How To Clean Suede Shoes Like A Pro
— 22 January 2024

How To Clean Suede Shoes Like A Pro

— 22 January 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

In this edition of our ever-practical ‘How To’ content series, we’re back with a primer that is all about how to clean suede shoes. Bucks, loafers, sneakers — you name it.

Often mischaracterised as a material that requires a lot of finicky, labour-intensive maintenance; the process of cleaning suede shoes, in truth, couldn’t be any simpler. To be blunt, we reckon it’s probably even easier to clean than regular calfskin leather!

Just follow the five steps below (handily illustrated via The Hanger Project‘s excellent YouTube video) and your suede footwear will be looking suitably plush in no time.

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How To Clean Suede Shoes: A Step-By-Step Guide (Feat. Kirby Allison)

  1. Start by removing any conspicuous/light-coloured stains with a suede eraser and then brush your shoes down with a brush;
  2. Shampoo your suede shoes using a specialist cleaning formula, diluted with water in a 1:2 ratio;
  3. Insert crumpled newspaper into each shoe and allow to dry overnight;
  4. Gently re-fluff your suede shoes using a crepe brush;
  5. Apply a conditioning and/or waterproofing spray.

Editor’s Note: These steps may be used, in more or less identical chronological order, to clean and maintain suede sneakers.

5 Must-Have Suede Cleaning Supplies

Saphir Gommadin Suede Eraser

how to clean suede shoes
  • Used to spot clean scuffs/stains prior to shampooing
  • Use in conjunction with hard-bristled suede brush
  • Made in France

Saphir Brass Suede Brush

how to clean suede shoes
  • Hybrid nylon/brass bristle construction
  • Varnished beechwood handle
  • Made in France

Omni-Nettoyant Suede Multicleaner

  • Deeply cleans and remove stains
  • Best applied to wet/damp uppers
  • Allow to dry overnight

Saphir Crepe Brush

  • Designed to restore clean suede’s pile
  • Natural crepe bristles
  • Waxed timber handle

R.M. Williams Suede Protector

  • Non-abrasive, water-repellent formula
  • For best results, apply three coats
  • Made in Australia

Interested in all things maintenance and sartorial self-care? Then why not consider taking a moment to read some of our other men’s style coverage below?

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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