Made of the underside skin of deer, goat or lamb, suedelooks suave but gets dirty easily and is a little tedious to maintain. Since the material is prone to getting dirty, you must always keep the pair in shoe bags or wrap in butter sheets.
Since suede is very different from regular leather, both in texture and in strength, using brushes and polish that one uses on regular leather is not at all advisable. Doing so may ruin the look and the life of your jacket or shoes, so it’s advisable to get a suede cleaning kit. A basic suede cleaning kit includes a double sided brush, which can be used on both suede and nubuck fabrics, a suede protector and a suede cleaner.
1. The soft grain of suede makes it very susceptible to water. So, never use a wet brush on your shoe. Make sure that the shoe and brush, both are dry before you use it to clean.
2. Since suede has a fine grain, rub with the grain and not against the grain with a soft hand. Cleaning it against the grain may give you a newer look, but your leather won’t last long.
3. Suede is also notorious at attracting scuffing marks that could be caused by scraping the shoe against a hard surface. For this, you might need to brush the area vigorously with the harder side of the suede brush.
4. You must use suede protector when you wear the shoes for the first time. This ensures that the shoe is safe from water, grease and other scuff marks. Also, make sure that you clean the shoes immediately after every wear. This way, you can improve the life of the shoe.
Dos and Don’ts of cleaning suede shoes
1. Never get the suede shoe cleaned by a boot-polish guy, even if they insist they have the available brush.
2. Never store suede shoes in an enclosed space. They are easily susceptible to fungus. It is known to be a material that requires exposure to air.
3. Never clean the shoes with water. Use an aerosol cleaner instead.
1. Use talcum powder if the shoe comes in contact with water, as the material will soak the moisture effectively
2. For oil and grease marks, you can use a mild dab of vinegar to clean.
3. For regular stains, you can use a pencil eraser to clean. There are also suede erasers available with some kits for this task. But make sure you don’t go overboard with the rubbing as you could damage the shoe.
4. If your shoes start looking very old, never polish them. Use an aerosol based suede dye to give them a fresher look.