Learn whether suede will be destroyed if it becomes wet in this article. You can also learn how to repair suede shoes that have been damaged here.
Around the world, sneakerheads and fashionistas have a soft spot for suede footwear. The elegant fabric can add flair to any outfit thanks to its distinctive appearance and feel. Can suede get wet? Yes, suede can get wet. But suede is difficult to maintain when it gets wet.
Read on for our comprehensive guide to caring for your suede if you have any questions, such as whether it is okay to wear your suede shoes outside in the rain or how to remove a stain from your favorite jacket.
Can Suede Get Wet?
Yes, suede shoes can get wet and still be wearable, but in order to prevent damage, you need to treat them quickly afterward, which can be time-consuming. It’s best to stay away from suede shoes entirely if you know it’s going to rain or if you’ll be in an environment where they might get wet.
Due to the visible surface being the more robust exterior of the hide, normal leather is more water-resistant than suede. In contrast to other types of leather, suede has an interior that has been partially disassembled to create a smooth, velvet-like nap as the visible surface.
The nap is made of small leather “hairs” which become stiff and brittle when they get wet, or when they dry after being wet. Brittle hairs have a higher chance of falling out, and once that happens the suede is irreparably harmed.
Does Water Ruin Suede Shoes?
In the rain, suede shoes hold up well. The suede, unlike leather, is not water-resistant, so it could sustain some damage. In the event that you are caught in the rain and your suede shoes become wet, you should remove them from your feet as soon as possible and hang them up in a spotless area so they can dry.
A rain and stain protector should be purchased if you plan to wear suede shoes in the rain. When you get home, they will dry a little bit more quickly because this will help to protect them from the rain and stains.
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What Happens If Suede Gets Wet?
Anyone who has ever owned a pair of suede shoes is likely already familiar with what happens when suede gets wet. Will water damage suede boots, for those who may not be familiar with them? You shouldn’t wear suede shoes in the rain for a variety of reasons.
The Suede’s fibers will swell if exposed to water. The fibers will start to break and unravel as they swell. No complete repair is possible once the fibers begin to break. Your suede item will never look the same because the damage is irreversible.
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Unlike the fibers of other types of leather, suede has a unique texture. Because it is made from the skin’s underside, suede has a distinctive nap. Compared to other types of leather, the fibers are shorter and not as tightly woven together. They are therefore more vulnerable to water damage.
Suedes can deteriorate due to water as well. The leather’s dye may bleed and transfer to adjacent surfaces when the suede becomes wet. Your suede item and any other items it comes in contact with could be ruined by this.
Additionally, suede is more susceptible to stains than other types of leather. Suedes will be very challenging to clean if you spill something on them, such as mud or dirt. And even if you are able to get the stain out, the suede there is probably going to look faded.
Mold and Mildew
If suede gets wet and is not allowed to dry properly, it can develop mold and mildew. As fungi, mold, and mildew thrive in damp, dark settings. They are very challenging to get rid of and can seriously harm your suede item.
Mold and mildew will not only ruin the appearance of your suede, but they can also make it smell musty. It is best to discard suede as soon as you notice any mold or mildew on it.
Loss of Shape
Given how delicate suede is, getting it wet can cause it to lose its shape. You might notice that after cleaning a suede item that is only dry-cleaned, it appears different. Due to the fibers’ potential to swell and change shape in the presence of water.
Your suede item cannot be changed back to its original shape once it has been altered. Only a complete replacement of the item will solve this issue.
What to Do If Suede is Wet?
Drying the nap and brushing it at the same time to keep the suede feeling smooth are the two main treatments for wet suede. The sooner wet suede is treated, the less likely it is to sustain long-term damage.
Soak Up as Much Water as Possible
The suede should first be lightly blotted with a microfiber towel or a clean cloth to absorb as much water as you can. Avoid rubbing the nap; the idea is to begin to dry out the suede without damaging it.
Brush the Nap
Use a soft suede brush to the nap and gently brush it back and forth while the suede is still wet. Go to the neighborhood pharmacy or convenience store and purchase a soft bristle toothbrush if you don’t already have one.
Apply Heat While Brushing
To hasten to dry, use a hair dryer; as the heat is applied, continue to brush the nap. A hair dryer is typically not recommended for drying leather shoes because the heat can dry out the leather and cause it to stiffen or crack.
Suede requires a different method of drying; to keep the nap from becoming rigid and brittle, you must continuously brush it as it dries. The process needs to be sped up using a hair dryer or heat gun because waiting for it to air dry would take too long and involve excessive brushing.
There should be space between the hair dryer and the shoes, so make sure the heat source isn’t right next to them. The suede shouldn’t ever feel warm to the touch; if it does, the heat source is probably too close.
The nap should be brushed once more after drying, preferably with a soft horse-bristle brush. As soft and velvety as it was prior to getting wet, the suede ought to be.
How to Treat Water Stains on Suede?
Use a suede eraser to try and get rid of the watermark if it’s still recent. With a clean cloth, lightly mist the area first. Next, gently rub the shoes with the eraser in circular motions to remove any remaining stains.
Use a suede brush or cleaner if the stain is particularly difficult to remove. Before you can begin cleaning if the watermark is dry, the suede needs to be rehydrated. To accomplish this, use a spray bottle to lightly mist the area, then wait a few minutes before moving on.
When the suede is damp, scrub the stain away with a brush or cleaner. Before you begin brushing, you might consider pre-treating the stain with a suede cleaner. Always conduct a test on a hidden area before using any kind of chemical on your shoes to prevent harming the suede.
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How to Prevent Water Damage to Suede Shoes?
The risks of wearing suede shoes in the rain are now clear, so let’s look at how to keep them dry. To help prevent water damage to your suede shoes, there are a few things you can do.
Waterproofing your suede shoes is the best defense against damage. Use a suede or water repellent protecting spray on your shoes before wearing them to achieve this. To help prevent water damage, apply a suede protector before rain or snowstorms.
Even though it might seem obvious, avoiding wearing suede shoes in the rain is another way to keep them in good condition. The best treatment, after all, is prevention.
In the event that you must wear them in the rain, make sure to remove them as soon as you can and allow them to completely dry in a well-ventilated area. This aids in stopping the growth of mold or bacteria.
Is It Hard to Maintain Suede Shoes?
Yes, suede shoes can be a little difficult to maintain, but the extra work is well worth it! Suede is a delicate fabric that needs extra tender loving care. Your suede shoes can become stained or cracked very quickly if they are not given the proper care.
So what is the ideal way to maintain suede footwear? Here are a few helpful tips:
- Use an appropriate cleaning solution. It’s crucial to have the proper tools available before you begin so you don’t harm your shoes, such as specialized leather cleaners and protective sprays.
- Brush away dirt before application. Before applying a cleaner or protector spray, carefully brush away any dust and dirt from the surface of your shoe with an old toothbrush or suede brush. When the material is being cleaned or treated, this will help to ensure that no dirt gets trapped in it.
For hydration and shine, condition frequently with oil-based products. When conditioning, keep in mind natural oils, like mink oil for waterproofing, which keeps materials soft and helps prevent cracking over time. Avoid using too much or it might stain light-colored items; instead, use the recommended amount.
- Invest in quality footwear protection. It might be worthwhile to protect your priceless items with a quality spray once every few months; this should help prevent damage from weather and accidental spills during normal wear and tear. Regularly carrying out this action will greatly aid in keeping those gorgeous suedes looking great for years!
Final Words: Can Suede Get Wet?
You now know what to do if the suede on your shoes gets wet. By properly maintaining your shoes, you can increase their lifespan and keep them looking great for many years to come. You can keep your suede shoes in pristine condition and prevent any water damage with a little bit of work.
Applying a suede/nubuck protectant will help make your suede shoes or boots waterproof if getting them wet is unavoidable while wearing them. These are frequently offered in spray form, and they can actively repel water to stop damage.
Can You Get Rain Out of Suede?
The best thing you can do is take a microfiber towel, or worst case scenario, some paper towels or even toilet paper, and blot the suede. The objective is to absorb as much water as possible and quickly. You get into trouble if you let the wet suede dry on its own.
Does Water Stain Suede?
Its napped surface, in particular, can be challenging to clean. Water damage, in particular, is immediately apparent on suede — you’ll notice dark spots and a surface that feels stiffer and less supple. Your suede clothing, shoes, and handbag will look and feel better after you remove water stains.
How Much Water Will Ruin Suede?
Know that water will not ruin your suede shoes if you take your time to let them dry. Avoid vigorous rubbing, wiping, or scrubbing on suede. The thin, delicate hairs become tense and brittle when wet, making them simple to rip off.
How Water Resistant is Suede?
Suede is very easily ruined by water, which causes stains on its surface. Suede boots can be ruined by anything, even a rainstorm. Due to suede’s sensitivity, however, you must also be careful when waterproofing it because you cannot rub a substance like wax on its surface.