Suede is actually a kind of leather. It is made from the softer piece of animal hide specially from the underside of cattle. As a result of this it is not so strong and durable as normal leather. It has a soft, smooth and velvety texture and it is used to make gloves, accessories, shoes, jackets and bags. Suede accessories are a must for the fashionable.
Suede used to be worn during the autumn when the climate is dry because water ruins suede. People are generally ultra careful about their valued suedes but then why wait for the autumn? I would say hiding away these beauties is such a waste. If you really love your suede, just wear them when you want to. But if you wear them whenever you want to then you also need to know how to clean them.
Cleaning suede can be a bit challenging, especially if you are living in a place where it rains off and on. But then nothing is impossible. It is going to be really handy to know how you can keep your precious suedes safe and clean with a few tips that I am about to give you. These life savers will ensure that your beautiful booties can be used to the maximum and remain in perfect condition through several uses. So here are the tips that are guaranteed to keep your suede shoes in the optimum condition.
- Get a suede cleaning brush
You really need a good suede cleaning brush. So, it is best to invest in one. These brushes must have two different sides to it. One side has a wire bristled side for brushing off the dirt and mud and a softer rubber bristled side for buffing up the suede. If you find these brushes a bit too expensive you might make use of an old used toothbrush or any type of brush with soft bristles as well. When you are using a brush to clean your shoes, be very careful to brush only in the direction of the fibre. Never ever brush back and forth over the surface of the shoes. See that your boots or shoes are completely dry before you brush them, because even the least bit of moisture can leave a permanent stain on your suede shoes.
- Prevent stains right from the beginning
The first thing to do once you get your new pair of suede shoes is to protect them from stains. Do not wear them until you have applied a water and stain protector. This will protect the suede and make the cleaning process much easier. Make it a point to apply the protector each time you clean your suedes. This will definitely go a long way in protecting your suedes.
- Stuff your shoes with crumpled paper before cleaning
Well this is one thing you should keep in mind before you start cleaning. Before you begin cleaning your precious shoes, put enough crumpled paper; any used paper like old newspapers or computer paper, inside the shoes so that they retain their natural shape while you start your work on them. This will help the shoes keep their shape and toughen up the shoe’s soft and velvety material too and make it easier for you to clean away the more stubborn spots and stains as well.
- Rub down your shoes with a towel
After having removed all the mud and sand with your suede cleaning brush,you can gently rub your shoes with a clean towel. Water is a big NO.Use only use a clean and soft towel to wipe the shoes and remove any traces of dust. To make a note, remember to wipe in the direction of the fibres. Do not wipe back and forth.
- How to remove water and oil stains
To remove water stains, you need to dab a sponge or dry cloth along the outside portion of the shoes to soak up the excess water. After that stuff your shoes with paper towel and fill the interior well so that your shoe will retain its shape. Or else you can put your shoetree in your suede to fill it out. Avoid filling the shoe with newspaper while it is wet or you will end up having all the printing ink covering the inside of your shoe. Once the shoes dry up, use your suede brush to brush them.
For an oil stain, first try using a suede brush to rub out the stain. If this does not work out, then don’t you lose hope. Try sprinkling the area with some corn-starch. Let it sit overnight and then brush it away the next day and mist the area with an iron. If the stain persists then I am really so sorry to say that the stain will remain forever.
- Using an eraser to remove stains
Sometimes brushing and wiping down the shoes may not always remove the marks on your shoes. You can use an eraser to remove these stains. Do not use the coloured eraser because the dye may rub onto your suede and ruin it permanently. So make use of a colourless eraser. Better still you could get yourself a suede eraser which you can easily purchase from Amazon. First gently wipe away any traces of water, oil or grease. Then apply a small bit of pressure as you rub and increase and decrease accordingly.
- Use white vinegar for tough stains
If you have some really tough stains on your shoes like salt stains, food stains or stains from spilled wine, then white vinegar is the life saver. Pour a little white vinegar on a clean piece of cloth and gently wipe the stained area. Let the vinegar dry on the shoe. Then you can rub it gently with a suede brush to get rid of those stains.
If chewing gum or wax gets stuck onto your suede shoes, you may have to freeze the shoe for a few hours. This will help harden the gum or wax and thereby make it easier to chip them off with a nail brush.
Finally, if you fail in any way to remove the stains, it is better to take your suede shoes to a professional cleaner who specialises in leather and suede. Improper and aggressive methods of cleaning may cause irreparable damage.