Suede boots are hard to keep clean. Suede is a tricky fabric in the first place, and footwear is bound to get scuffed, dirty and stained. Yet suede is beautiful, fashionable and fun to wear. It’s a conundrum, to be sure, but fortunately there are a few tips and tricks that will do much to help your suede boots last and keep them neat and clean.
Of course, the best way to clean your suede boots is to make sure they don’t get too dirty or wet to begin with. As soon as you buy suede boots, spray them with a protector; there are cheap protecting sprays available at most shoe stores. Hold onto your suede protector. You should spray down your boots after every clean.
Before cleaning your boots, make sure you have all your supplies. You’ll want a suede brush and an eraser. You can purchase erasers that are specifically designed for suede – suede blocks as well – at a shoe store. If stains are really bad, boils some water in your teakettle. You’ll be able to use the steam to spot clean the especially difficult marks. Once you’ve got everything you need, lay some newspaper on your kitchen table and get ready to work.
First, brush the suede lightly with your brush. You want to get the suede fibers – or nap – loose and unmated. Don’t brush too hard, though; you don’t want to start ripping your suede apart. Remove any dried dirt or crusty material by brushing like this.
Then rub any remaining stain with the eraser. As you rub, the eraser should crumble a bit. Areas on your boots that have become smooth and shiny and start resembling your cowboy boots can be restored using an eraser or suede block as well. Then, brush again with your suede brush to remove any of the dirt or staining material that has come up from working with the eraser.
If there are stains remaining after all that, you might need to use that steaming teakettle. Hold the stained part of your boot above the rising steam for 30 seconds to a minute. Brush the stained area with your suede brush. Repeat if necessary.
Don’t forget to spray your boots with your protector. The best defense is a good offense, and if you’re wearing suede boots in a salt-stained city, you’ll need to be prepared. Never use leather cleaners or any chemicals on your suede boots. They’re not intended to touch suede, which is a sensitive material and can be irreversibly damaged by using the wrong material.
If nothing is working to rehabilitate your boots, you might need to take them to a cobbler. Professional suede cleaning can be expensive, but sometimes you need to call in the professionals. But for the most part, your boots will look as good as new once you’ve completed the previous steps.