The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Suede: Tips and Tricks


Suede shoes, bags, and jackets exude a timeless elegance and sophistication that few other materials can match. However, keeping suede items looking their best requires special care and attention. Whether you’re a suede enthusiast or new to the material, mastering the art of cleaning and maintaining suede is essential to prolonging its lifespan and preserving its luxurious texture. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of suede care, providing you with expert tips and tricks to keep your suede items looking pristine.

Understanding Suede:

Before we delve into cleaning and maintenance techniques, let’s understand what suede is. Suede is a type of leather that has been sanded to create a soft, velvety texture. Unlike smooth leather, suede is more susceptible to stains, water damage, and wear and tear. However, with the right care, suede can retain its beauty for years to come.

Preventive Measures:

The best way to keep suede looking its best is to prevent stains and damage before they occur. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  1. Waterproofing: Invest in a quality suede protector spray and apply it to your suede items before wearing them. This will create a protective barrier against water and stains, helping to repel liquids and prevent damage.
  2. Avoiding Moisture: Suede and water are not friends. Avoid wearing suede items in rainy or wet conditions, as moisture can cause the material to become stained or distorted. If your suede does get wet, allow it to air dry naturally and avoid using heat, as this can damage the material.
  3. Brushing: Regularly brush your suede items with a suede brush or soft bristle brush to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Brushing not only helps to keep suede looking clean but also restores the nap and texture of the material.

Cleaning Suede:

Despite your best efforts, accidents happen, and suede may become stained or soiled over time. Here’s how to clean suede effectively:

  1. Dry Stain Removal: For dry stains such as dirt or mud, use a suede brush or clean towel to gently brush or blot the stain. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain further. For stubborn stains, you can try using a suede eraser or a small amount of white vinegar applied with a clean cloth.
  2. Wet Stain Removal: If your suede item gets wet or has a liquid spill, blot the area immediately with a clean, absorbent cloth to soak up as much moisture as possible. Then, allow the suede to air dry naturally. Once dry, gently brush the nap with a suede brush to restore its texture.
  3. Professional Cleaning: For tough stains or extensive soiling, consider taking your suede items to a professional cleaner who specializes in leather and suede care. They’ll have the expertise and tools to safely clean and restore your suede to its former glory.

Maintaining Suede:

Regular maintenance is key to keeping suede looking its best for years to come. Here are some tips for maintaining suede:

  1. Store Properly: When not in use, store your suede items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid stacking or squishing suede items, as this can cause creases and distortion.
  2. Rotate Wear: If you have multiple pairs of suede bags, rotate their wear to allow them time to air out and prevent excessive wear on any one item.
  3. Refreshing: To refresh the appearance of suede between cleanings, lightly steam the material with a handheld steamer or hold it over a pot of boiling water (at a safe distance) to remove wrinkles and revitalize the nap.


Caring for suede requires diligence and attention to detail, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your suede items remain beautiful and luxurious for years to come. With the right care and maintenance, your suede shoes, bags, and jackets will continue to be cherished wardrobe staples for many seasons ahead.

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