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Removing stains from your suede shoes

Suede shoes and brush for cleaning

There is something luxurious about suede shoes, and our desert boots collection is no exception. They are just crying out to be touched! The appearance is soft suede, the interior leather lining is supple, and the boot style is classic. This makes them a perfect choice for both smart and casual occasions. However, suede can be susceptible to showing signs of wear quicker than polished leather and does require a little more care to protect it and keep it in great condition. Here is our guide on how to care for your gorgeous suede shoes.

How to remove stains from suede shoes

As suede is a softer fabric, it’s important to protect the shape of the shoe before you go to work on the exterior. We suggest stuffing shoes with rolled up paper, or a shoe horn before you get started.

Step 1: Remove excess dirt

It’s advisable to invest in a suede brush, but if you are not able to do that, then a soft bristle nail brush or toothbrush will do just as well.

Use a side-to-side motion which will lift the tiny fibres up to release stuck on mud and dirt. Don’t scrub too hard and always clean from the toe to the back, as opposed to the sole to the top of the boot. This is the best way to protect the integrity of the suede leather and lift the dirt which can get stuck on quite firmly!

Step 2: Rub-away marks

It’s a little-known fact that a standard pencil rubber can help you to remove marks from suede shoes. You can also buy rubbers designed for suede, but if you are unable to lay your hands on one, a standard pencil rubber will do just as well. Again, use the same side-to-side motion and with a little pressure applied, the more stubborn stains should release.

Step 3: Wipe away with a clean cloth

Finally take an old, clean shirt, a clean towel, or a clean dry cloth to wipe the shoes down and spruce up the suede leather for your child’s next adventure.

How to remove water stains from suede

Walking on wet pavements and avoiding puddles is an inevitability living in the UK, and unfortunately a puddle, or getting caught in a downpour, can leave suede shoes with an unsightly tide mark around the edge. Here’s how to remove water stains from suede.

Step 1: Dry the shoe

The first step is to ensure that the shoes are completely dry, so that you can clearly see the area that you need to work on. To dry shoes carefully we recommend first filling them with rolled-paper to keep the shape and then leaving them in the proximity of a heater or a radiator, but not too close so that the leather could get hot or damaged. Just close enough for them to benefit from the warmth.

Step 2: Spritz with water

Once they are dry, and this will sound completely counterintuitive, but the best thing to do is to lightly spray some water across the surface! This will activate the suede to respond well to being cleaned. If you do not have a spray bottle then dampen a clean cloth and dab the shoe instead.

Step 3: Rub the water marks gently

Use either a soft bristle brush or toothbrush, a suede rubber, or pencil rubber and gently rub at the water stains in a side-to-side motion. Do not push too hard, but work away at the stains gently using a controlled back and forth motion to protect the suede and lift the stain. If you do not have a brush or rubber, use a kitchen sponge as these are rigid enough to work on the suede fabric.

Step 4: Dry the shoe

Once you have removed the stain, make sure to dab away any excess water to avoid re-marking the shoes. With balls of paper stuffed inside the shoes to protect the shape, leave your shoes in a warm area to dry.

How to remove mud or grass stains from suede

Mud and grass stains can affect suede leather more than polished leather because suede is more susceptible to staining. It’s important to protect the integrity of the fabric and the colour of the shoes, such as our sumptuous navy suede desert boots so take care with these more tricky types of stains from mud and grass.

Step 1: Remove excess dirt

Using a suede brush, or a soft bristle nail brush, in a side-to-side motion remove any excess dirt that is remaining on the shoe, before you can tackle the stain.

Step 2: Rub-away the stains

Using a suede rubber, or pencil rubber, work away at the stain. For really stubborn grass or mud stains, you can dab a small amount of white vinegar onto the stain. It will not harm the fabric. Pour a little of the vinegar onto a soft cloth and rub it into the stain. If you do not have any white vinegar, you can also try micellar water. Dab away at the stain until it disappears, then wipe your shoes over with a dry towel to fluff the leather and allow them to dry in a warm environment, but not too close to a direct heat source.