How to Clean Suede Shoes Like a Pro in 4 Steps

Suede shoes are stylish and comfortable, but they can be tricky to clean. Unlike leather shoes, suede shoes require a delicate touch and special care to maintain their appearance.

In this article, we will explore some expert tips that can help you clean your suede shoes and keep them looking great.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Suede Shoes

  1. Brush off Dirt and Debris Use a suede brush or a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently remove any dirt or debris from the surface of your suede shoes. Brush in the direction of the grain/pattern of the suede, using light strokes.
  2. Remove Stains If your suede shoes have stains, use a suede eraser or a pencil eraser to gently rub the stained area. You can also use a clean cloth or sponge dipped in white vinegar to remove general stains. Be sure to test the vinegar on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t discolor the suede.
  3. Steam Clean For more stubborn stains or to refresh the nap of the suede, use a steam cleaner. Hold the steam cleaner about six inches away from the shoes and move it back and forth over the stained area. Be careful not to get too close to the shoes, as the heat can damage the suede.
  4. Protect Your Suede Shoes To prevent future stains and damage, protect your suede shoes with a suede protector spray. Spray the shoes evenly and let them dry completely before wearing them again. Reapply the protector spray every few months or as needed.
How to Clean Suede Shoes

Additional Resources:

Here are some additional tips to help you care for your suede shoes:

  • Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or muddy conditions.
  • Store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Use a shoe tree to help your suede shoes retain their shape.
  • If your suede shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper to absorb the moisture and let them dry naturally.

Quick Summary on Cleaning Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede shoes requires special care to preserve their texture and appearance. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you effectively clean your suede shoes:

  1. Begin by removing any loose dirt or dust from the surface of the shoes. You can use a soft-bristle brush or a clean towel to gently brush away the dirt. Always brush in the direction of the suede grain.
  2. For stains or spots, use a suede eraser or a pencil eraser to gently rub the affected area. Apply light pressure and work in a circular motion. This should help lift off the stain without damaging the suede.
  3. For more stubborn stains, dampen a clean cloth or sponge with a small amount of white vinegar or suede cleaner. Blot the stained area gently, avoiding excessive rubbing as it can spread the stain. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally after cleaning.
  4. To restore the nap of the suede, use a suede brush or a clean toothbrush to gently brush the shoes in one direction. This will help bring back the softness and texture of the suede.
  5. As a preventive measure, you can spray your suede shoes with a suede protector or waterproofing spray. Follow the instructions on the product and ensure that you apply it evenly over the entire surface of the shoes. This will help repel dirt and stains in the future.

Remember, it’s important to be gentle when cleaning suede shoes to avoid damaging the delicate material. If you’re uncertain or dealing with a particularly stubborn stain, it’s always best to seek professional cleaning services or consult a shoe care expert.


Cleaning suede shoes requires a gentle touch and special care, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done effectively. By brushing off dirt and debris, removing stains, steam cleaning, and protecting your suede shoes, you can keep them looking great for years to come. Remember to take care of your suede shoes and they will take care of you.