How to clean nubuck leather

Nubuck leather strikes that balance between function and fashion, but you need to look after it to keep it looking good. Read on for advice on how to clean nubuck leather and how to care for it.


how to clean nubuck

Key steps

  • Use a nubuck cloth to remove loose dust and dirt.
  • For a deeper clean, use soapy water and a nubuck brush.
  • Use a leather degreaser to lift oily stains.
  • Use an ink lifter to remove ink stains.
  • Use a suede block to sand away set-in stains.

Nubuck leather is a type of leather that is brushed and buffed to give it a softer, fuzzier texture, but do you know how to clean it? Read on for our top tips on how to clean nubuck leather and maintain it. For other advice on cleaning other leather types, check out our article on the best leather cleaning methods.

Get more bang from your nubuck by using a good quality detergent. Mix a soapy water mixture and use it to gently clean the surface with a nubuck brush, taking care not to soak the material.

Buffing the roughed-up layer: how to clean nubuck shoes and other items

Read on for our quick and easy guide to cleaning nubuck shoes and other items:

1.       Avoid soaking your nubuck in water as it could cause damage to the leather structure.

2.       For everyday cleaning, follow these steps:

  1. Use a nubuck cloth to remove dust and dirt.
  2. Rub in circular motions.

1.       For deeper cleaning, follow these steps:

  1. Clean nubuck with soap and water and a nubuck brush.
  2. Brush the surface of your nubuck shoes or other items in a circular motion.
  3. Be sure to brush gently, to avoid wearing away the surface.

2.       For stain removal, follow these steps:

  1. Rub the surface with a nubuck cloth to remove loose dirt and debris.
  2. If the stain is oily, spray the area with a leather degreaser.
  3. Rub away the residue with a soft cloth.
  4. If the stain is ink-based, deal with it as soon as possible to prevent the stain setting in.
  5. Apply a specialised ink lifter to remove the ink stain.
  6. For set-in stains, sand down the surface with a suede block.
  7. Rub the surface with a nubuck brush to remove any residue.

Nubuck leather care: keeping your nubuck shoes in good condition

Use the following steps to prepare your nubuck leather to be worn and protect it during its lifetime.

  1. Protect your nubuck leather items as soon as you get them.
  2. Use a commercial waterproofing and stain-resistant spray.
  3. Apply two or three coats for the best protection.
  4. Top up the coating at least twice a year.

Now you've learned how to care for your nubuck leather shoes and other items, you can go out and strut your rough stuff, whatever the weather!

Originally published