How to Clean Suede and Nubuck Shoes

Suede and Nubuck are two popular materials used in shoes. Suede is a classic and luxurious fabric that is often used in high-end fashion. Nubuck is similar to suede, but has a smoother surface and is more durable. Because they are made from natural fibers, it is important to clean nubuck and suede shoes properly. Take care of them regularly to keep them looking like new.

Spot Clean Suede and Nubuck: Use a Damp Cloth to Cleaning Fresh Stains

Spot cleaning is the best way to avoid permanent stains on the nubuck and suede. It should be done as soon as possible after a stain occurs. To spot clean suede and nubuck shoes, use a damp cloth and blot the stain gently. Do not rub the stain, as this will only spread it and make it more difficult to remove. If the stain is stubborn, you may need to use a mild soap or detergent. Be sure to test any cleaners on an inconspicuous area of the leather first to ensure they will not damage the fabric. Once the stain is gone, allow the shoes to air dry completely before using them again.

Sponge and Brush: Clean Nubuck and Suede From Light Dirt And Dust

To clean the nubuck and suede with a special sponge, gently rub it over the surface of the leather. The sponge will remove any dirt or dust on the suede and nubuck without damaging the delicate surface. Once you have finished cleaning the leather, simply buff it dry with a soft cloth. 

You can also use a special soft brush for suede to remove any dirt or debris, but be careful not to leave marks on the surface by overpressuring.

Vacuum: Use a Soft Brush Attachment to Vacuum

When cleaning a spill on your suede or nubuck, use a soft bristle brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. First, blot the spill with a clean white cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Next, use the soft brush attachment to vacuum the area in a circular motion. Be sure to go over the area several times to remove all the dirt and debris. Finally, use a suede cleaner or conditioner to protect the material and keep it looking new.

Foaming Cleaner: Make Your Shoes Look Like New

To use the foaming cleaner, you will need a suede brush and a soft cloth. First, wet the brush with water and then add a small amount of the cleaner to the sponge, or lightly but generously spray it on your shoes if it’s in form of a spray. Next, gently brush the entire surface of the shoe with the foaming cleaner. Be sure to go over any especially dirty areas. Finally, wipe off any excess cleaner with a soft cloth.

brush for suede leather care

Your leather shoes will look like new. It is important to follow the directions carefully so that you do not damage your shoes. With proper care, your suede or nubuck shoes will last for many years.

Waterproofing: Apply a Waterproofing Spray to the Shoes to Protect Them From Water Damage

When it comes to suede, one of the best ways to protect this delicate material is to use a suede protector spray. This type of spray will help to repel water and stains, making it easier to keep your suede looking new.

Suede protector spray is easy to use and can be found at most stores that sell shoe care products. Simply spray the area you wish to protect and let it dry. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully so that you do not damage your suede.

By using a suede protector spray, you can help to extend the life of your favorite pair of shoes.

Deodorizing: Use Mild Detergent

Suede is susceptible to absorbing odors, so it’s important to take care of them properly. The best way to deodorize suede is to prevent the fabric from coming into contact with strong smells in the first place. If your suede or nubuck does pick up an odor, you can try airing it out in a well-ventilated area or using a mild detergent on the affected area.

If you’re looking for a more natural way to deodorize your nubuck, consider using baking soda. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming it up. You may need to repeat this process several times to completely remove the odor. However, just be aware that some people are suing companies that sell baking soda, claiming that it ruined their suede garments. 

Other Stains: Grass and Gum

To clean suede and nubuck from grass stains simply rub it with cornstarch and let it sit for a while. Clean the remains away with a soft bristle brush attachment on your hand vacuum cleaner.

If you are dealing with gum, you can freeze your shoes and gently scrape it off. Do not pressure too hard, it can damage the material.

Storing: Acid-free Tissue and a Cool Dry Place

Suede or nubuck should be stored in a cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the leather to fade or crack.

If you are storing suede or nubuck for long periods, consider wrapping it in acid-free tissue paper to help protect it from damage.

Suede and nubuck should not be stored in plastic bags, as this can cause the material to mildew.

Eraser: Clean Suede and Nubuck from Old Stains

A suede and nubuck eraser is a small piece of rubber that looks like a rectangular block or a miniature hockey puck. It has a rough surface that helps to remove dirt and stains from suede and nubuck without damaging the material. To use an eraser, clean it from any left stains itself, rub it over the stained area in a circular motion. The eraser will lift away the dirt and stain, leaving leather shoes clean. But do not overpressure, especially with suede. you might damage the material.

Related Video:How To Clean Suede Thursday Boots & Nubuck With Moneysworth


Overall, the best way to clean suede or nubuck is to use a dry brush to remove dirt and debris. If your leather shoes are particularly dirty, you can spot-clean them with a damp cloth and mild soap. It’s important to avoid getting the suede wet, as this can cause permanent water damage. When storing your suede or nubuck shoes, be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. With proper care, your suede or nubuck shoes will stay looking great for years to come!


Is nubuck ruined by water?

Despite its durability, nubuck can be ruined by long exposure to water. When nubuck gets wet, the water causes the fibers in the leather to swell and expand. This makes the nubuck wrinkled and less flexible. In addition, the water can also cause the color of the nubuck to change. Once nubuck gets wet, it is very difficult to restore it to its original condition. If it does get wet, blot the area with a dry cloth as soon as possible.

Can you clean suede with dish soap and water?

Yes, you can clean suede with dish soap and water. Fill a bowl or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of dish soap. Submerge the soiled area of the suede in the mixture and gently rub it together. Rinse the area with clean water and allow it to air dry.

If you’re wondering whether vinegar will ruin your suede shoes, the answer is unfortunately yes. Vinegar is an acidic substance that can break down the fibers in suede, causing the material to weaken and eventually fall apart. So if you accidentally spill vinegar on your shoes, be sure to clean it up immediately.

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