Taking Care of Suede

Suede DamageSuede is a great looking material year-round. Problem is it quickly loses its luster if not taken care of properly. We put together a guide to keep your suede looking its best so you can wear those expensive suede items more than a handful of times.

Suede is most commonly used on shoes, so this guide is primarily focused on that, but the tips presented here should work just as well for jackets, boots, or other suede items.

Suede has two common types of damage – the stain and the mark. Luckily, both of these seemingly impossible to fix scenarios can be easily fixed with some old fashioned know-how and a few basic tools.

First, the liquid stain. Perhaps the most common suede damage most of us will deal is encountered during the winter: salted roads, sidewalks, stairs, and building entrances. While salt gives you great traction and melts snow, it leaves an unsightly white mark on suede that seems impossible to get out. Fear not! Your shoes aren’t ruined!

Immediately after you notice damage, you can use a solution of one part vinegar (plain white vinegar) and one part water. Use a sponge or a rag and dab the affected spots. The concoction should neutralize the salt stains. This should be done as soon as possible; don’t let the stains build up through a season and then try to clean them at a later time!

Another common type of damage to suede is the unsightly marks caused by ground-in dirt or dye transfer. For this stage, you will need a few tools usually readily available at grocery stores near you.

First, purchase a suede eraser. Usually available for less than $20, they can be used multiple times before needing a replacement. You’ll also want to purchase a suede brush. Also available for less than $20, they generally look like a wooden hair brush with stiff bristles.

To start, lightly rub the affected area with the suede eraser. Get as much of the stain or dirt out using the eraser and don’t worry if the eraser crumbles as you work. You’ll clear away the detritus in the next step. Then, grab your suede brush and gently brush the shoes in a single direction. Brushing in a single direction straightens the grain of the suede and removes the dust, dirt, and eraser dust.

With the two steps above you should be able to clean most of the stains you will run experience.

It’s also a good idea to waterproof your shoes before wearing them when they are new out of the box so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them as much. Click here to read an article about how to do that.

If you’re still having trouble getting your suede clean, give us a call today: (719) 633-0462 or just bring them into our store.


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