How to Clean Scuff Marks Off of Suede Boots

By Mimi Abney

Suede is leather brushed and reversed to a velvety napped finish. While sophisticated suede boots are the ultimate winter footwear companions for cashmere scarves and your favorite wool outerwear, the fragile fabric attracts dirt and grime easily. If your suede boots have unsightly black marks, you can use an effective cleaning remedy to remove scuffs quickly and protect the nap from discoloration and damage.

Suede Bootee
credit: Harrison/Valueline/Getty Images
Remove scuff marks off suede boots at home.

Step 1

Brush off loose dirt. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove surface dust and dirt. Using the attachment, skim your suede boots to remove dirt and loosen the grime attached to the black scuffs.

Step 2

Remove trapped dirt with a suede brush. Before removing the deep scuff marks, gently scrub the soiled area with the short bristles of a suede brush. Loosen dirt around the scuffed areas by gently rubbing the brush against the grain of the suede.

Step 3

Clean black scuff marks with an emery board or suede eraser. Rub the soiled area gently to remove the black marks from your suede boots. Brush the shoes in one direction to revive the suede.

Step 4

Raise the nap. Brush your suede boots with a stiff clothing brush or terry cloth towel to lift the nap. To raise flattened suede nap, steam the footwear by holding them over a tea kettle.

Step 5

Use a silicone spray to protect shoes. After every second or third wearing, spray your suede boots with a fabric protectant. The silicone protects the color of the boots from fading while resisting stains and water spots. Spray the silicone spray lightly—for two to three seconds—to coat your suede boots.