How To Clean Cole Haan Suede Shoes

Cole Haan’s suede shoes represent timeless elegance and are renowned for their outstanding quality and style. They have a soft and rich texture that looks very classy.

But sometimes, life can be tough on your favorite shoes. They become dirty over time or might get water or grease stains. So in this article, we are going to show you how to clean Cole Haan suede shoes.

We’ll take you step by step through the process of cleaning Cole Haan suede shoes and show you how to deal with water stains, scuffs, and tough marks.

How To Clean Cole Haan Suede Shoes

Materials Required

1. Suede Brush

2. Suede Eraser

3. White Vinegar

4. Clean, Dry Cloth

5. Suede Protector Spray

Cleaning Process

Before cleaning suede shoes, make sure they’re dry. If they’re wet, blot the moisture with paper towels or a cloth. Let them dry naturally, not with a hairdryer or sunlight, as that can harm the suede. Once they’re dry, you should start cleaning them.

Step 1: Brushing Away Dirt

Begin the cleaning process by ensuring your suede shoes are completely dry. Use a soft-bristled suede brush to gently remove loose dirt and debris. Brush in one direction to maintain the suede’s nap.

Step 2: Tackling Stains with a Suede Eraser

Gently rub the suede eraser back and forth over the stained area, applying only light pressure to avoid damaging the suede.

The suede eraser helps lift away stains and marks without harming the suede’s texture.

After using the eraser, go over the entire shoe with the suede brush again to restore the nap.

Step 3: Using Vinegar for Stubborn Stains

To clean suede shoes, lightly dampen a clean, white cloth with white vinegar and gently blot the stained or dirty areas. Ensure not to oversaturate the suede.

Stubborn stains can be treated by gently rubbing the affected area with a microfiber cloth dampened with white vinegar.

For the final touch, brush the suede nap a few times once the shoes are completely dry to restore their original appearance.

Step 4: Applying suede protector spray

Consider applying a suede protector spray to safeguard your suede shoes from stains and water damage. Make sure your shoes are completely dry before applying the protector.

Allow the protector to dry thoroughly before wearing your suede shoes again. Suede protectors create a protective barrier that helps repel water and prevent new stains, prolonging the life of your suede shoes.

How to Clean Suede Shoes With Alcohol

Although cleaning stains from suede shoes can be challenging, with the right method, you can bring them back to their former glory.

Materials Required

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A clean, white cloth
  • A suede brush


1. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a clean, white cloth. It’s essential to use a white cloth to avoid any potential dye transfer.

2. Gently blot the stained areas on your suede shoes with the alcohol-dampened cloth. Use a light touch and switch to a clean section of the cloth as it gets dirty.

3. Be careful not to use too much alcohol, as it can saturate the suede and harm the fibers.

4. Let the suede air dry naturally after cleaning. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers, as they can damage the material.

5. Once the suede is dry, assess whether the stains have been removed. If stubborn stains stay, you can repeat the process.

6. To maintain the suede’s texture as it dries, use a suede brush. Brush the entire shoe gently, ensuring it looks uniform.

How to Remove Grease or Oil Stains from Suede Shoes

Although removing grease or oil stains from suede can be difficult, it is possible with the appropriate technique.

What You’ll Need:

  • Cornstarch 
  • A suede brush or a toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • A clean cloth

Steps to Remove Grease or Oil Stains:

1. Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on the stained area. Allow it to sit on the stain for at least a few hours.

2. After the powder has had time to absorb the oil or grease, use a suede brush or a clean toothbrush to gently brush it off. Brush in the direction of the suede’s natural nap.

3. If the stain remains, dampen a soft, clean cloth with white vinegar. Blot (do not rub) the stained area with the vinegar-dampened cloth. Vinegar can help break down and lift the remaining grease or oil.

4. Allow the suede to air dry naturally. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers, as they can damage the suede.

5. Grease and oil stains can be persistent. if the stain is still visible, repeat the method until the stain is completely removed.

In addition, baking soda can be used in place of cornstarch. Sprinkle some baking soda over it, then leave it for a few hours or overnight.

How to Remove Salt Stains from Suede Shoes

Salt stains on suede shoes typically occur as a result of exposure to salt or de-icing agents used on roads and sidewalks during winter weather.

Salt stains on suede shoes are not only unsightly but can also potentially damage the suede material if not properly addressed.

It’s crucial to properly clean and remove salt stains from suede to maintain the shoes’ appearance and longevity.

Steps to Remove Salt Stains:

  • In a small bowl, mix equal parts white vinegar and water to create a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Dip a soft, clean cloth into the vinegar solution, making sure it’s damp but not soaking wet.
  • Gently blot the salt stains with a damp cloth. Do not rub, as rubbing can spread the salt.
  • After treating the salt stains, allow the suede to air dry naturally.
  • Once the suede is completely dry, use a suede brush to restore its texture. If any residue remains, repeat the process until the stains are gone.

How to get Water Stains out of Suede Shoes

Surprisingly, water can help get rid of watermarks on suede shoes. Just spray a little water on the shoes with a spray bottle, making sure not to soak them.

Then, gently brush the suede using a suede brush. If there’s any extra water, carefully pat it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Let the shoe air dry completely at room temperature, avoiding heat sources like hair dryers. This method uses a bit of water and gentle brushing to slowly make those water stains disappear, so your suede shoes look as good as new.


Q1. Does vinegar clean suede shoes?

Yes, vinegar can be used to clean suede shoes. Here’s how vinegar can help clean suede shoes:

Stain Removal: Vinegar, particularly white vinegar, can be effective in breaking down and removing certain types of stains on suede, such as water stains, salt stains, and some scuff marks.

Gentle Cleaning: When diluted with water, vinegar creates a mild cleaning solution that can be applied to a soft cloth for gentle blotting or wiping of stained or soiled areas on suede shoes.

While vinegar can be a useful tool for certain types of stains on suede shoes, it’s important to approach the cleaning process gently and cautiously to avoid any potential damage to the material.

Q2. Can you clean suede shoes with detergent?

Using detergent to clean suede shoes is generally not recommended because it can potentially damage the delicate suede material. Here’s why:

1. Many detergents contain strong chemicals and surfactants designed for cleaning fabric, but they can be too harsh for suede. These chemicals may cause discoloration, fading, or even break down the suede fibers.

2. Using detergent may result in water stains or rings on the suede, which can be challenging to remove.

Instead of detergent, it’s best to use specialized suede cleaning products or follow gentler cleaning methods, such as brushing and spot cleaning with mild solutions like white vinegar and water.

These methods are less likely to harm the suede and can effectively remove stains without compromising the material’s quality.


In conclusion, I am sure that by reading this article, you have completely understood how to clean Cole Haan suede shoes.

Through this comprehensive guide, you’ve learned valuable tips and methods. From addressing water stains and scuffs to using alcohol for cleaning suede boots and how to remove grease, oil, and salt stains from sneakers, you’re now ready to maintain the elegance of your Cole Haan suede footwear.

By applying these maintenance tips to your routine, you can continue to enjoy the comfort and aesthetic appeal of your Cole Haan suede footwear for many more walks.

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