Apr 3, 2018 Shoes

5 Tricks to Clean Suede Boots With Items in Your Kitchen

by Meghan Blalock

Style du Monde

Suede boots move in and out of the trend spotlight from year to year, which means we'll always have the style staple in our wardrobes, whether it be via itty bitty ankle boots to ultra-high over-the-knee pairs. When we spot them on our favorite street style stars, they make it look so easy to tromp around in the beautiful footwear, which is a feat in itself. But there's a whole other aspect of wearing suede boots rarely spoken of: how to care for them. 

Cleaning suede can be quite the ordeal because if you do it wrong, you could ruin your beloved booties. But if you do it right, you ensure that your beautiful boots reach their maximum potential lifespan and remain in pristine condition through hundreds of wears. But fear not. With a few of the following tips and tricks in mind, you'll set yourself up for a lifetime guarantee of spotless suede boots.

Keep reading to find out how to clean suede boots with everyday household items. Because it's so much easier than you think.

First things first: You can clean your suede without a proper suede-cleaning brush, but investing in one is probably the wiser choice. They only run about $7 on Amazon. If you're in a pinch, an old toothbrush or any kind of soft-bristled brush will do the trick.

When using one to clean your shoes, be sure to brush only in the direction of the fibers, and avoid moving the brush back and forth over the surface. Because even a bit of moisture can leave a permanent stain on suede, be sure your boots are completely dry when you go to brush them.

Okay, this should be considered a pre-step, but is nonetheless important in the "how to" of cleaning suede shoes. Before you even begin the cleaning process, put enough crumpled paper (like a newspaper or used computer paper) inside the shoes so they keep their natural shape while you go to work on them. This will help toughen up suede's naturally soft, supple material to make it easier to clean the more stubborn spots.

After removing excess dirt clumps with your new, handy suede-cleaning brush, gently rub the shoes with a clean bath towel. No water, nothing, only a clean, soft bath towel to wipe them down and remove any unseen layers of dust, etc. Again, remember to wipe in the direction of the grain and avoid any vigorous back and forth motion.

Brushing and wiping down the shoes sometimes won't remove all the marks. If you do notice any stains, get yourself a suede eraser (again, they're $7 on Amazon), and gently rub off any water, oil, or grease. Apply a bit of pressure as your rub and increase as needed for tougher stains. If a suede eraser isn't available, you can also use a pencil eraser. Simple!

If you have some even tougher stains on your shoes, like salt, food, or wine, pour a little white vinegar on a clean cloth, and gently wipe the affected areas. Apply the vinegar on the stained area first and then let it dry. Finally, rub with a suede brush to get those tough stains out.

Shop suede boots we love:

Stuart Weitzman Clinger Suede Ankle Boots ($575)

No one does a sick boot quite like Stuart Weitzman.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT42.

The Row Ambra Suede Ankle Boots ($1250)

This fresh ivory shade is perfect for spring.

Available in sizes IT36 to IT41.

Neous Moon Suede Ankle Boots ($715)

Every Who What Wear editor is in love with this cool new shoe brand.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

By Far Becca Black Suede ($571)

Keep this up-and-coming shoe brand on your radar.

Available in sizes 35 to 41.

Loewe Lace-Up Suede Ankle-Boots ($750)

There's nothing we don't love about these boots.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

Mansur Gavriel Suede Ankle Boots ($595)

The black ankle boots we're adding to our wardrobes right now.

Available in sizes IT36 to IT41.

3.1 Phillip Lim Drum Suede Ankle Boots ($650)

All about the contrasting heel on this pair.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

Dolce Vita Elon Booties ( $190 ) ($120)

Opt for a pointed-toe pair to elongate the look of your legs.

Available in sizes 6 to 9.5.

Acne Studios Jensen Suede Ankle Boots ($560)

This pair has such a classic shape.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

& Other Stories Sock Boot ($195)

The cylindrical heel on this pair gives it a fresh look.

Available in sizes 6.5 to 10.5.

Urban Outfitters Sloane Seamed Suede Ankle Boot ( $89 ) ($69)

Wear this brown pair with all of your pretty floral dresses.

Available in sizes 6 to 10.

Zara Split Suede Mid-Heel Ankle Boots ($90)

Sleek and simple.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

March Fisher LTD Yommi Chelsea Bootie ( $189 ) ($129)

The perfect shade of taupe.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Do you have any handy tricks for keeping your suede pieces clean? 

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated by Anna LaPlaca.