How to Clean Suede: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beautiful Results Every Time


Suede has long been a popular and fashionable material for shoes, jackets, and bags. However, cleaning suede can be a daunting task for many individuals who want to preserve the material’s soft texture and beautiful finish. Fear not! We have put together a step-by-step guide on how to clean suede. Follow this guide, and your suede items will look good as new in no time!

Step-by-Step Suede Cleaning Guide

Whether you are cleaning suede shoes, jackets, or bags, the process involves virtually the same basic steps. Here are a few pointers on how to clean suede items effectively:

Prep the Suede

First, ensure that the suede is relatively clean and dry. Remove any dirt or debris with a dry, soft-bristled suede brush, working in the direction of the suede’s natural nap. If your suede is heavily soiled, consider using a clean, lint-free cloth to remove loose dirt particles.

Brush the Suede

Next, use your suede brush to brush the entire surface roughly to raise the nap. Use slow, circular motions brushing one area at a time, then move on to the next. This is necessary to ensure that the nap remains soft and plush.

Apply Cleaning Product

Apply the cleaning solution to a clean, white cloth gently. Ensure that you do not apply too much pressure or saturate the suede material. Start by blotting the stain until it disappears while gradually starting to move to the other parts of the shoe. When using a cleaning product, always test it on a small, non-prominent section of the item to check for any adverse reactions.

Dry the Suede

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the area with the cleaner, use another clean, dry cloth to blot the area to remove excess moisture. Then, allow the suede item to air dry completely. You can blow dry it manually by also keeping it far from the suede-like 30 cm away.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Suede

Cleaning suede requires a gentle touch and the proper tools and solutions. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning suede and how to avoid them:

Using Water

Suede and water do not mix well. Do not use water to clean suede, as it can cause the suede to lose its soft texture, shrink, or become discolored. In most cases, water-based cleaning will only make the situation worse.

Not Testing Cleaning Products

Testing cleaning products on an inconspicuous area before you start the cleaning process is crucial to ensure that the solution does not damage your suede item. Keep in mind that suede products are prone to discoloration and staining, so select your cleaning solutions wisely.

Brushing Too Hard

Be gentle when brushing suede items. Brushing suede too hard can damage the suede’s nap, causing it to lose its plush texture and wear out prematurely. Use slow, circular motions, and do not apply too much pressure while brushing.

Best Products for Cleaning Suede

Various cleaning products have been specifically designed for cleaning suede. Avoid harsh chemicals and use suede-specific cleaning solutions to preserve the suede material’s soft texture and natural finish. Let’s review some of the best cleaning products that can help you keep your suede items looking great.

Crep Protect Suede Care Kit

Crep Protect Suede Care Kit is perfect for anyone worried that cleaning suede material will damage it. It is suitable for all types of suede and also nubuck. The kit comes with a brush and cleaning solution to make the cleaning process more comfortable.

Angelus Easy Cleaner

Angelus Easy Cleaner is ideal for removing stubborn stains on suede material and is easy to apply due to its unique design. It is safe and effective on all colors and can be used on leather as well.

Tarrago Suede and Nubuck Color Spray

The Tarrago Suede and Nubuck Color Spray is mainly used to restore the color of your suede material after cleaning. It is essential in ensuring that your suede material retains its natural texture.

Expert Advice on Suede Cleaning

Here are two expert tips on how to keep your suede items looking clean and new:

Use a Stiff Brush on Embossed Suede

Embossed suede will require a stiffer brush for removing dirt and debris. Unlike most suede, embossed suede is rough due to its embossing, meaning it will need more attention while brushing. Initiate by gently wiping off the dirt before using the stiffer brush.

Use Suede Protector

Using a suede protector spray can protect your suede material from minor stains, rain and damage from UV rays. Treat your suede items monthly with a suede protector to help reduce the amount of maintenance they require.

DIY Suede Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning suede with natural products is a cost-effective way to keep your suede items looking great. Here are some of the best DIY suede cleaning solutions:

Vinegar Solution

Create a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water and apply it to the suede lightly. Allow the vinegar solution to air dry, and then brush the suede gently using a soft-bristled brush.

Baking Soda Solution

Combine baking soda and water to form a paste and apply it to the suede in small, circular motions. Allow the paste to dry for thirty minutes before brushing it gently with a suede brush.

Cornstarch Solution

Apply cornstarch to the stained area and leave it overnight before brushing it off with a suede brush.

How to Maintain Suede Shoes

Suede shoes can be a functional and fashionable feature of your wardrobe if properly stored and maintained. Here are some tips on how to maintain your suede shoes.


Store suede shoes in a dry, temperature-controlled environment, and keep them away from any heat sources or direct sunlight.

Regular Cleaning

Clean your suede shoes regularly to keep them free from dirt, debris, and scuffs. Spot clean as needed, and avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents.


Cleaning suede can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you can keep your suede items fresh and new without fear of damage. Always remember that prevention is key when it comes to suede, so be proactive and maintain your items regularly.

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