9 Best Ways to Clean Suede Shoes Without a Suede Cleaner


9 Best Ways to Clean Suede Shoes Without a Suede Cleaner
9 Best Ways to Clean Suede Shoes Without a Suede Cleaner

When in doubt about what you can safely use to clean your suede shoes, the safest option is to use a suede cleaner.

However, what if you cannot get your hands on one? 

Can You Clean Suede Shoes Without A Suede Cleaner

Yes, you can clean your suede shoes with a few safe household alternatives if you do not have a suede cleaner. These include:

  1. Water
  2. Dish soap
  3. Cornstarch
  4. Baking soda
  5. White vinegar
  6. Rubbing alcohol
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide
  8. Magic Erasers
  9. Rubber Pencil Erasers

1- Cleaning Suede Shoes with Water

When cleaning your suede shoes with water, you are going to spot-clean specific areas rather than washing the whole shoe. 

This works great on water stains (wet and dry) and other surface-level stains. 

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush or a clean towel to brush or wipe away excess dirt and grime and to loosen up the suede fibers. 
  2. Then, put some water into a bowl and dip a small portion of a clean cloth into it. 
  3. Squeeze out the excess water and then use the wet cloth to soak the area of the stain.
  4. You do not need to completely saturate the material. Just enough to get the stain wet. 
  5. Use your brush or the cloth to gently rub the water into the area.
  6. Let the shoes completely dry (either naturally or with a blow dryer on the coolest setting) then use your suede brush to brush the fibers back into place. 

Related Article – Ways How to Remove Stains from Suede Shoes – Safe & EasyOpens in a new tab.

2- Cleaning Suede Shoes with Dish Soap

Dish soap is gentle enough to clean suede stains without damaging the material if used correctly. 

This works well for oily or greasy stains that have dried or salt stains. 

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush or a clean towel to brush or wipe away excess dirt and grime and to loosen up the suede fibers. 
  2. Put a small amount of dish soap in a bowl and then place some clean water in another bowl separately. 
  3. Use a clean towel or your brush (suede brush or toothbrush) to apply the dish soap to the stained area. 
  4. Use a cloth or brush to gently scrub the stain. 
  5. Use a clean cloth dipped in water to remove the soapy residue. 
  6. Repeat this process until you feel like the stain has been cleaned. 
  7. Let the material completely dry and then use your suede brush to loosen up the fibers and brush them back into place. 

Related Article: Wet Suede Shoes – Tips On How To Safely Fix & DryOpens in a new tab.

3- Cleaning Suede Shoes with Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a great choice when cleaning suede stains that are greasy or moist. The cornstarch will soak up the moisture and/or oil and help to remove the stains.

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush or a clean towel to brush or wipe away excess dirt and grime and to loosen up the suede fibers. 
  2. Cover the stained area with cornstarch and let it sit for a few hours to let it soak up the grease and moisture. 
  3. After a few hours, use your brush to brush off the excess cornstarch and then brush the fibers of the suede to get them clean and set. 
  4. Repeat and needed until the stain is gone. 

4- Cleaning Suede Shoes with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great cleaning agent for suede because it is gentle on the material while absorbing dirt, grease, oil, and even salt. 

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush or a clean towel to brush or wipe away excess dirt and grime and to loosen up the suede fibers. 
  2. Sprinkle some baking soda on the stained area until covered.
  3. Then use a brush to gently scrub the baking soda into the stain and around the area.
  4. Let it sit for about 15 minutes then brush off the excess baking soda.
  5. Use your suede brush to them brush off the baking soda and residues still left on the shoes. 
  6. Repeat this as many times as needed. 

5- Cleaning Suede Shoes with White Vinegar

White vinegar is a great household cleaning agent for shoes, even suede! The acetic acid in household white vinegar is strong enough to clean the material without damaging or stiffening the fibers.

Here is what to do:

  1. First, use a suede brush, a soft-bristled brush, or a clean cloth to remove surface dirt from the shoes. Brush first with and then against the grain of the suede material. This will help to dislodge any dirt and/or particles and fluff up the fibers of the material. 
  2. Pour a little bit of vinegar onto a clean, white cloth and rub it into the stain.
  3. You want to dampen the stained area of the stain, not saturate it.
  4. Rubbing the stain should loosen the dirt and marks.
  5. Wipe away excess moisture and let the shoes completely dry. 
  6. Dry brush the shoes again to get rid of any residues.

Related Article – Cleaning Suede Shoes with Vinegar – What You Need to KnowOpens in a new tab.

Video: How to Clean Suede Shoes & Boots

6- Cleaning Suede Shoes With Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is great at loosening dirt and disinfecting the surface of suede shoes. However, because of its drying properties, a little goes a long way. 

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush, a soft-bristled brush, or a clean cloth to remove surface dirt from the shoes. 
  2. Pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto a clean, white cloth and rub it into the stain. You want to dampen the stained area of the stain, not saturate it. Rubbing the stain should loosen the dirt and marks.
  3. Wipe away excess moisture and let the shoes completely dry. 
  4. Dry brush the shoes again to get rid of any residues.

Related Article – How to Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean & Disinfect ShoesOpens in a new tab.

7- Cleaning Suede Shoes With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning stubborn stains (even blood stains) from suede shoes. However, this is best used on suede that has not been dyed as it can bleach some of the colors from the material. 

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush, a soft-bristled brush, or a clean cloth to remove surface dirt from the shoes. 
  2. Dip a cotton ball into some hydrogen peroxide and gently rub it over the stain. 
  3. Dampen the stained area with hydrogen peroxide and use the cotton ball to keep rubbing at the stain until it starts to lift. 
  4. Let the suede dry completely then use a dry suede brush to brush away any remaining residue and re-texture the material. 

Related Article – Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Stains & Odor from ShoesOpens in a new tab.

8- Cleaning Suede Shoes With Magic Erasers

Magic erasers are made from an abrasive sponge that works great to clean fabric material like suede. However, you should stick to white suede or undyed suede to avoid rubbing off any color in the process of cleaning the shoes. 

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush to get rid of excess dirt and grime from your suede shoes. 
  2. The wet your magic eraser sponge. Be sure to squeeze out as much of the water from the sponge as you can. 
  3. Use the sponge to gently scrub the stained area. 
  4. Scrub gently until the stain is gone. 
  5. Then use the suede brush to get rid of any residues and re-texture the material. 

Related Article: How to Clean Shoes with a Magic Eraser – Ultimate GuideOpens in a new tab.

9- Cleaning Suede Shoes with Rubber Pencil Erasers or Suede Erasers

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Pencil erasers?” But they really do work great for getting rid of stains and scuff marks from suede shoes. If you cannot get your hands on a “suede eraser”, then grab your kid’s pencil eraser!

Here is what to do:

  1. Use a suede brush to loosen up the fibers and get rid of excess dirt and grime. 
  2. Then, take a pencil eraser and start rubbing at the stains like you are trying to erase pencil marks. 
  3. Brush off the eraser dust and repeat the process until the stains have been removed. 
  4. Then use the suede brush to brush off any residues and to re-texture the material. 

Video: HOW TO CLEAN & MAINTAIN SUEDE SHOES

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can suede shoes be washed with soap and water?

You can spot clean stains on suede with dish soap and water, but you should not wash your suede shoes. 

Soaking or getting your whole suede shoes wet can damage the material beyond repair. This is why you should regularly brush and clean your suede shoes to avoid them from getting too dirty. 

Can you wash suede shoes in the washing machine?

You should not wash your suede shoes in the washing machine. 

Not only will the cycling of the washer be too harsh on the material, but it may also warp and damage your shoes. 

In fact, you should not be washing your whole suede shoe at all. Stick to regular brushing and spot cleaning for the best results. 

Can you clean white suede shoes with bleach?

You should not clean white suede shoes with bleach. Bleach is a strong chemical that will damage the fibers of the suede material. 

Can you leave suede shoes in the sun?

You should avoid leaving your suede shoes in direct sunlight. 

Direct sunlight and heat will stiffen and dehydrate the fibers making them stiff. If they are colored shoes as well, the sunlight will fade the color. 

How can I protect my suede shoes from stains?

You can use a suede protector spray to coat your suede shoes. This will help to prevent stains from setting in and will protect them from the environment as much as possible. 

Sources:

How to Clean Suede NaturallyOpens in a new tab. 

How to Clean Suede in 4 Easy Steps | PhoneSoapOpens in a new tab. 

How to Clean Suede Shoes Without Wrecking Their Velvety TextureOpens in a new tab.

How to clean suede shoes without ruining themOpens in a new tab.  

Saskiya Inshanally

Saskiya Inshanally is the editor-in-chief at The HomeKeeperHub. She has years of experience researching and experimenting in a wide array of topics. Saskiya has also co-founded SasilySkin.com which is dedicated to helping individuals have better skin.

Recent Posts