How to Protect Suede Shoes? A Definitive Guide
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How to Protect Suede Shoes? A Definitive Guide

To keep suede shoes in top condition for many more years of use, we’ve put together an exhaustive guide on how to protect suede shoes.

We’ve heard of cases where people pass on suede shoes because they believe they are notoriously difficult to maintain. Fortunately, a lot of stores and brands sell a range of items that can both keep your favorite suede shoes clean and increase their lifespan.

The steps to protect suede shoes can be divided into 7 easy steps. If you’re attempting to remove grease or oil stains from your suede shoes, we’ve also included detailed instructions.

How to Protect Suede Shoes?

Below are the tips on protecting suede shoes. Here is how to Soften Suede Leather.

Spray Waterproof Solution onto Shoes

When your shoes are still brand-new and haven’t been exposed to mud or grime, it would be ideal to perform this step. Please make sure that you have given your shoes the most thorough and clean treatment possible before waterproofing them if they have already been worn.

Water is probably the most frequent cause of suede shoe damage, so it’s especially important to waterproof your suede shoes. Suede shoes are susceptible to damage from prolonged water exposure, just like other types of leather. Staining, pilling, and discoloration are just a few examples of damage.

Please take note that most waterproofing agents will increase your shoes’ water resistance rather than making them completely waterproof. As a result, if you were to wear your shoes in a downpour, you should still anticipate that they would absorb water and become wet.

How to Protect Suede Shoes? A Definitive Guide

Remove Scuff Marks With An Eraser

They are excellent at removing scuff marks in addition to dirt, water, oil, and grease stains from suede shoes.

Any standard household eraser should work, but you can also choose an eraser kit like the one from Jason Markk, which not only includes the necessary eraser but also a gentle horsehair brush to revive the nap once you’re done cleaning.

Related: How to Clean Faux Suede Shoes?

Use a Suede Brush to Maintain the Finish

Regular brushing of your shoes can keep the finish looking brand-new in addition to preventing dirt buildup and assisting in the removal of stains. This brush features thin, protruding bristles for tougher stains, an arched half-circle brush for rounded corners, and nylon bristles for gentle cleaning.

Deep Clean Your Shoes

Most of the surface-level dirt that was trapped by your shoes should have been eliminated after brushing them. By using a suede-specific cleaning product, you can get a deeper clean. These usually take the form of a cleaning product, such as a cleaning solution or an eraser. The following steps are applicable to both of these products.

  • Suede Cleaning Bar

We advise testing your cleaning bar on a discrete area of your shoes first before using it on more visible areas. We want to make sure that you can remove any residue that your cleaning bar leaves without endangering or staining your shoes.

When you are sure you can, apply the cleaning bar to the suede shoes’ stained areas. On areas of your shoes that are not stained or that are already clean, cleaning bars are not necessary.

How to Protect Suede Shoes? A Definitive Guide

Rub the cleaning bar over the troubled areas in a back-and-forth motion while using a light to moderate amount of force. To get rid of any last-minute traces of the cleaning bar, brush your shoes with your suede brush once more.

  • Suede Cleaning Spray

In a manner similar to the cleaning bar, it is unquestionably advised to test your suede cleaning spray to make sure you are not further reducing the lifespan of your suede shoes. To check for damage or stains, test your spray on a small, inconspicuous area of your shoes.

Once you are sure, we can try to spray the cleaning solution on the shoes’ entire surface. In order for the cleaning spray to effectively clean your shoes on a deeper level, we advise brushing the nape of your shoes up first.

Use a clean, dry cloth to evenly distribute the cleaning spray over the entire shoe after applying it to the cloth. Utilize a second, clean, dry cloth after you’ve finished the previous step to make sure that all extra moisture is taken off.

To ensure a uniform texture throughout the entire pair of shoes, lastly, use your suede brush to brush the nap down.

Treating Grease / Oil Stains

Sadly, the aforementioned procedures won’t be sufficient to remove stains from suede shoes that have been tarnished by grease or oil. The key is to react as soon as you can if you spill any kind of grease or oil on your shoes.

To remove any wet stains that haven’t yet dried in your shoes, if at all possible, sprinkle them with cornstarch or baby powder. In order to prevent the stain from spreading across the shoe, make sure you are applying the powder locally.

We advise leaving the powder on for between one and two hours. The powder on your shoes can then be removed with a toothbrush, hopefully after it has completely absorbed the oil.

We advise sending your shoes to a professional cleaning service as much as possible if the oil stain has dried and set into the shoe. However, you could try using a dishwasher cleaning agent that, after all, focuses on removing grease.

How to Protect Suede Shoes? A Definitive Guide

Wear Suede at the Right Times

By dressing well, you can prevent yourself from ending up in this situation in the first place. For example, you should never pair light-colored suede accessories with dark denim. A stain from the denim is visible around the rim.

Despite the fact that waterproofing greatly aids in preserving your suede clothing, avoid wearing it in inclement weather. The suede deteriorates due to salt and other chemicals that resemble salt.

Store Shoes in An Ideal Environment

Before you wear your freshly cleaned shoes again, we want to make sure they maintain their cleanliness. Since your shoes might spend just as much time in storage as they do in use if not more, it makes sense to make sure that your storage space is as favorable as you can make it.

When storing your shoes, we suggest placing a suitable shoe tree inside. This will support maintaining the integrity of the form and shape of your shoes. We also advise keeping the shoes out of the sun and rain in a cool, dry location.

How to Repair Suede Boots?

  • Erase Water Damage: Once it is dry, gently rub the affected area with a suede brush in circular motions. As a result, discoloration will be improved.
  • Reverse Salt Stains: Circularly rubs the area while switching between a suede brush and a damp sponge. As boots dry, fill them with newspaper. (Bring boots to a pro if DIY repair methods fall short.)
  • Protect Soles: Have your boots’ soles replaced when they start to wear. Even better, ask the cobbler to replace the existing thin leather soles with sturdy rubber ones.

Final Words: Protect Suede Shoes

Suede needs regular maintenance, just like many other delicate fabrics. Going about your daily business, such as running errands or going to work, exposes you to mud, dirt, and water, all of which are very likely to leave stains on the material.

If you must wear suede boots or shoes and get them wet, you can waterproof them by applying a suede/nubuck protectant. These are typically available as sprays and can actively repel water to stop damage.


How Often to Clean Suede Boots?

How often you wear your suede boots will dictate how often you need to clean them. To prevent dirt and grime from accumulating on them, clean them once a week as a general rule.

Do Suede Shoes Need to Be Waterproofed?

Suede is a very delicate material that is prone to damage more quickly than other types. Even so, you should still try some preventative measures in case they help to extend its lifespan. The most effective method is to spray waterproofing on both boots and shoes.

Does Waterproof Spray Ruin Suede?

Some waterproofing sprays can actually affect the color of materials, and suede is definitely at risk — this formula, however, is specifically designed for suede and nubuck so that it doesn’t discolor them.

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