Can You Wash Suede Shoes? How to Wash Suede Without Ruining It

When something gets dirty, the first thought is to wash it off and make it clean again. Yet there will be those times and fabrics where you need to suppress those first thoughts and look for different methods of cleaning them. Suede may be one of those fabrics.

Can you wash suede shoes? You can wash suede but you can’t use water unless the suede is a suede fabric that imitates the rough leather surface. Then you just need to follow the cleaning instructions that come with the garment. Shoes need other treatments.

To learn if you can wash suede shoes or not just continue to read our article. It has a straight story on suede and its ability or inability to be cleaned. Get the information you need so your suede items remain looking their best.

What Happens if You Wash Suede?

The simple answer is that you probably will ruin the suede material. The long answer is that washing suede may lose all of its colors and become stiff as cardboard. Or you may streak the color and cause a migration of color every time you brush up against someone or something.

If the suede material happens to be synthetic then you should be able to wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just do not deviate from those guidelines. Finally, if you wash natural suede, you can damage the leather ruining the jacket, etc., forever.

Does Suede Wash Well?


Synthetic suede should wash well. The makers of the garment should provide cleaning instructions on a tag for you to follow. Just make sure you follow those instructions to ‘T’.

Natural suede does not wash well and you will be ruining the clothing item if you wash it in any temperature of the water. The best cleaning option for natural suede would be the dry cleaners.

Suede is one of those fabrics that you have to be careful with no matter what type of clothing item or shoes it is a part of. Water is not a friend to suede.

What Can You Wash Suede With?

If you want to take the risk and wash your suede items in your washing machine, make sure to use a detergent that is made to clean leather and suede. Make sure you follow the instructions on the box or bag of detergent so that you do not add too much or too little soap.

Do not add any fabric softener to your wash and use the delicate cycle. Once the cycle is over you may have to pull the fabric to get it back to its original size. Then lay it flat until it dries.

Does Suede Cleaner Work?


For the most part yes they do. It will depend on if you get a good batch or a bad one. The latter possibility may convince you that no suede cleaner will work but it just may mean you got one that slipped past quality control.

Read the labels on the different suede cleaners to make sure they will tackle the dirt and stain that is on your suede items. The key is that not just any cleaner will work on suede. It has to be a product designed to handle that tough fabric without harming it.

Clean Suede With Eraser

This can be done but normally it is not the first step in any of the suede cleaning processes. It is generally the third or fourth step and it is used when the stain has had the excess cleaned away and the area has dried thoroughly.

The time to use the eraser is when there is only a little residue left on the suede. That usually happens when the vinegar, the rubbing alcohol, or the soap suds have not removed the stain completely.

Then when you use the eraser you should not press that hard but be gentle and firm. Pink colored erasers may leave a stain as well.

Clean Suede With Dish Soap


If you are going to use dish soap to clean suede there is a simple process to follow. You mix the soap, about a teaspoon, or tablespoon in some water in a small bowl.

Then you mix the two up so hard that you have more than enough suds. Once you get the suds, you apply those only to the stain. Do not put the water on the stain as it may leave a watermark that you have to clean up when you are done.

Blot the suds with a clean cloth and the stain should be gone.

Clean Suede With Vinegar

This is a good alternative to water and it handles a lot of tough stains for you. Just do a test first to make sure it does not harm your particular suede outfit or shoes. First, brush the stain with a brush to get the loose stuff off.

Then pour some vinegar in a bowl and use a clean cloth to moisten the fabric. After rubbing the stain let dry and brush the area again. If there is a large stain, use a sponge and wring out the excess vinegar before putting it on the stain. Let dry before brushing.

Clean Suede With a Toothbrush


There are products called suede rushes you can buy. But if these items are too expensive, you can use a toothbrush instead. Just make sure the toothbrush is firm and not too soft.

A toothbrush works on a variety of stains as an applicator for vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Or as a simple brush to remove loose dirt or other solids. If you are using it to brush the dry stain residue, etc., off remember to not wet it. You want a dry brush so you do not harm your suede item.

Clean Suede With Baking Soda

Baking soda is an absorbing powder and it can be used to help you lift off different liquid stains. The key is to apply the right amount of baking soda and sometimes that calls for about 1/4 inch layer.

Other absorbing powders you can use are cornstarch, flour, baby powder, and so on. All of these powders will be a great alternative to baking powder. You will have to let the powder sit on the stain overnight or for at least 10 hours before brushing it off.

Plus, you can repeat this step if the first time was not a success.

How to Use Suede Cleaner Spray


The first step is to make sure the stained area is dry. Next, you hold the can about 6 inches from the surface after shaking it thoroughly. When you spray do not saturate the stain. Too much liquid can ruin that spot.

Once you have sprayed the area, let the contents dry on the stain and when that is done, wipe the stain away with a clean cloth. If the stain doesn’t disappear after the first application, do it again. Make sure to read the instructions on the can before you start spraying away.

What Household Item Cleans Suede Shoes

If you do not have any suede cleaner lying around the house, that is okay. There are a lot of household items you can use to clean your suede shoes. The ones you choose will depend on the type of stain you have to deal with.

Some of the items are - toothbrush, cornstarch, flour, talcum powder, baby powder, vinegar, water, dishwashing soap, paper towels, cloths, pencil eraser, sandpaper, and regular-sized eraser.

Some work with liquid stains only, others for dry stains and some will work with both as long as the liquid dries first. You have to be gentle when using sandpaper.

How to Make Suede Cleaner


One of the best ways to make suede cleaner is to mix warm water with some dishwashing soap, generally a grease fighter, and create a lot of suds. You use a sponge to apply the suds only and let the soap in them eat the stain away.

Another way to make suede cleaner is to use rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush. You do not have to combine a lot of ingredients as some like rubbing alcohol are ready-made for you. Soap and water are all you need to make a third cleaner. There is no complicated formula to master.

Can You Wash Suede Shoes?

Everything we have read on this topic brings the same answer. No, you cannot wash your suede shoes. There are several good reasons for this conclusion. One is that water will ruin them. The next reason is that at the very least water will leave a stain that you will have to clean.

Even though water is part of some of the cleaning mixtures, not one of those mixtures have instructions to put water on your suede shoes. Water is just not a good idea and you need to resist washing off the mud when you have suede shoes on.

Should You Wash Suede Shoes?


No, you shouldn’t. What you need to do when you need to clean stains off your shoes is to follow the right cleaning instructions. When dirty or muddy let the dirt and mud dry then use a brush to wipe away the stain.

If you have a liquid stain only put the suds a from a soap and water mixture on the stain. You can get away with using vinegar and rubbing alcohol but do not saturate the shoes with those liquids. You need to be very careful when you clean suede shoes.

Prevention saves you a lot of trouble so don’t wear suede shoes when it is raining or lots of puddles are outside.

When to Wash Suede Shoes

The best answer we can give is never. Too many people have ruined too many suede shoes because they decided to ignore instructions and washed their suede shoes. The key to getting your suede shoes clean is to determine what kind of stain is on them and then pick the right cleaning method for that stain.

Sometimes you can use a steam clean method by holding the shoes over the tea kettle. The steam will open the pores of the suede and let you brush the dirt away very easily. But don’t steam them for too long or you may end up with an additional water stain.

How to Wash Suede Shoes


There is no real way to wash suede shoes. The closest you should come to using water to clean them is when it is mixed with vinegar or dishwashing soap. Washing suede shoes in a sink or bathtub is going to ruin them as water will harm the suede in more ways than one.

Water is just not suede friendly and it leaves its own mark on your suede shoes after you have washed them. When that happens you double your cleaning time as now you have to clean the watermarks off.

How to Wash Suede Shoes With Water

The best way to wash your suede shoes is to mix it with either vinegar or soap. Then you barely put any of the former mixtures on your shoes. With the latter mixture, you only use the suds and do not let the water mixture touch the shoes.

If you use the vinegar method you will need to use a cloth or a toothbrush to control the amount of the liquid you place on the suede surface. Make sure to let the mixture dry then brush the stain out with a nice suede brush.

Can You Wash Suede Shoes in The Washer?

The only way you can wash suede shoes in the washer is if the shoes were made from synthetic suede material. Then and only then you would need to follow all the cleaning instructions the shoe maker provided.

You cannot deviate from those instructions as you may end up damaging the shoes. Suede is a very delicate fabric and it is not capable of withstanding a lot of water thrown onto them.

Just look at what happens to suede shoes when you walk in the rain with them on. It is not a pretty sight once they dry.

Cleaning Suede Shoes Without a Suede Brush


This is one of the recommended tools you use when you need to clean suede. It is specially designed to handle that fabric. Make sure the shoes are dry first before using this nice brush.

Also, you want to brush vigorously when you are trying to remove scuff marks. You can go both ways on this stain but for water stains, you should only brush in one direction. A good toothbrush is a worthy substitute if you do not have a suede brush.

How Can I Clean a Suede Jacket?

The good news here is that one cleaning method for one suede clothing item is good for another suede clothing item. That means you do not have to learn a lot of complicated techniques to clean any type of suede.

If the stain is a liquid stain then you clean as much of the excess liquid off as you can by blotting the stain. Then put cornstarch or other moisture-absorbing powder on the jacket and let it sit for about 10 hours.

Can You Machine Wash a Suede Jacket?


It would be unwise to wash a natural suede jacket in your washing machine. It is not made for that amount of water or the rough agitation the washing machine uses. If your suede jacket is made from synthetic suede then look for the cleaning label and follow those instructions.

Your best bet if you do not want to take the risk is to take the jacket to your professional dry cleaner and let them worry about the stains. It may cost more but it is cheaper than buying anew suede jacket.

Can a Suede Jacket be Dry Cleaned?

Yes, it can. In fact, almost any fabric can be dry cleaned. For natural suede that is the preferred method of cleaning. While dry cleaning may use liquids, those liquids are not harmful to suede.

Also, the dry cleaner has lots of top stain removers to work with when your suede jacket needs to be cleaned up. It is often the best idea to let the professionals handle the toughest cleaning jobs.

When you want to look your best and make a great first impression, let the dry cleaners do the cleaning and you get to reap the rewards when you appear looking better than ever.

How to Wash a Suede Jacket


The only way to wash a suede jacket is if it is made of synthetic suede. Natural suede will only be ruined if you toss it in the washing machine with your regular loads. If you want to clean your suede jacket there are some home remedies you can try.

One is to use a suede brush and brush the stain away. Another is to mix one part vinegar with two parts water and dab the mixture onto the jacket. Or you can try a suede eraser.

All of these options are better than using your washing machine.

Can You Wash Suede Trainers?

Not in the washing machine. You could if you wanted to replace those shoes with a new pair. If you need to use water you can try a vinegar and water mixture and gently dab the mixture onto the stain and then wait for it to dry. After it dries you can brush the residue away.

There is a way to use water only but only a light amount and you have to brush the shoes as soon as they dry.

How to Wash Suede Dress

If you rarely wash your suede dress in your washing machine, and we mean rarely, then it might be okay. But only if you use a detergent that is made to clean leather and suede.

Regular washing in the washing machine is out of the question. Unless your dress is made from synthetic suede and then you can wash it according to the cleaning label on the dress.

How to Wash a Suede Couch


The first step is to determine the type of stain it is. If it is a ketchup stain, then make sure to scoop as much ketchup off the couch as possible. Then pour some talcum powder or other absorbing powder onto the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Overnight is best.

After the wait is over, brush away the stain. If the stain does not go away, you can repeat the process or use an eraser to rub the stain away. If the eraser doesn’t get all the stain, gently use fine-grit sandpaper. The risk here is that the sandpaper can ruin the suede.

Washing Suede Gloves

If it is natural suede then it is out of the question to use your washing machine. If it is synthetic suede then you should have instructions on how to wash them attached to the gloves.

The best way to clean the gloves is to use a suede brush rubbing against the grain. Then after that, you can use suede or regular eraser going with the grain to remove the stain.

You can also use a cloth made moist by white vinegar to wash the gloves.

Some Final Words

Keeping suede clean is a difficult chore. As tempting as it is to use your washing machine to fight the temptation. That device will ruin your suede items faster than the stain itself.

There are lots of good cleaning methods that do not involve water to get the stains out. All you have to do is determine which stain it is and act accordingly. Remember, water is not a friend to suede.

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