It’s absolutely devastating when you buy brand-new, suede boots and they get mucked up within the first week.
But unless you’re going to keep your suede boots in the box they came in 24/7 (which we think would be a travesty, by the way), then you’re going to want to learn how to clean them.
Cleaning your suede boots is an easy task to learn, and if you’re a parent reading this, it’s something you can teach your kids how to do too. After all, you know that suede boots won’t stay nice for long if they’re on your children’s feet! And it’s good for them to have the responsibility of keeping them clean.
WHY ARE SUEDE BOOTS SO DIFFICULT TO CLEAN?
We all know that it’s much better for the environment and your pocket if you clean your suede boots, rather than buying a new pair. But why do so many people resist? Well, mainly because it’s a bit of a hassle, and there’s not an easy way to do it. Plus, the last thing you want to do is damage them by giving them a good scrub!
That’s why we’ve put together this useful blog post, which tells you, step-by-step, how to clean your suede boots quickly and simply without causing any damage.
Firstly, we’ll give you our easy-to-follow four-step process, and then we’ll go through some tips and tricks for getting your suede boots clean depending on the fabric. Let’s get stuck in.
THE ONE THING YOU SHOULDN’T DO TO CLEAN YOUR SUEDE BOOTS
So your suede boots have taken a bit of a beating and they’re caked in dirt. The first place you head to is the washing machine, right?
It’s much safer for your suede boots – and your washing machine – if you hand wash them. Putting your suede boots in the washing machine could damage the glue in them, eventually causing them to fall apart (which would be a bit embarrassing if you’ve popped out to the shops).
We get it. Washing machines were invented to save us time and hassle. But hand-cleaning your suede boots properly only takes 15 minutes. Spending some of that time now will keep your suede boots lasting longer.
Plus, the price of electricity right now is enough to put anyone off running their washing machine unnecessarily!
THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS TO CLEANING YOUR SUEDE BOOTS
So if the washing machine is a no-go, how do you clean your suede boots? Simple. Just follow our step-by-step process below…
STEP ONE: REMOVE THE SHOELACES
To get into every nook and cranny to clean your suede boots, you’ll need to remove the shoelaces. Simply soak the laces in warm water with a cleaning solution or even washing liquid.
You’ll want to remove any insoles too to give them a clean while you’re at it. You can clean your insoles in the same way we recommend you clean your suede boots below.
STEP TWO: REMOVE ANY CAKED-ON DIRT
You’ll want to use a dry brush and buff the suede boots to remove any loose dirt. Ideally, you’d use a dry brush or shoe brush for this, but you can also use a toothbrush (it might just take a bit longer!).
STEP THREE: HAND WASH YOUR SUEDE BOOTS WITH A FOAM CLEANER
Foam cleaner is great for use on suede material.
Next, you’ll want to gently rub the suede boots in a circular motion, to remove any stains or dirt. Do this carefully throughout.
finally, wipe with a wet towel after washing the shoes to remove the residue.
STEP FOUR: LEAVE THEM TO DRY
Step back from the tumble dryer!
Don’t use a tumble dryer or even a radiator to dry your suede boots. This can cause them damage. Try to dry them naturally outside (yes, if you live in the UK, this might not be possible!), otherwise leave them to dry naturally inside. Use a towel to pat them dry too.
STEP FIVE: GIVE THEM A SPRAY SO THEY’RE SMELLING SWEET!
We’re sure your feet smell sweet, but understandably our suede boots need a little freshening up every now and then.
You can use a spray like our trainer spray, Refresh Spray. Take your suede boots outside, give them a spray and leave them for 10 minutes. That’s it.
Or you can use something like our deodoriser sacks. Just place them in your suede boots to prevent bad smells, mould and bacteria!
BUT WHAT ABOUT DIFFERENT FABRICS ON SUEDE BOOTS?
Depending on the fabric, you may need to do slightly different things to make your suede boots clean and prevent damaging them in the process.
But don’t worry because, below, we’ll walk you through exactly how to do this.
1. TIPS TO CLEAN SUEDE BOOTS
Suede boots attracts dirt like a magnet! However, Suede gets dirty the fastest, it’s also one of the easiest to clean.
Just follow the steps above and remember not to get your suede boots too wet. Once you’ve used a damp cloth and cleaned your suede boots with your cleaning solution and water, make sure you remove all the soap. This is because any moisture can alter the shape of your suede boots. Take a dry cloth or towel and pat them dry.
2. HOW TO CLEAN SUEDE BOOTS
Leather is a good, durable material, but it can get dirty easily and those stains can be tricky to get out. You also want to be careful with leather, because even though it’s durable, it can be quite sensitive!
Try not to get your suede boots too wet. To clean them, use a damp (but not wet) cloth and rub in a circular motion.
For extra tough stains, you can even use toothpaste! Add a very small amount to the stain and rub with a cloth.
Alternatively, you can use Boot Buddy. Boot Buddy cleans every type of shoe without damaging them, including suede boots!
3. WAYS TO CLEAN SUEDE BOOTS
Dirt and soil can easily get stuck in the fabric of suede boots, so you may find this difficult to remove with just the initial brush.
You can remove most dirt by using a little water and a cleaning solution. Bicarbonate also works incredibly well on suede boots.
Rather than using a cloth to clean, it might be a good idea to use a brush instead.
You can use a toothbrush, or a professional brush like Boot Buddy, which comes with three detachable brush heads, one of which is perfect for cleaning suede boots.
4. HOW TO CLEAN SUEDE BOOTS
Okay, so there’s a lot of advice out there that tells you to use your washing machine for suede boots.
We don’t agree.
For the sake of 10–15 minutes, it’s much safer to hand wash them! Follow the instructions above and use a toothbrush to clean your suede boots fully. Or, use a professional brush like Boot Buddy, which has three detachable heads with one brush that can clean your suede boots.
SHOULD YOU BUY A SHOE CLEANING KIT?
Don’t fancy rustling up your own shoe cleaning solution? (We don’t blame you. It takes us 30 minutes just to find the bicarbonate.) Obviously, the next thing to do then would be to buy a shoe cleaning kit, wouldn’t it?
And you’d be right. A shoe cleaning kit does the job of, well, cleaning shoes!
We would recommend you look for foam cleaners. Foam cleaners work well because they prevent your suede boots (or shoes) from getting too wet. Getting your suede boots too wet changes their shape and can cause damage.
A foam shoe cleaner works better because it doesn’t make your suede boots too damp and they’re much easier to dry too!
HOW CAN YOU CLEAN YOUR SUEDE BOOTS ON THE GO?
If you’re taking your suede boots on holiday, to the beach, camping or to festivals, you might also want to take some kind of shoe cleaner with you. After all, you don’t want your suede boots looking dirty on the first day and then having to wear them all week!
It’s a good idea to look for travel shoe cleaning kits, like Boot Buddy, which are easy to carry.