How to Care for Suede Shoes?

How to Care for Suede Shoes?

Suede shoes are a luxurious and stylish addition to any wardrobe, but they require a bit of extra care in order to stay looking their best. In this guide, we will answer some common questions about how to clean and protect suede shoes. We’ll also recommend some products that can help you keep them looking good for years to come!

What Is Suede?

Suede is a type of leather that has been sanded, buffed, and brushed to create a fluffy, velvety nap. It’s popular for shoes and other accessories because it can be dyed into various colors, making it an attractive choice. Suede is also very soft and comfortable to wear.

However, suede is more delicate than regular leather because it doesn’t have the same protective layer as normal leather. This makes them prone to scuffing and staining if they aren’t cared for properly. [1]

Cleaning Dirt & Scuff Marks

When it comes to cleaning dirt and scuff marks on suede shoes, it can be tricky.

A Suede Brush

The number one tool you should have in your arsenal for cleaning suede shoes is a suede brush. You can find them online or at stores that carry shoe care products. The bristles on the brush are usually made of nylon or wire, and they’re designed to loosen dirt and debris in the suede fibers without damaging them. Gently brushing your shoes with the brush after every wear will keep them looking new longer. 

What Is Suede?

Suede Eraser

If you want to properly clean your suede shoes, it’s important that you start with a quality suede eraser. Suede erasers are specially designed for leather and suede materials and help to gently remove dirt, scuff marks, and stains without damaging the fabric.

When using the eraser, rub in circles until you achieve the desired result. This is an effective way to rid your shoes of small imperfections without having to resort to more aggressive cleaning methods.

Suede Cleaner

When it comes to taking care of your suede shoes, one of the most important things you can do is invest in a quality cleaner and protection product. Suede cleaner products are specifically designed for cleaning and protecting suede, so they’re much more effective than trying to use regular shoe cleaning products on suede. A good quality product will remove dirt, oil and stains while also providing a protective coating against water damage.

You should apply the cleaner when your shoes start to look dull or dirty. If you’re using a spray-on product, hold the bottle about 12 inches away from the shoes and spray evenly on both surfaces. Make sure to cover any areas that are particularly dirty or discolored. Let the cleaner set for two to three minutes, then brush the shoes in a gentle back-and-forth motion using a soft bristle suede brush.

This will help work the cleaner into the material and also remove any loose dirt or debris. Finally, use a dry cloth to buff away any remaining residue. [2]

Removing Stains 

Accidents happen, and it’s important to act quickly when a spill or stain appears on your suede shoes. The best way to remove a stain is by addressing it as soon as possible with the right cleaning supplies.

Suede Cleaner

First, try brushing the affected area gently but firmly with a soft-bristle brush or nylon-bristled toothbrush. This will help work the stain out of the suede surface. If you don’t have either of those items, you can also use an eraser designed specifically for cleaning suede shoes. Gently rub over any stained areas until they are fully removed.

If there’s still some residue left, you can use a dab of cleaner specifically made for suede shoes. Use a soft cloth or brush and apply the cleaner to the affected area in circular motions. After cleaning, let the shoe dry completely before you wear it again.

If your stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to take it to a professional leather care specialist. They will be able to give your suede shoes an even deeper clean and get rid of any remaining stains. [3]

Protect Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are delicate and require extra care to keep them looking their best. To protect your suede shoes from the elements, you should always spray them with a waterproofing product designed specifically for suede before wearing them.

Suede Protector

One of the best ways to keep your suede shoes looking their best is to apply a suede protector. This waterproof spray or cream creates a barrier between the elements and your shoes, making them less vulnerable to water damage, stains, and dirt build-up. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label for the best results.

Avoid Wet Weather

Suede is very sensitive to moisture, so it’s best to avoid wet weather when wearing your suede shoes. If you do get caught in a downpour, make sure to dry them as soon as possible using a shoe dryer or by stuffing the inside of the shoe with newspaper to help draw out any excess moisture. You should also use a waterproofing spray to protect the material from future damage caused by water exposure.

Use Shoe Trees

Shoe trees help maintain the shape of your shoes and can help absorb moisture. They are especially useful for leather and suede shoes because it helps them keep their original form, even when stored.

For suede shoes, look for cedar shoe trees that have a coating to protect your shoes from damage. Cedar is naturally resistant to mold and mildew, so it’s a good choice for protecting your shoes in storage or while they’re drying out. Make sure the shoe tree fits snugly into the shoe so that the material won’t stretch out over time. [4] 

Use Shoe Trees

Store Suede Shoes

When not in use, suede shoes should be stored in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. Additionally, cedar shoe trees can help keep the shape and prevent creases from forming on your suede shoes over time. Always fill the toe area of all shoe shapes with tissue paper to help them maintain their shape and provide cushioning for any parts of the upper that may become scratched or worn down easily.

How To Fix A Scratch On Your Suede Shoes

If you have a scratch on your suede shoes and want to repair them, there are a few steps you can take. First, try gently rubbing the scratch with a lightly damp cloth. This may help remove some of the dirt or debris that has built up around the scratch. If this does not work, use a suede eraser to rub away any remaining particles.

Next, use a soft-bristled brush to brush away any loose fibers from around the damaged area. You may need to use more force than usual when brushing as suede material is delicate and you don’t want to cause further damage. Once finished, vacuum the area using an appropriate crevice tool attachment.

Store Suede Shoes

Next, apply a suede protector to the damaged area. This will help seal the material and prevent any further damage from occurring. Finally, use a suede dye or paint to cover the scratch and match it with the rest of your shoe. Take care to test any products on a small hidden area of your shoe before applying them to the visible areas, as some may discolor or stain your shoes.

With these steps, you should be able to repair most scratches on your suede shoes. For more severe damages such as rips or tears that cannot be repaired, consider having them patched up by a professional cobbler for the best results. [5]

Tips for Care for Suede Shoes

Caring for your suede shoes correctly can help them last for many years to come. Here are some of the best tips and tricks to keep your suede looking its best:

  1. Brush Your Shoes Regularly – Use a soft bristled brush or cloth to regularly brush away dirt, dust, and other debris from the surface of the shoe. This will also help maintain the nap of the suede while lifting dirt out of the fibers;
  2. Protect Your Shoes with a Waterproof Spray – Before wearing in inclement weather or damp conditions, you should always apply a protective spray designed specifically for suede or leather shoes. This will protect your shoes from moisture damage that can ruin their look and feel over time;
  3. Avoid Machine Washing or Dry Cleaning – Suede is a delicate material and can be damaged by even gentle washing cycles in the machines. Hand-wash your shoes with mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth. Then allow them to air dry completely before storing them away. For tough stains and dirt, take your shoes to a professional cleaner for proper care;
  4. Store Shoes Properly – Always store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place that’s out of direct sunlight when not in use. This will help prevent discoloration over time due to heat and UV radiation exposure. Also, insert shoe trees or cedar blocks into the shoes to maintain their shape while not in use [6];


What is the best way to care for suede shoes?

The best way to care for your suede shoes is to first start with prevention. Make sure that you waterproof your shoes before wearing them, and treat them with a stain-resistant spray. This will help keep the material protected from dirt and water, which can cause damage to the material over time.

Tips for Care for Suede Shoes

Additionally, make sure that you gently brush away any dirt or debris on your shoes after each wear, and use a special suede brush or cloth to protect the nap of the material. Regularly using a protector designed specifically for suede will also help keep them in good condition.

When cleaning your suede shoes, avoid using too much water as this could damage the material, and never scrub or use harsh chemicals on it either.

Instead, use a suede eraser or foam cleaner specifically designed for cleaning the material. If you need to get rid of a tough stain, spot-clean it with one of these products.

Finally, always stuff your shoes with newspaper when not in use and store them in a cool place away from direct sunlight or heat as these can also damage the material over time.

Is it OK if suede shoes get wet?

The short answer is yes, but it depends on the type of suede and how wet they get. Regular untreated suede will not be able to take a lot of water because it’s porous and will absorb moisture quickly. If your shoes do get wet, allow them to dry naturally — never use a hair dryer or any other heat source. Also, if your shoes are stained or scuffed, make sure to treat those areas immediately after drying.

On the other hand, some types of treated suede can handle more water without absorbing too much moisture. These types of suede are usually found in boots or casual sneakers and contain materials like polyurethane that help repel water better than regular suede. If you have treated suede, it’s still important to dry them naturally and avoid any heat sources.

What should you not put on suede shoes?

When it comes to caring for your suede shoes, there are some ingredients that you should avoid. You should never use water on suede shoes, as this can cause discoloration and staining.

Additionally, using cleaning products that contain petroleum or harsh chemicals is a bad idea – they will damage the material. If you want to clean away dirt and grime without risking damage to your shoes, opt for a gentle brush and soap specifically designed for suede material. In addition to avoiding those two items, it’s also important to not use polish on your suede shoes.

The wax in the product can create an unpleasant buildup that changes the color of the shoe and makes it difficult to clean properly. If you want to add a bit of shine and protect your shoes, use a special suede protector instead.

Do suede shoes get ruined when wet?

Despite the delicate appearance of suede, these shoes can handle some water. As with all leather footwear, avoiding getting your suede wet is the best course of action — but if you do find yourself in a situation where they get soaked, don’t panic.

The first thing to do is to take off your shoes and stuff them with newspaper. This will help to absorb the moisture and maintain their shape.

How do I get an oil stain out of my suede shoe?

One of the most common problems faced with caring for suede shoes is removing oil stains. Depending on the severity of the stain, you may need to take different approaches in order to remove it. The first step is to use a soft cloth or brush and gently rub the stain away. If this doesn’t work, try using an eraser to lift the stain.

If neither of these methods seems to be making a difference, you may need to try using a suede cleaning product. These products are specifically designed for removing oil and dirt stains from suede shoes and can really help get rid of stubborn stains. After using the cleaning product, use a paper towel or soft cloth to blot away the excess moisture.

How do I get an oil stain out of my suede shoe?

What is the spray I should use for suede?

The best way to protect and maintain your suede shoes is to use a specially formulated protective spray. These sprays are designed to repel water, oil, and dirt while also providing a layer of UV protection. This will help keep the color of your shoes looking vibrant for longer periods of time. It’s important to note that not all protective suede sprays are created equal, so it’s important to read reviews and select a product that has been proven to work.

How do I get an oil stain out of my suede shoe?

One of the biggest challenges in caring for suede shoes is getting oil stains out. Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to help remove oil stains from your suede shoes.

One of the most common methods used is to lightly sprinkle cornstarch on the stain and let it sit overnight. The cornstarch will absorb some of the oil and help to lift out some of the stains.

Another method is to use a suede eraser or suede brush to gently rub out the stain. If these methods do not work, you may need to take your shoes to a professional cleaner for further cleaning.

Is using a toothbrush okay?

Yes, it’s totally okay to use a toothbrush on your suede shoes. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to clean them. Before brushing, however, be sure that you purchase a special brush designed for cleaning suede. These brushes usually have softer bristles and are labeled as being suitable for suede.

Once you have your brush, you’ll need to dampen the bristles lightly with water before brushing. This will help loosen any dirt and debris that has accumulated on the surface of your shoes. Start off by using light strokes in a single direction, then switch directions to make sure all of the dirt is removed. Once you’re finished brushing, use a dry cloth to blot away any remaining moisture.

How to protect suede shoes from rain?

When it comes to waterproofing suede shoes, there are several options available. Waxing your suede shoes is the most popular method. Applying a wax-based protector over the entire shoe creates a barrier between your feet and moisture. This can help repel water, dirt, and stains from entering the fabric of the shoe.

Useful Video: How To Care For Suede & Nubuck Shoes


Suede shoes are a luxurious addition to any wardrobe, bringing the feeling of luxury and quality with each wear. However, like all leather products, suede requires special care in order to look its best for years to come. But by following these simple tips and taking preemptive steps such as investing in a waterproof spray or shoe bag, you can extend the life of your suede shoes and keep them looking like new for much longer. So take the time to properly care for your suede shoes, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful pair of shoes that will last you many years to come.