor suede. To remove these, you need to apply water evenly on the whole outer surface, using a nail brush or a water spray. Then soak up all the excess water form the shoes with a sponge or a dry cloth. Allow the shoes to dry overnight, keeping them stuffed with paper. Once dried, you can brush them over with a suede brush, leaving them slightly darker, but evenly colored.

Removing the Dirt
To remove dirt, use the suede brush. In case you don't have one, a nail brush would also do. Brush away the dirt with short, gentle strokes. Make sure you stroke in one direction only. As the dirt starts coming off the surface, you will notice the original color of your shoes reappear.

Removing Oil and Other Stains
The dried stains need to be first brushed off vigorously with the brush. Now, either use a wet cloth or a nail brush, and scrub the stained surface with warm water. In case of very bad stains, like grease, you might need a suede cleaner.

Removing Mud
First remove extra mud from the surface. Let the rest of it dry. Using your suede or nail brush, break the mud particles from the shoes, and then simply wipe them off with a piece of damp cloth.

Cleaning With a Suede Eraser
A suede eraser is useful for cleaning small stains and spots. It works exactly like a pencil eraser. Start rubbing softly at places where the stains and spots are present, and you will notice the dirt settling on the eraser. Increase your intensity, until the spot finally disappears. In the absence of a suede eraser, a pencil eraser will also do the trick.

Using Household Products

Vinegar: This can be used to clean stubborn stains from your suede shoes. Dip a dry cloth into some vinegar, and rub it on the stains. After it has dried, use the suede brush or a nail brush to brush the surface. This method is effective, even though not recommended by professionals.

Refrigerator: To remove wax or chewing gum, leave the shoe in the freezer. This hardens the wax or the gum so that you can just chip it off the surface. Clear the residue with a suede brush.

Steam: You can use steam from an iron or kettle on your suede shoes. By applying heat through steam on the surface, the pores on the surface of the suede open up, making it easier to clean the shoes.

Tips for Maintenance
  • When you are cleaning your shoes, take off your shoe lace, as it can cause hindrance in your cleaning process. This also avoids your laces getting spoiled.
  • Use the suede protection spray to prevent watermarks or stains. Apply this spray on your shoes for 4-6 times a year to ensure that they last long.
  • Avoid using any dry solvents or suede dyes at home, as they do not guarantee you clean or damage-free shoes.
  • In case you use vinegar to get rid of the oil stains from suede shoes, it will leave a mild odor.
  • If you have to keep your shoes away for a long time, make sure that they are wrapped in paper, put in a box, and stored in a dry, dark place.
  • You can also visit certain professional suede cleaners in the market to get your shoes cleaned once in a while.
These instructions should be enough to do an efficient job. Take good care of your beautiful suede shoes, and flaunt them elegantly.
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