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How to Clean Suede Boots at Home

by S.R. Becker

Suede, a type of lamb or calf leather, has a fuzzy napped finish that can be harder to keep clean than regular leather. Because suede is more absorbent than regular leather, it is susceptible to water and mud stains. If you've gotten caught in a rainstorm, however, there's no need to fear. With regular cleaning and stain removal, you can keep your suede boots looking good for many years. Utilizing products sold in shoe stores, you can easily clean and maintain your suede footwear at home.

Take your boots outdoors and shake them out. Put your hand and arm into one boot at a time and use your other hand to vigorously brush the boot with a suede brush. Always brush in the direction of the nap.

Rub away any scuff marks with a suede eraser or cleaning block. The dry block will crumble like a pencil eraser as the scuff marks fade away.

To combat water stains, pour 2 tablespoons of white vinegar into a spray bottle and fill the bottle with water. Mist the water-stained suede with the lightest spray possible and blot the boots immediately with a white cloth. Do not soak the boots, and remember, only do this step if you have water stains.

Spray the boots with a suede protector spray to repel water. Allow them to dry completely in a shady spot.

Fill the boots with boot forms or crinkled white paper - not newspaper, as it can stain suede - to help them keep their shape and prevent wrinkles in the upper until you wear them again.

Items you will need
  • Suede brush
  • Suede eraser
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • White cloth
  • Boot forms or white paper

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.