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What Is Suede Shoes? A Complete Guide about How to Clean a Suede Shoes?

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How to Clean a Suede Shoes

Suede Shoes

What are suede shoes? Suede leather is made from the underside of the skin (the epidermis), which can be split into delicate, soft layers that are especially rich in protein.

Suede leather is made from the underside of the skin (the epidermis), which can be split into delicate, soft layers that are especially rich in protein.

Suede leather can be treated differently to obtain different results:

  • “Nubuck” is prevalent for boots and other footwear because it is worn-in and has an attractive veining effect with a velvety touch.
  • “Aniline” or ”naked” suede looks natural when it’s uncolored but holds its shape well when wet. 
  • “Semi-anilines” are less expensive than Nubuck or anil because they’re thinly textured and more quickly colored, but they don’t absorb dye as well and so show the color of the leather underneath more clearly.
  • “Powdery” – Generally made with fine suede leather that’s been brushed or buffed, so it’s velvety soft and has a powdery look.

Cleaning of Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede shoes can be a nightmare if you don’t know what to do. It is not like cleaning leather or fabric because suede needs special attention. Even though it’s delicate, there are ways to keep your suede shoes in the best condition possible. This article will give you information on how to clean suede shoes and keep them looking great for years!

Best Methods about How to Clean Suede Shoes

Read More: How To Remove Rust Stains From Clothing? Methods for Removing Rust Stains

Here is a list of the best ways to clean suede shoes.

  1. Wet Method: You will need a damp cloth and a small piece of suede soap for this method. You can also use baby shampoo or dishwashing liquid, but make sure it does not contain any conditioner, as this will cause your suede to become greasy and lose its water-resistance. Lightly wet your cloth and apply some soap to it, then wipe over the dirty areas of your shoe. Rinse off with water and wipe dry with a soft cloth once again, ensuring that all excess moisture has been removed (this is important). Suede should never be rubbed as it causes the nap to pill (fuzz balls of fiber), which cannot be removed.
  2. Baking Soda – Suede Brush: For this method, you will need a soft bristle brush and some baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum powder. Lightly brush over the suede with your powder to remove any surface dirt, then use a vacuum cleaner hose to suck up the powder. If necessary, repeat until all excess dust has been removed. This is not only an easy way to clean suede, but it will also restore its shine and keep it looking attractive for longer by making it water repellent and maintaining the nap (fuzzy belt of fiber).
  3. Dry Method: This is one of the simplest ways to clean suede shoes and requires nothing more than a soft cloth and maybe some water if needed. Make sure that your shoes are not wet and brush off any surface dirt with the material. Next, dampen the cloth and wipe over to remove any stubborn marks, leave it to dry naturally away from direct heat sources such as radiators and so forth.
  4. Cold Water: For this method, you will need a small bowl of cold water, a soft cloth, and some suede cleaner. This is one of the best ways to clean suede shoes because it does not involve removing the nap (fuzzy belt of fiber) or coating the suede with any form of chemical that can change its appearance or make it shiny, for instance.
  5. Pour a modest amount of cleaner into the bowl, then simmer each shoe simultaneously for 10 minutes (be sure to move them around the bowl as they soak). Once this time has elapsed, take them out, lay on a flat surface, and gently rub away any dirt with your cloth that you should see on the fabric. You can make your suede cleaner by mixing it up in a spray bottle (1 part water: 2 parts white vinegar: 3 drops of dishwashing liquid) then spray over the dirty areas and wipe with a clean cloth until all excess has been removed. You may also use saddle soap or glycerin if available.
  6. Wheat Flour – Baby Powder: This is another simple method for cleaning suede shoes that requires nothing more than some wheat flour (coarse), baby powder or cornstarch, and a ball of cotton. Take your powder or flour and rub it over the suede with a cotton ball until all excess has been removed. Use a generous amount of flour to absorb any grease present in the suede while also making it shine, giving a virtually new finish.
  7. What not to do: You should never use solvent-based cleaners, wire wool, bleach, dry cleaning fluid, white spirits, shoe polish, leather shampoo on suede shoes as they can ruin their appearance by changing their color or covering them with a shiny layer that will give them an artificial look. Also, be careful when using water as prolonged contact can discolor light-colored suede’s while dark colors tend to oil stains, so be careful when wiping over these areas.
  8. The Natural Method: The only way to clean suede shoes is to use a natural method that involves no chemicals or harsh agents. This will ensure that your suede stays soft and retains its original appearance giving it a fresh finish each time. Avoid getting them wet as often as possible by wearing water-resistant overshoes during the winter.
  9. Light-colored suede’s are especially prone to discoloration with prolonged contact. Be sure to remove any surface dirt spots before attempting to clean them (a toothbrush works well for this). Also, avoid using solvent-based cleaners; they can harm your shoes due to their robust nature. 
  10. Finishing Touches: After this, you might want to lightly brush off any excess flour, baby powder, or cornstarch with a suede brush or dry cloth to restore its original appearance. If you’re going to darken the color of your shoes, then apply a small amount of vegetable oil using a material before brushing off and leave overnight, after which they will be darker than originally intended.

Conclusion

Before attempting to clean your suede shoes at home, always check the care instructions on the label. Cleaning suede incorrectly can ruin it forever, so make sure you read the method recommended by the manufacturer before proceeding. Never use any cleaner other than those specially made for suede, as this will ruin its water-resistant properties and damage its appearance.

When buying new suede shoes, try to determine where they were made and whether the manufacturer offers a warranty. Different parts of the world have other conditions, so if your shoes came from a hot and dry area, you might experience problems with suede in wetter climates.

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