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, removing stains from suede can be tricky, and stains can actually be made worse by normal cleaning materials such as using soap and water. 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 & Shoes
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 discolored. 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:
- Firstly, 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.
- Stubborn stains do need to be treated with water – but since spot cleaning can create water marks, clean the entire boot, so that any discoloration isn’t noticeable.
- Use the suede brush to apply a small amount of water to the whole shoe, scrubbing at the stained area. Insert some rolled up paper to keep the shape of the boot, and allow it to dry naturally. Don’t use newspaper, as the ink could transfer to the fabric.
- If your boots have been left with salt marks from water, use a small amount of white vinegar as suede cleaner. The smell of the vinegar might be quite prominent the first few times you wear the boots, but it will fade over time.
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: