How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home?

Suede shoes are loved for their rich texture and timeless style. However, to keep them looking their best, special care is essential. 

This guide will show you how to clean suede shoes at home. We’ll cover everything from removing dirt to tackling stubborn stains, exploring various methods and household products to revive your suede shoes.

Whether you’re dealing with water stains, grease spots, or simply want to keep your favorite suede pair looking pristine, this article provides step-by-step instructions and tips for stylish and well-preserved suede shoes.

So let’s start 

How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home

How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home?

Cleaning suede shoes at home is an essential skill for any suede owner. Here’s how you can clean suede shoes at home:

Materials Required

  • A Toothbrush or Suede brush
  • A pencil eraser or suede eraser
  • White Vinegar
  • A Clean cloth

Step 1: Brush Away the Dirt

  1. The first step in caring for your suede shoes is to ensure they are completely dry, as this is crucial for effective cleaning.
  2. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently remove any loose dirt and debris without causing any damage to the suede material.
  3. Brush in one direction to maintain the natural texture and nap of the suede.

For getting rid of dirt and stains on your suede shoes, a toothbrush or suede brush can be utilized.

Step 2: Erase Away Stains with an Eraser

Now that you’ve brushed away the dirt and debris from your suede shoes, it’s time to tackle any stains. For this purpose, you can either use a suede eraser or a simple pencil eraser.

Using an eraser, gently rub it on the shoe’s surface, applying light pressure. Once you’ve erased the stains, take a moment to brush the entire shoe again.

Step 3: Applying Vinegar 

To effectively clean your suede shoes, start by lightly moistening a clean, white cloth with white vinegar. Gently blot the stained or dirty areas, making sure not to oversaturate the suede.

For stubborn stains, use a microfiber cloth dampened with white vinegar and gently rub the affected area.

Once the shoes are completely dry, give the suede nap a few brush strokes to restore its original appearance. This final touch will leave your suede shoes looking fresh and pristine.

Step 4: Allow Them to Air Dry

Make sure to thoroughly dry your suede shoes before wearing them again. Avoid using direct heat sources; instead, allow the shoes to air dry naturally for the best results.

To accelerate the drying process, you can also place the shoes under a fan.

How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home

How to Clean Suede Shoes with Household Products

Keeping your suede shoes clean and looking their best doesn’t have to be a hassle. In fact, you can easily clean your suede shoes using everyday household items that you probably already have at home. 

Here’s a simple and effective guide on how to clean suede shoes with household products:

1. How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home with Baking Soda?

How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home with Baking Soda

Baking soda is particularly useful for removing grease or oil stains from suede and maintaining the cleanliness of your footwear. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • A suede brush or a toothbrush
  • White vinegar 
  • A clean cloth

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process:

  1. To effectively remove stubborn stains from your suede shoes, start by generously sprinkling baking soda on the stained area. 
  2. Let the baking soda sit on the stain for a few hours to allow it to absorb the oil or grease. Afterward, gently brush off the baking soda using a suede brush or a clean toothbrush, making sure to brush in the direction of the suede’s natural nap. 
  3. If the stain persists, dampen a soft, clean cloth with white vinegar and gently blot the stained area. Vinegar has the power to break down and lift the remaining grease or oil. 
  4. Allow the suede to air dry naturally, avoiding heat sources like hairdryers that can damage the material. 
  5. Remember, grease and oil stains can be stubborn, so if the stain is still visible, repeat the method until it is completely removed.

2. How to Clean Suede Shoes with White Vinegar

How to Clean Suede Shoes with White Vinegar

A mixture of vinegar and water is highly effective in removing salt stains from suede shoes. Not only can salt stains ruin the look of suede shoes, but if they are not treated, they may cause damage to the material.

Here’s how you can clean suede shoes using white vinegar:

Essential Supplies

  • A small bowl 
  • A clean cloth
  • White vinegar

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine equal parts of white vinegar and water to create a gentle and effective cleaning solution. Then take a clean cloth and dip it into the vinegar solution

Step 2: Using the damp cloth, gently blot the salt stains on your suede shoes. It is essential to avoid rubbing the stains, as this may spread the salt and harm the material. Instead, apply gentle pressure and blot the stains in a careful manner.

Step 3: Once you have treated the stains, it is crucial to allow the suede to air dry naturally. Simply place your shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry at their own pace.

3. How to Clean Suede Shoes with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be used on suede shoes to help remove certain types of stains, particularly water stains, and to refresh the suede’s appearance. Here’s how it can be useful:

Materials Required

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A clean, white cloth
  • A soft-bristled brush

Cleaning Process

  1. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any dirt or debris from the shoes.
  2. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a white cloth, and gently blot the stained area with the dampened cloth.
  3. Avoid oversaturating the material and allow the shoes to air dry naturally.
  4. If stubborn stains persist, repeat the process and use a brush to restore the suede texture. Handle your shoes with care and avoid harsh chemicals or excessive moisture to maintain their pristine appearance. 

Note: Using a white cloth is crucial to preventing any chance of dye transferring to your suede shoes.

How to Protect Suede Shoes 


Protecting suede shoes at home is essential to ensuring their longevity and keeping them looking their best. Here are some household maintenance tips for suede shoes:

Regular Brushing:

Invest in a soft-bristled suede brush and use it regularly to remove dirt and debris. Brush in one direction to maintain the suede’s nap and texture. This simple step can help prevent the buildup of dirt and grime.

Stain Prevention:

To prevent stains, consider applying a suede protector spray. This creates a protective barrier against liquids and stains. Be sure to follow the product’s instructions for the best results.


Proper storage is crucial. Keep your suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid damp or humid areas, as moisture can damage the suede.

Use Shoe Trees:

When not in use, insert shoe trees into your suede shoes. Shoe trees help maintain the shoes’ shape, prevent creasing, and absorb moisture.

In case you don’t have shoe trees, you can alternatively use newspapers. Simply take a few sheets of newspaper, crumple them into balls, and place them inside your shoes while storing them.

Avoiding Water:

Suede is highly susceptible to water damage. Avoid wearing suede shoes on rainy or wet days. If they do get wet, stuff them with newspaper and allow them to dry slowly at room temperature. Avoid using heat sources like radiators or hairdryers.

Applying Suede Protector Spray:

Consider applying a suede protector spray before wearing your shoes. These sprays create a protective barrier on the surface of the suede, repelling dirt, water, and stains. Allow the spray to dry completely before wearing the shoes.

How to Clean Suede Shoes with Rubbing Alcohol


Q1: Can you clean suede shoes with soap and water?

Cleaning suede shoes with soap and water can be risky, as water can leave water stains on suede and soap may damage the material.

Instead of using soap and water, it’s best to use suede cleaning products or techniques to clean suede shoes. Using a suede brush or eraser can help gently remove surface dirt or stains. If the dirt or stain is more stubborn, try using a suede cleaner.

Q2: Can you machine wash suede shoes?

It is strongly advised against machine washing suede shoes as it can cause significant damage to the material and result in a change in the shoes’ overall appearance.

Suede is a delicate material that is extremely vulnerable to water and friction, both of which are present during a machine wash.

Q3: How can I make my suede shoes last longer?

  • Store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Use a suede protector spray.
  • Regularly brush off dirt and stains.
  • Avoid wearing them in rain or snow.
  • Rotate them with other shoes.
  • Get professional cleaning when needed.

By following these tips, you can extend the lifespan of your suede shoes, keeping them in great condition and looking their best for a longer period of time.


Cleaning suede shoes at home is a simple yet precise method to maintain the natural beauty of your footwear. Start by gently brushing off dirt with a soft-bristle brush, addressing stains with an eraser, and using white vinegar for stubborn marks. 

It’s crucial to let your suede shoes completely dry, preferably through air drying.

Regular brushing with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush removes dirt, preventing grime buildup and preserving the suede’s texture, ultimately ensuring the shoes look pristine and last longer.

Protecting and maintaining suede shoes is vital for their longevity. Proper storage in a dry, cool place prevents moisture damage and maintains the shoe’s shape.

By consistently following these steps, you can restore your suede shoes to a fresh and flawless appearance.

Leave a Comment