How to Clean Suede Shoes without a Suede Cleaner? - Freaky Shoes®

How to Clean Suede Shoes without a Suede Cleaner?

I think almost every other person has suede shoes in their wardrobe. They are excessively popular because of their style, comfort, and warmth.

You all should want to wear them in cooler weather. But, there is an issue. The velvety fabric of suede shoes is prone to stains.

The fabric can get easily dirty due to oil, water, and grease. They can collect grime, dirt, and various types of stains when you wear them.

With it, there is another negative aspect of these shoes. You can't soak them in soapy water. Because water can damage your shoes.

So, you can't clean them in the washing machine nor put them under the running water. It can also happen that you are out of suede cleaner when your shoes are dirty.

In this situation, how can you clean your suede shoes? I am going to tell you a few methods of doing it. These methods include different household items. So, they are safe for your sneakers.

How to Clean Your Suede Shoes?

How to Clean Suede Shoes without a Suede Cleaner?

To clean it, you need the following tools and equipment:

  • Toothbrush
  • Pencil eraser
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • White vinegar
  • Alcohol
  • Suede protectant spray

The suede protectant spray is optional. If you have it, this is good. Otherwise, you can clean your shoes without it. 

Now that you have all this equipment with you, we should start cleaning the shoes.

  • Brush the Dirt Away

  • First of all, take a dry toothbrush and scrub it on your sneakers. It should take out the excessive dirt from them.

    You should brush the old toothbrush in the direction of the grain or nap's pattern. If you have a small suede brush, you can use it too. 

  • Use a Pencil Eraser

  • Now, you need a pencil eraser. It will erase a lot of stains from your suede shoes. Some marks and stains are on the surface level. So, rubbing a pencil eraser can eradicate them.

    If the stain is not coming out, leave it. You should gently rub the eraser on each stain. Some will come out and some will remain there. For those, you need to take the third step.

  • Clean with Vinegar or Alcohol

  • Now, take the vinegar or alcohol. These will clean your suede shoes without damaging them. 

    What you have to do is to pour them on a soft cloth. Then, rub it on your shoes. Softly scrub it on the surface to get the stains out of your sneakers.

    The color of the shoes will change a bit when you rub the alcohol. But when it will dry off, the color will turn to normal.

    Now, inspect the shoes. If there is still any stain on them, repeat the process. You should keep doing it until it is stain-free.

  • Brush it Again

  • Your shoes are now clean and dry. You have to repeat the process until you are satisfied with your shoes. So, now, you need to brush them again. Do it when your sneakers get dry.

    This will restore their original appearance and will keep their fabric clean.

  • Apply Suede Protector Spray

  • Your shoes are clean now. But, if you use the protector spray on them, they will be safe from stains. This spray repels oil, water, grease, and other types of stains.

    You should apply for it by following the guidelines of the company. 

    So, this is the general method of cleaning the suede shoes. But, there are some other methods to treat specific types of stains. So, I am going to discuss them now.

    How to Clean Greasy Stains from Suede Shoes?

    The cooking oil or butter can leave an ugly stain on your shoes. They can seep into them, making them ugly. So, the method of cleaning the stain is:

    1. Take baking soda and cover your stain with it.
    2. Leave the stain for a few hours. The baking soda will take out the grease from it.
    3. Now, use a toothbrush or suede brush to get rid of the baking soda.
    4. Inspect the stain. If it is still there, you need to repeat the process.
    5. When the stain is not there, you need to dry and clean your shoes. 
    6. Brush it in the end. 

    In this way, you can get rid of grease stains. 

    Important: You can get rid of salt stains on your suede shoes with the help of this method.

    How to Remove Water Stains?

    How to Clean Suede Shoes without a Suede Cleaner?

    The water can also leave stains on your suede shoes. So, there is an easy method to get rid of them.

    1. Take a spray bottle and fill it with water. 
    2. Lightly spray it on the stain. You don't need to completely soak your shoes. Just wet the area of the stain.
    3. Now, take a suede brush or toothbrush to rub it on the stain.
    4. Tap any clean cloth or paper towel on your stain. It will take out excessive water.
    5. Now, air-dry your shoes.

    So, the water is enough to take out water stains. Isn't it a bit ironic? 

    How to Remove Dirt or Mud Stains?

    The dirt and mud stains are common on your shoes. These can leave stains that can ruin your footwear. So, you need to remove the stains completely.

    1. Let the sneakers dry completely. 
    2. Now, use a toothbrush to rub the mud and dirt away.
    3. If there is any stain, you need a steamer to treat it. It will loosen the stain.
    4. After that, blot the stain with a paper towel. This will clean your shoes completely.
    5. In the end, let your footwear dry.

    That's it! This is the easiest method to get rid of ugly stains on your sneakers.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you Wash Suede Shoes in a Washing Machine?

    No, you should never wash them in a washing machine. The water can damage your shoes so never soak them in the water.


    So, this is how you can clean your suede shoes. The household items are safe for your footwear, and will not damage them in any way.

    I hope this article will help you in cleaning and maintaining your suede shoes.

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

    Pete Oliveri

    CEO / AUTHOR of Freaky Shoes®

    Meet Pete Oliveri, the creative force and driving visionary behind Freaky Shoes. A New Jersey native, Pete is an accomplished American artist dedicated over 20 years to the consumer products industry, leaving an indelible mark in various domains such as graphic and packaging design, illustration, and product development. His extraordinary talent has earned him accolades, including the prestigious Bio Comics Award for his exceptional comic book content development work. However, Pete's ultimate achievement lies in his role as the Founder, CEO and creative genius of Freaky Shoes.

    1 of 3
    Design A Shoe
    RT5 Quick
    $399.95 $115.00
    FS4 Quick
    $389.95 $100.00
    BOUNCE Quick
    $389.95 $100.00
    $399.95 $115.00
    LOWRIDER Quick
    $389.95 $100.00