How to Clean Suede Shoes

Originally used for women’s gloves, suede is now a favorite among designers for clothing and accessories.

And where it used to be thought of as only appropriate for cold or cooler temperatures, suede is now considered fashionable in any season.

So, no need to pack up those suede shoes just yet!

Suede these days has become a big player in Spring runway collections and now the appearance of suede in stores usually means that spring is right around the corner.

One designer in particular has me drooling over his suede pumps. I was born for Italian luxury. I can feel it.

by Gianvito Rossi

And who could resist these blue suede shoes? (You were waiting for that, weren’t you?)

by Gianvito Rossi

“Well, you can knock me down, step in my face, slander my name all over the place. Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh, Honey, lay off of my shoes. Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes” (Elvis Presley – Blue Suede Shoes).

But what happens if your suede shoes DO get stepped on or rained on or just plain ol’ dirty?

Since you’re wearing them in every season now, chances are you’ll need to know how to clean your suede shoes. Keep these tips handy.

Tips for Cleaning Your Suede Shoes

  • Clean off mud, using a nail file or similar for hard to remove pieces. After allowing mud to dry, brush suede with a stiff nail brush.
  • Remove scuffs with a softer suede brush.
  • Spot clean with a pencil eraser.
  • Flush off water stains by barely wetting entire shoe and using a soft sponge to rub gently.
  • Stuff shoe with tissue paper to keep shape while drying.
  • Spray with a suede protector.

Caught in the Rain

Remember, the only season you shouldn’t wear your suede shoes or boots in is the rainy season. But if you (and your shoes) somehow get caught in the rain, make sure you dry the suede by patting a clean towel on your shoes to absorb the water. Allow the shoes to finish drying naturally.

Protecting Your Suede Shoes

Don’t forget to protect your shoes before their debut appearance on your feet and after each cleaning. You can pick up a bottle of suede guard or protector and nourishing spray when you make your purchase. Your local retailer can give you the specifics on when and how to apply.


What do you think?