How to Clean Mud Off of Suede

by Louise Lawson ; Updated September 28, 2017

A little mud is no reason to throw out your favorite suede garment.

suede image by Dancer01 from

Suede is a type of leather used to make a variety of garments. Suede has a textured, or napped, surface that is very soft and pliable, making it ideal for items such as shoes and purses. Suede must be cleaned gently to keep the nap in good condition, although even mud can be removed without damaging the fabric. You can clean mud off suede using a few household items.

Allow the mud to dry before removal. It might be tempting to wash away damp mud, but too much moisture will damage the suede.

Scrape the majority of the mud from the suede with a blunt knife. Hold the suede in one hand and run the knife over the material, keeping the knife at a 45-degree angle. A blunt knife removes the bulk of the mud without digging into the delicate nap of the fabric.

Brush the remaining mud from the nap with a stiff toothbrush. Press down firmly as you brush to remove ground-in mud. Wipe the brush on a rag if the bristles become caked with mud.

Dampen the corner of a rag with cool water and wipe away any residual mud on the surface of the suede. Add just enough water to make the rag damp, but not so much that it drips off. Work the rag in small circles over the mud, blotting with the dry end of the rag to pull moisture from the suede. Set the suede on a flat surface and allow it to air-dry.

Fluff the nap with a suede brush once it is completely dry. Run the brush gently against the grain of the nap to lift the fibers and soften the material.


  • Suede brushes can be purchased at fabric supply and shoe stores.

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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.