6 Easy Ways to Clean & Protect Suede Shoes

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Let’s talk about shoe care.

You can never go wrong with a pair of suede shoes. Whether done in oxfords, sneakers or boots, the material is timeless and versatile. However, like many other delicate fabrics, suede requires consistent upkeep. The material is highly susceptible to stains from mud, dirt and water that you’ll often encounter during daily activities like running errands or going to work.

Luckily, many retailers and brands offer a variety of products that can not only keep your favorite suede shoes clean but also extend their lifespan.

From using handy cleaning sprays to compact shoe bags that will protect pairs from dirt and scuff marks, we compiled eight easy ways to keep your suede shoes looking like new.

Try a Suede Cleaning Spray

Special suede cleaning sprays can be great for targeting surface stains. This option from Kiwi effectively removes dust and dirt from all types of suede and nubuck shoes. It works on all colors and can be used on coats, jackets and bags, too.

Kiwi Suede Cleaner
CREDIT: Courtesy of Target

Remove Tough Stains With a Liquid Cleaning Formula

If you find yourself with a really stubborn stain, it’s best to use a deep cleaning liquid formula. Saphir Beauté Du Cuir’s Omnidaim Nubuck & Suede Cleaner is designed to penetrate the fabric to loosen stuck-on grime, while also rejuvenating color. For the best results, first wipe away any loose dirt from the upper of shoes then apply the cleaner with the accompanying brush. Next, gently rub the brush into the shoe and allow the formula to soak for several hours.

Saphir Suede Cleaner
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

Use a Suede Brush To Maintain the Finish

Regularly brushing your shoes will not only prevent dirt buildup and help lift stains, but can also keep the finish looking like new. This brush offers nylon bristles for a gentle cleaning, an arched half circle brush to target rounded corners and a thin protruding brush for attacking tougher stains.

Shack Brush Cleaner
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

Remove Scuff Marks With an Eraser

In addition to working well for lifting dirt, water, oil and grease stains from suede shoes, they’re also great for removing scuff marks. Any old household eraser should work, but you can also opt for an eraser kit like this one from Jason Markk, which not only comes comes with a special eraser but also a soft horsehair brush to revive the nap once you’re done cleaning.

Jason Markk Suede Cleaning Kit
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Use a Furniture Cleaner to Weatherproof Pairs

The same sprays and cleaners you use to waterproof fabric furniture can also make a difference with your shoes. A little Scotchgard can help repel water and stains on soft suede styles. The application is simple and the product is clear and odorless, so it won’t alter the color of prized pairs.

Scotchgard Fabric Shield
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

Store Them Away From Other Shoes

Properly storing suede shoes helps keep them in tip-top shape. Shoe bags protect delicate pairs from scuffs and stains, which often occur when pairs are piled on top of one another in your closet. These handy pouches can also help suede styles last longer by keeping them free of dust and moisture.

Pack All Store Shoe Bag
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

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