our everyday life

How to Clean White Bucks

by Melissa King, studioD

Nubuck's soft, velvety nap looks stunning on a pair of boots or dress shoes. If you'd like to keep the leather looking like new, give your shoes a bit of special care. Nubuck is much like suede -- it's a snap to brush off dirt and restore the nap to its former beauty. Even if your shoes are white, stains are no match for a sprinkle of cornmeal or the rub of an eraser. Nubuck is slightly more delicate than suede, so clean it carefully to avoid scratching the fine leather.

Brush your nubuck shoes with a suede brush to remove dirt and restore the nap. When brushing, use gentle strokes in one direction. Don't press down hard.

Sprinkle oil stains with a dash of cornmeal or talcum powder. Rub the powder in well with your fingers or a suede brush, but do not push down hard when rubbing. Allow the powder to set for a few hours, then brush it off. If the stain remains, repeat the process.

Scrape off hardened debris and mud with the edge of a nail file. Use small, gentle strokes to avoid damaging the leather.

Get rid of dried stains by rubbing them with a white rubber eraser. Use small, circular rubbing motions until the mark disappears. Avoid pressing down hard when rubbing with the eraser.

Blot shoes well with a towel if they get soaking wet. Once you've soaked up as much water as possible, let them dry. Don't place the shoes near a heat source such as a furnace or oven -- it's too hot for the leather and can cause damage. When the shoes are dry, gently brush them with a suede brush to restore the nap.

Items you will need
  •  Suede brush
  •  Cornmeal or talcum powder
  •  Nail file
  •  White rubber eraser
  •  Towel


  • Keep shoes clean by spritzing the leather with a suede- or nubuck-protector spray. These sprays ward off dirt and repel water.
  • Store your nubuck shoes away from damp conditions and light. Never store your shoes in a plastic bag -- instead, use a cloth shoe bag or pillowcase.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.