How to Clean Suede Shoes

Before beginning cleaning, ensure your shoes are completely dry. Rubbing wet mud deeper into the material can lead to it discoloring or even shrinking over time, potentially compromising its integrity and leading to further issues with discoloration or shrinking.

Use a suede brush to carefully brush away large chunks of dirt from the material, before crumpling up some paper or cloth and placing it inside your shoe as you clean. This will help it retain its shape as you clean.

Baking Soda

Your pantry likely holds items you can use to effectively remove most stains from suede shoes, including white vinegar, baking soda, dish soap and even rubbing alcohol – these common household cleaners will do just fine and are safer alternatives to commercial cleaners which could stain or stiffen them further.

Before trying to remove a stain on suede, always test the cleaning product in an inconspicuous area first. Otherwise, you risk ruining a favorite pair of shoes due to an adverse reaction with one or more products used for stain removal. When using commercial degreasing cleaners it is wise to follow instructions provided with them for optimal results.

Baking soda is an environmentally-friendly natural cleaner that can effectively remove grease or oil stains from any suede leather item including shoes. Baking soda works by absorbing oily residue. To use baking soda to clean your shoes, first brush away any loose dirt or debris before generously applying baking soda directly on a stain and let it sit for several hours (ideally overnight) before gently brushing away with a suede brush.

This method can help remove grease stains from your shoes while also refreshing a suede coat or jacket. For stubborn spots, try using a nail file or toothbrush to scrub at them until the stain comes off without damaging their suede materials.

Baking soda can also help remove scuff marks from shoes or coats, similar to how grease remover works for grease stains. Scuff marks may require extra care as they could damage suede nap. Try using a pencil eraser or baby powder to gently buff away at them first before trying fine-grit sandpaper as another alternative solution.

White Vinegar

White vinegar can go a long way toward rejuvenating suede shoes to their former glory. This household product can effectively eliminate greasy marks, salt stains and other dirt build-ups with ease. Simply pour some onto a cloth, apply to affected area, allow to dry completely then rub gently using brush. Alternatively, a rubber eraser might work better for deeper scuffs and marks.

If your shoes have become heavily stained with oily marks, rubbing alcohol may help dissolve them. Applying some will temporarily dampen fabric and alter its hue before dissipating to reveal its original hue; just be wary not to oversaturate or flood the fabric as this could damage it further.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be an excellent natural cleaner. Dip a cotton wool ball in the solution and dab away at any oil or grease stains on fabric; additional cotton balls may be necessary depending on their severity. You could even try it on suede shoes to remove ink stains that have formed!

To make the process simpler, start by inserting some crumpled paper in each of your shoes so they maintain their shape during cleaning and don’t absorb too much of your chosen cleaning agent. This will also prevent too much soaking-in of cleaning agent.

Before beginning the cleaning of your suede shoes, always conduct a patch test on a small area to make sure it is appropriate for treatment. If there are no signs of damage on this sample, then go on with full process of removing stains and scuff marks from all over the pair.

Your shoes have likely been stained by oil, dirt or snow and will require air-drying before they can be worn again. Once dry, spray them with silicone spray to help prevent recurrence of stains as well as give a nice clean feeling to them.

Dish Soap

When your suede shoes get stained, don’t panic just yet – there may be household products already at hand that you can use to clean them and make them look brand new again. Items such as white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and dish soap contain gentle ingredients that won’t harm fabric while products such as shaving cream, toothpaste or corn starch are also great ways to restore them back into good condition.

To clean your suede shoes, first dust them off. Next, use a suede cleaning brush on any dirty areas to gently brush away dirt from their surfaces – using multiple directions may help. Finally, use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush and liquid dish soap mixed with water for scrubbing purposes – frequently rinsing out to avoid soap suds build-up; once finished scrubbing run your shoes under clear water to rinse away any soap suds or dirt that remains.

Another way is to spray your shoes with a light mist of water and rub them down using a dry suede brush, or, in its absence, use cotton balls or pieces of cloth instead to rub the water and soap mixture into fabric fabric. Let them dry indoors away from sunlight or heat sources that could fade or shrink faux leather surfaces.

Use a wet towel to quickly wipe down and brush your shoes using a suede brush, while for extremely soiled shoes you could use a melamine sponge wet with dish soap and water and wet and scrub them before rinsing out and wringing it out properly before rinsing it out thoroughly if necessary.

If your shoes are particularly stubborn, try sprinkling their surface with baking soda or corn starch and leaving it for about 30 minutes before wiping gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush to gently clean off any residue left by stains on suede shoes. Repeat as necessary until all stains have been eliminated from them.


Though water might seem like an unlikely option for cleaning suede shoes, it can actually be quite useful for doing the job. Water can help remove stubborn stains while also helping restore the nap or texture of the shoe if used excessively and directly applied onto leather surfaces. But be careful as too much moisture could potentially be damaging; too much can ruin it all together.

Commence by brushing the surface of your shoes to remove any loose dirt or grit. Brush in the direction that suede naturally lays (i.e. smooth in one direction and rough in the other). A special suede brush may be purchased specifically for this task or you could simply use a clean nail brush or toothbrush; just ensure not to apply too much pressure when brushing as doing so can flatten and damage its fabric underneath.

Once your shoes have been thoroughly brushed, apply a small amount of water directly onto any area where there is a stain or oily buildup. This will help break down and ease removal; repeat this step several times if it is particularly severe.

After soaking the affected area, use a cloth to wipe away any extra moisture that remains on your suede shoes and ensure that any remaining stain has been eliminated completely. Once this step is completed, use another dry cloth to rub over any areas where there was staining or oil contamination, in order to gently rub out any lingering stains and oil spots from your suede footwear.

Baking soda is an all-around cleaner that is great for suede shoes. Simply sprinkle baking soda over any spots or oils on the suede surface and scrub away with a soft brush (most suede kits provide one); once done, brush off any leftover powder and allow your shoes to air-dry completely before brushing away the remaining powder residues.