As Elvis once sang to his fans on stage, you can now sing to any stains that dare to get on your suede shoes: “Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes. You can do anything, but stay off of my blue suede shoes.”
A notoriously tricky fabric, suede isn’t quite as hard to keep clean as you may think. However, when you’re dealing with suede shoes or suede boots, you’ll want to work hard to keep them clean and treat stains as they come before they’re set in. With these DIY methods and natural remedies, your suede shoes and boots will get clean and stay clean enough to make Elvis proud.
Since suede shoes and boots can be tricky to keep clean, there are actual suede cleaning kits and brushes that you can purchase online to make your job as easy and efficient as possible. Here are some of our favorite products to use for cleaning suede:
In addition to using good, high-quality products to clean your suede, you should always be mindful of these techniques for cleaning suede shoes:
While we definitely recommend that you invest in a suede cleaning kit with a suede brush for your shoes, sometimes you just don’t have one. There are a couple of great ways to clean and refresh your suede shoes and boots without the help of a brush -- you just have to know how to do it.
A pretty common question is whether or not you can clean suede shoes with water. The answer? Yes, but use very sparingly. Suede actually happens to stain with water -- if you step in a particularly deep puddle, then you may end up with a water wicking stain on your suede shoes or boots. We always recommend using a suede brush and cleaning kit instead, but sometimes you have to clean with water.
The key to cleaning with water is to use it very, very lightly and very, very consistently. Water can be useful for removing surface stains, but it needs to be used sparingly over the entire shoe and left to dry completely, so that it doesn’t leave uneven spots on the suede. Use a suede brush or a microfiber towel for this process, and make sure to get the towel or brush wet first, not the suede.
Faux suede, also known as alcantara, is most commonly used in vehicles. Cleaning faux suede should happen the same way as cleaning real suede. While faux suede is more stain-resistant and durable, it still needs to be cleaned using the same products and techniques. We highly recommend using a suede cleaner and suede brush, or trying out a home remedy for your faux suede shoes. Basically, treat your faux suede like real suede and it should last for many years.
While you always want to be careful (always remember to spot test!) with any fabric or material, especially suede, there are several DIY methods and home remedies that can work like magic on dirty suede shoes. Although we always recommend using the specially formulated suede cleaning products we mentioned above, if you’re in a pinch and you need to make due without them, then these DIY solutions should do the trick.
At Puracy, we understand how important it is to find natural, non-toxic remedies that work hard to get your home, body, babies (and shoes!) clean. When you’re dealing with a tricky fabric like suede on your favorite pair of shoes, follow the tips and techniques above to keep your precious belongings in good shape, naturally.