Suede boots and shoes come back season after season. They're officially a staple of your autumn/winter wardrobe (and your spring/summer one too). Street style stars and A-listers love them all—ankle boots, over-the-knee iterations and everything in between. And there are plenty to choose from, with designers and the high street stocking a tonne.
The only issue? Cleaning suede can be quite the ordeal. If you do it wrong, you could ruin your beloved boots and shoes. But if you do it correctly, you ensure that your suede beauties reach their maximum lifespan and remain in pristine condition wear after wear. And, if you can remember ahead of time: All new pairs of suede shoes and boots should be sprayed with a suede protector to extend their pristine condition in the first place. Also (we know this is hard), try to not wear your light-coloured suede footwear out in the rain… please.
Keep scrolling for our super-useful (and cost-effective) tips on how to clean suede boots and shoes.
1. Invest in a suede-cleaning brush.
First things first: You can clean your suede without a proper suede-cleaning brush, but investing in one is a wise choice. (After all, they only cost about £6 on Amazon.) When using one to clean your shoes, be sure to brush only in the direction of the fibres, and avoid moving the brush back and forth over the surface.
2. Put crumpled paper inside before cleaning.
Before you begin the cleaning process, put enough crumpled paper (like a newspaper or used computer paper) inside the shoes so they keep their natural shape while you go to work on them.
3. Rub the surface with a clean bath towel.
After removing excess dirt with your handy new suede-cleaning brush, gently rub the shoes with a clean towel. No water, nothing—only a clean, soft towel to wipe them down and remove the layers of dust and grime.
Remove stains with an eraser.
If you do notice any stains, get yourself a suede eraser (only £8 on Amazon), and gently rub off any water, oil or grease.
For really tough grime, use white vinegar.
If you have some even tougher stains on your shoes, like salt, food or wine, pour a little vinegar on a clean cloth, and gently wipe the affected areas.
Shop some of our favourite suede boots below.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.