How to Clean Black Suede Shoes

by Jasmine Haryana

Fashioned from the inner sides of animal leather, suede sports a velvety finish that has made it a fashionable staple in footwear. Black suede has been used in the creation of high-end boots, sneakers, dress shoes and sandals, but it tends to lose luster when dirty. Luckily, owners can use a gentle series of cleaning techniques to remove dust and dirt from black suede shoes without damaging the finish.

Items you will need

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Pencil eraser
  • Suede brush
  • White vinegar
  • Suede protector
Step 1

Wipe the outside of the black suede shoes with a dry microfiber cloth. Begin at the center of the shoe's top and move the cloth briskly toward the outer edges. Work around the sides of the shoe, moving the cloth outward and downward to free dust and surface dirt.

Step 2

Rub the pencil eraser on any stains in the suede. Press the eraser into the spot on the suede's surface and move it back and forth in a gentle motion to loosen ground-in debris.

Step 3

Brush the black suede shoes. Take a metal suede brush in your hand and brush the shoe in small circles to eliminate scuffs and smooth the suede back down.

Step 4

Eliminate stubborn stains with vinegar. Place 1/2 tsp. of white vinegar onto the microfiber cloth. Squeeze the cloth to ensure there is no excess liquid in it. Buff the stain with the dampened cloth until the stain releases.

Step 5

Allow your shoes to air dry.

Step 6

Spray the suede shoes with a specialty suede protector to add a dirt-resistant coating to them after each cleaning.

Tips

  • If your stains do not release with at-home methods, take them to a specialty shoe store or dry cleaner and ask for a professional cleaning.

Warnings

  • Never use generic leather cleaners on suede shoes.

About the Author

With a career spanning business writing and technical commentaries, Jasmine Haryana has been writing and editing since 1996. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis and holds her certification in grant writing from The Foundation Center.