There’s nothing quite like putting on a fresh pair of suede shoes before heading out the door. These wardrobe essentials can elevate the look of any outfit, and they’ve earned their place as a staple in men’s fashion. The only downside to owning a pair of snazzy suede shoes is that they are notoriously difficult to clean. If you’ve let that deter you from investing in a pair of these stylish pieces, that won’t be the case for much longer because today we’re revealing all the suede shoe cleaning tips you need to know.
Preventative Protection Tips
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of all things suede shoe cleaning-related, it’s important to go over some protection methods that may prevent your favourite suede shoes from getting ruined in the first place. Suede is a particular finish of leather that is characterized by its soft, fibrous finish. It is made from the inner surface of animal hides, which makes it susceptible to drying out and cracking when exposed to the elements.
To prevent the untimely demise of your suede shoes, apply a protective spray and conditioner to them every couple weeks. These products change the breathing capabilities of the material, thereby making it waterproof and less susceptible to stains. You should also give your shoes a good brushing after each wear to remove trapped dirt.
Despite your best efforts, all shoes are bound to get a bit dirty after they get their fair share of use. Suede shoes, in particular, don’t fare to well when exposed to water. In both of these scenarios, you should first make sure that you:
- Get your hands on a suede cleaning kit that includes a brush and eraser
- Remove the laces on your shoes (if they have any), and
- Place a shoe tree or some crumpled tissue paper inside them so that they retain their shape.
Once your shoes are prepped, you can roll up your sleeves and tackle the damage. Here’s how to get rid of most common types of suede shoe stains:
Cleaning Dirty Suede Shoes
Suede shoes that are already dirty need to first and foremost be air-dried. If the stain you’re dealing with is of the mud variety, you can try gently brushing it out with a suede brush once your kicks have completely dried. Brush in the same direction as the natural grain of the fabric to give your suede set a smooth appearance
If you’re dealing with more stubborn stains like food, wine, or salt, you may have to turn to white vinegar to get them off. Grab a clean cloth, pour a bit of white vinegar on it, and gently rub the affected area. Let the vinegar dry then give your suede shoes a final brushing to get any remaining stains out.
For grease and oil damage, a suede eraser will get the job done. Gently rub the stain with your eraser and apply pressure as needed.
After all, clumps and stains have been removed, use a clean bath towel to give your shoe a final gently wipe down. Make sure you wipe in the direction of the grain and avoid any vigorous motions.
Cleaning Water Damaged Suede Shoes
Water and suede are pretty much-sworn enemies, and water damage can leave a lasting effect on your suede shoes. If notice water on your shoe early on, grab a paper towel and apply pressure to the affected area. If you keep the paper towel in place until most of the moisture has been soaked up, you just might be able to avoid a stain altogether.
For shoes that have already been stained by water, a “fight fire with fire” mentality is key. Evenly brush a thin layer of water across the whole upper part of your shoe. Then, use a dry cloth to soak up any excess water and gently dab your shoe to ensure all parts of it are equally wet. Place a blank piece of paper inside your shoe to soak up the remaining water and leave your shoes out to dry overnight. When you retrieve your kicks the next day, give them a brush, and they’ll be good as new!
Why Love Your Leather
Love Your Leather is the largest leather cleaning company in all of Southern Ontario and we’ve been restoring suede and leather since 1987! Our experts are well versed in colour matching, restoring, and repairing all types of suede boots and shoes. We are so confident in their ability to bring your shoes back to life that we offer a 100% money-back guarantee. Contact us today to get a free quote!