Suede boots and shoes come back season after season. They're officially a staple of your autumn/winter wardrobe but also your spring/summer one too. But it's not just suede boots we're wearing come the summer—it's also sandals, mules and block heels. And with the prospect of an unexpected downpour very likely in the UK, it means we need to take extra care of them.
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 sandals, mules and boots.
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 £9 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 shoes below.
This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.