How To Safely Clean Suede Shoes, Using A Product You Already Have At Home

It doesn't have to be hard

We’ve all been there: you’ve splashed out on a pair of [insert label of choice here] suede heels in a to-die-for hue, only to wear them on the one rainy day of the week, spill your morning latte on one and get mud marks on the other. Disaster. But, cleaning suede shoes doesn’t have to be hard if you know how to do it. Here, the top five things you must remember for protecting, and cleaning, your suede shoes. 

Take The Necessary Precautions

As with most things, prevention is key, so the best way to save yourself from having to perform suede cleaning repeatedly is buying some sealant and spraying your shoes every few months to repel dirt. But still consider taking them to a professional, because spend some money now, have plush, velvety shoes ready to wear later.

Invest In A Suede Cleaning Brush

A suede cleaning brush isn’t necessary when it comes to cleaning your shoes, but investing in one is the preferred choice. They’re relatively cheap (from $7-$20), otherwise, an old toothbrush will suffice. When using one to clean your shoes, be sure to brush only in the direction of the fibres, and avoid moving the brush back and forth over the surface. Because even a bit of moisture can leave a permanent stain on suede, be sure your boots are completely dry when you go to brush them.

suede shoes

Remove Tough Stains With An Eraser

Brushing and wiping down suede shoes sometimes won’t remove all the pesky little marks. If you do notice any stains, get yourself a suede eraser, again, they’re relatively cheap, and gently rub off any water, oil, or grease. Apply a bit of pressure as your rub and increase as needed for tougher stains. If a suede eraser isn’t available, you can also use a pencil eraser. 

Fight Water Stains With Water

The best way to get rid of a water stain on suede shoes is with more water. Ironic, we know. The trick is to first apply a light coat of water with your suede brush, and then gently dab the surface of the shoes with a rag until it is evenly wet, without any water stains showing. Crunch some paper and place it inside the shoe so it won’t lose its shape as they dry. Once they’re completely dry, go over them lightly with your (dry) suede brush to restore the grain to its original look.


Use Vinegar To Fight Tough Stains

Clarks suggests combining two parts water and one part white vinegar and gently wiping shoes with the solution for a helpful DIY cleaning method. Allow to fully dry in the open air before storing or wearing again.

Micellar Water Has Been Known To Help

Thanks to one lifesaver of a Twitter user (praise be), who has let the world in on her suede-cleaning secret: micellar water. “Micellar water has just took [sic] all the stains out my suede heels,” Kiera O’Hagan shares. “Everyone needs to try this.”

And so, we did. And we can happily report that a pair of millennial pink Country Road slides, once dotted with dirt stains, have never looked cleaner – all thanks to a couple of quick dabs with a cotton wool ball dipped in micellar water. According to Glamour, who shared O’Hagan’s tweet, the skin-cleansing solution also works a treat on white sneakers. Who knew?

RELATED: Micellar Water For Your Hair Is A Thing Now

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