How to Wash Suede Shoes

By Ryn Gargulinski

Throwing suede shoes in the washing machine is a big no-no! Cleaning suede takes a gentle hand and equally gentle technique. Some simple supplies and tips put the spring back into your step and make suede shoes look like new.

How to Wash Suede Shoes
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How to Wash Suede Shoes

Step 1

Let mud fully dry on the suede, then brush vigorously back and forth with a stiff nail brush. Make sure to angle the brush into all crevices. Use a nail file tip or other pointy object to dislodge mud from hard-to-reach areas.

Step 2

Use a softer suede brush to rub the scuff back and forth until the suede's nap is restored. Gently lift pressed-down areas with the tip of the nail file.

Step 3

Spot clean suede shoes with a pencil eraser, small rubber eraser or a suede cleaning block. Once the spot is removed, use a suede brush to restore the nap around the area.

Step 4

If suede shoes have become discolored because they got wet, the answer is wetting the entire shoe. Remove the laces. Gently rub a soft, damp sponge across the entire shoe. Keep the shoes minimally damp. Stuff the shoes with white tissue paper to hold their shape while they dry.

Step 5

Once suede shoes are clean and dry, spray them with a suede protector to prevent further staining, spots and discoloration in the future.