We all love a wonderful pair of suede shoes, whether they are boots, clogs, slip-ons, or heels. The one thing about suede though, is you must take care of them properly or they will get ruined rather easily.
Suede is a true labor of love. Suede shoes can get especially difficult to wear in changing seasons. They are great for mild, sunny weather, but once you step into humidity or a rainy climate - the suede is no match for Mother Nature.
What Exactly is Suede?
You know that soft and fuzzy part on the back or bottom of leather products that you cannot help to touch when you are around it? This is suede. Suede is the part of the leather that was formerly attached to the inside of the cow.
It is an amazing piece of leather that works wonderfully as a use for the extra bits from regular pieces of leather. It is made when the leather is split and the top grain is removed, leaving the soft and fuzzy suede side for its multiple uses.
Suede is primarily used for decorative purposes. Its uses as a durable product are few and far between. Mainly suede is used for suede shoes, clothing, drapes and other products that use fabric.
10 Way to Take Care of Your Suede Shoes
Below is our list of the top 10 ways to take great care of your suede apparel!
The single best thing you can do for your suede shoes is to get them cleaned by a professional. Yes, there are professionals that specialize in cleaning suede. These are the people you want to take your suede shoes to if you are worried about their care and longevity.
You can go to a local dry cleaner or shoe shop and they can usually clean them right up for you. This is best to do before you start wearing your suede shoes for the season or at the end of the season before you put your suede shoes away.
When it comes to the care of your suede shoes, a bristled suede brush can be your new best friend. The typical rule for brushes and suede shoes is that the longer the suede - the softer the brush.
For very short suede, you can use a small wire brush with extreme care, but for the “full suede” shoes you will use a larger brush. Brushing your suede regularly can help you get rid of dust and retain the suede’s look for a longer amount of time.
You can even buy awesome suede kits that can help you and your suede become the happiest and healthiest pair possible. They usually come with a brush, a cleaner, and a protectant spray to use with your suede shoes.
Suede is one of those things that you have to take exceptional care of. Just like your skin or your car, you must give it time, attention, and the proper care it deserves. Sealing your suede shoes is one of the best preventative measures you can take to protect your suede.
Suede sealant can be found everywhere – drugstores, department stores, shoe stores, Wal-Mart and of course all over the Internet. Even a light sealant spray on your suede shoes can last for months and assists in repelling dirt and preventing stains.
It is highly recommended that you brush your suede with a suede-specific brush before and after you spray it. Sealing your suede shoes is one of the easiest and best ways you can take care of your precious suede.
4. Talcum Powder or Cornstarch
Talcum powder can be a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning and maintenance of your suede shoes. The mineral based powder is composed of talc, a mineral used in common skin and cosmetic products.
Talc is also the key ingredient in baby powder. The use of talcum and cornstarch are almost interchangeable. Please note that you must not inhale either powder because it has been said to cause respiratory problems when inhaled in large amounts.
For stains and spills on your suede shoes you can pat the area with a clean towel and then apply a thin layer of talc powder or cornstarch to the area. Let the powder or cornstarch sit for at least 12 hours and then brush the suede to remove the dried powder.
5. White Vinegar
White vinegar is known widely for is sanitary cleaning purposes. It can help clean houses, cars, grime, and guess what else? SUEDE SHOES! If your suede shoes have stains on them or you have tried relentlessly to clean them try your hand at using white vinegar.
You will need to get a cup of warm water in a bowl and stir in one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar. Get a lint-free clean cloth and dampen it with the vinegar and water solution. It is very imperative that you only dampen the cloth you are using. Don’t soak it.
You can use the dampened cloth to gently wipe the surface area of your suede shoes. If your suede shoes have awful stains on them and the light vinegar application is not working, you can apply a few drops of vinegar directly to the stain and use your suede brush to brush the vinegar into the shoe.
6. Leather Spa Water and Stain Protector
Leather Spa is our favorite product when it comes to the protection of your suede shoes. This quality product protects leather, suede, nubuck, satin, silk, and canvas products from dirt and water. Since dirt and water are the death to all things suede, you can imagine how excited we were to find this Leather Spa product.
Leather Spa Water and Stain Protector works relentlessly to protect your precious suede shoes and keep them free of grime and moisture. The bottle retails at $16.95 for a 6.26-ounce can.
7. Proper Storage
A key component to suede health and longevity is proper storage of your special suede goods. Suede goods should be brushed and cleaned before putting them away for storage.
Suede should be kept in a cool, dark place and not contained in a bag or airtight space. Make sure the space you are storing them is dry and wont’ attract any moisture or mildew. A spot like a hall closet or extra storage closet are good options for storing your suede to ensure proper care and no long-term damage.
8. Suede Eraser
A suede eraser is a wonderful tool people use to help clean and maintain suede products. The eraser is shaped similar to a pencil eraser and it made from art gum. Suede material out of all materials becomes soiled the quickest, so proper care is crucial.
A suede eraser can help ease your mind when it comes to caring for your suede. Suede erasers prevent smudging and tearing of suede and can serve as your only option for larger, harder to removed stains or smudges.
This Kiwi Suede and Nubuck Stain Eraser is a wonderful option for buying an affordable suede eraser that will do just what you need it to. Sometimes stains go too long without attention and cannot be fully removed with the typical methods. A suede eraser will be your best friend in these instances.
9. Shoe Cleaning Wipes
Shoe cleaning wipes can be a great solution for helping keep suede shoes clean, especially during the busy season when the weather is not prime but your suede shoe wearing IS.
These Boot + Rescue all natural cleaning wipes for suede and leather will help clean off dirt and salt stains. These wipes are also ideal for bringing to work, keeping in your car, or having in your bag in case of suede emergencies.
10. Buy Top-Quality Suede
Besides keeping your suede clean and maintaining care of your suede products, buying quality suede can keep your shoes looking and feeling the best they can. Quality is huge and with anything important in life, quality is far better than quantity.
When you buy suede products, do not skimp out to save a few bucks. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and buy yourself quality suede.
The end-game is definitely happier if you have high-quality suede and you take proper care of it - and your feet will thank you for gracing their presence with only the finest of suede shoes.
Suede Shoes For The Win
Suede shoes are by far the best shoes. They are cute, soft, professional, and totally aesthetically pleasing. The one thing about suede though, is that their durability is lacking, and suede takes a lot of attention and care.
If you want your suede to last as long as possible, follow the 10 tips above to help create the longest lasting life for your suede shoes.
Do not skimp on the quality of the suede your purchase and make sure to clean them yourself or to get them cleaned professionally at least once a year.