Suede is a much softer and more vulnerable material than ordinary leather. Not only can it stain quicker and easier than leather, it’s also much trickier to clean. Unlike leather, stains on suede can actually be made worse by normal cleaning materials, such as using soap and water, so knowing how to clean suede is hugely important if you own boots, shoes, jackets, or other accessories made from this delicate material.
How to Clean Suede Boots
If you need to clean suede shoes or boots, it can be so tempting to try to simply spot clean them using water, but this can cause additional water stains to appear, making your boots look old, scuffed, and discoloured. That’s not to say water is completely out of the question when cleaning suede – you just need to know exactly how to clean suede boots using liquid. Additionally, a good quality suede brush is essential tool for all suede garment owners. Here’s the best way to use a suede cleaner without damaging the material:
- First, use a suede brush to get rid of any surface dirt from your boots or shoes. This will simply help get the suede cleaner before more intensive treatments. Be sure to brush with the grain of the fabric, rather than against.
- If your boots are quite scuffed at the edges, again, use the suede brush, but use a vigorous back-and-forth movement to remove any loose fibres. Try to stay as close to the scuffed area as possible, instead of scrubbing at undamaged suede.
How to Clean Suede Jackets and Accessories
Cleaning suede jackets and accessories should be tackled in much the same way as cleaning suede boots and shoes, but there are some slight differences in the methods and the suede cleaners that should be used:
- Again, start with a suede brush to loosen the fibres of the fabric. This will get rid of any surface dirt, and give greater access to deep, ground in stains.
Protecting & Cleaning Suede
The best way to keep your suede clothing and shoes clean is to not to let them become overly dirty in the first place, but this is often easier said than done! Here are some tips on how to help you protect your suede garments:
- Use a suede protector. Suede protector products can be purchased from stores and most shoe shops. They act as a barrier against dirt and water stains. It’s best to apply protector when you first get your suede boots or jackets home, and again after each clean. Keep in mind, however, that although these products reduce dirt build up, they don’t prevent it altogether.
- Keep it dry. Always check the weather forecast before heading out, and if it’s due to rain, choose a different material. Suede and rain do not mix well, so opt for more waterproof garments when the weather’s bad.
- Store well. When you’re not wearing your suede garments, store them in a suitable way. Don’t put them anywhere prone to damp – such as attics, garages, or damp cupboards.
- Transport securely. If you’re packing up your suede to take on a trip, don’t try to transport it in plastic bags, or any other form of non-breathable material that will cause the suede to sweat. Instead, use a cotton tote bag, or even an old pillowcase.
Now you know how to clean suede you can hang on to your favourite suede garments and accessories for longer! Give it try and see for yourself.