How to Wash Suede Shoes

By Ryn Gargulinski

Throw your suede shoes in the washing machine and you might as well throw them away. Washing suede shoes takes a gentle hand and equally gentle technique. Some simple supplies and tips will put some spring back into your step with spic and span suede shoes.

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Suede shoes

Step 1

Clean off mud. Allow mud to 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 smaller places.

Step 2

Remove scuffs. 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 a fingernail file.

Step 3

Spot clean spots. 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

Flush off water stains. If suede shoes have become discolored because they got wet, the answer is wetting the entire shoe. Remove the laces. Use a soft sponge and gently rub it 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

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