How to Clean Suede Shoes

A guide on everything that you need to get your suede shoes looking brand new

Suede shoes make a stunning addition to anybody’s footwear collection, they’re timeless, classic and above all look great with any outfit. But every time you go to wear them you can’t help but think about the practicalities: if it rains they get damaged, if they get dirty you can’t clean them, and so the list goes on! But what if we had the perfect solution for you to help you clean your suede shoes so that you no longer need to worry about not getting your wear out of them?

We’re here to offer some different ways to clean your suede shoes so that you can wear them out and about without a looming sense of dread.

Firstly, suede protector is a great way to add an extra layer to keep your suede looking fresh. Be aware that suede is highly sensitive to water and, if you wash them with excessive water, you are likely to ruin your footwear.

Removing excess dirt

What you will need:

– Suede Brush


  1. If you are wanting to successfully remove dirt from your suede footwear then a suede brush is one of the best ways to achieve it. You must be careful not to over brush your suede and you should ensure that you have purchased a reliable and well-made brush.
  2. Be careful to brush your shoes gently, removing the excess dirt whilst avoiding brushing backwards and forwards. Brush in one direction to be sure you aren’t going to do further damage to your suede.

Removing marks

What you will need:
A Rubber


1. One of the best hacks for removing those pesky marks that just don’t seem to go anywhere is to take a rubber (one that would usually remove pencil marks) to your suede.
2. Apply pressure according to the mark, the worse the mark apply more pressure. This often works magic on your suede shoes, alternatively there are suede rubbers designed specifically for the removal of tough marks.

Removing water stains

What you will need:
– A suede brush
– Water
– Dry cloth
– Paper


One of the most off-putting factors of suede can be its tendency to get damaged by water. As water can mark suede, you will need to act on any water stain as soon as you can. Make sure that you protect your shoes with suede protector to minimise the risk of water damage.

  1. Although it may seem equally as damaging, you should dampen the whole outer shoe making sure you don’t over soak your shoes, as too much can permanently discolour your suede. Use your brush to gently coat the suede with a little water.
  2. Take your dry cloth and dab to remove the excess water on the suede, there should be no more water stains.
  3. Take plain paper (not newspaper) and stuff the inside of the shoes – this will help to both retain the shape of the shoe but also to soak up any remaining water from the inside. 

Leave for approximately 12 hours ensuring they’re in a dry, well-ventilated area and use your suede brush again once the shoes have properly dried.

Other methods to remove stains if the most used methods don’t seem to work:

1. Apply white wine vinegar to an old cloth and dap the stain.
2. Place your suede shoes in the freezer if there is chewing gum stuck to them, a few hours later the gum should drop off without leaving permanent marks.
3. Use steel wool over dry stains and smooth over with a suede brush.

We hope that this blog has provided some insight into how you can go about cleaning your suede shoes. Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable but we want you to embrace your suede footwear, knowing that there are some amazing at-home cleaning solutions out there! Get your wear out of your suede shoes and don’t be afraid of buying them!

If this blog has inspired you to purchase a new pair of suede shoes, then explore our stunning range here at Gabor!