Tips on How to Clean Shoes with Suede or Nubuck

Last Updated on March 7, 2021 by Fahad Zahid


Everyone wants to look smart and rock the world with style. For this reason, many people prefer Suede or Nubuck shoes when it comes to footwear. But the stylish looks come with a cost, as the leather shoes are easy prey of stains and marks because of the delicacy of the material.

Maintaining your leather shoes to look fresh and neat can be a little bit difficult task. Due to this reason, many people prefer to leave suede / Nubuck shoes in boxes and use them very rarely. But it does not make any sense to us as what is the point of investing in them if you cannot wear and flaunt them often in events.

Does it make sense to you? Well, we have a piece of great news for you. In this article, we are going to share with you the tips and ways on how to clean shoes with Suede or Nubuck. To know these amazingly awesome and easy tricks, keep reading.

Suede vs Nubuck Leather:


We normally take Suede and Nubuck Leather the same thing due to its velvet-like surface but there are some differences:

What is Suede Leather?

  • Suede is a leather made from sanding down the underside of the animal’s skin to give it a soft, napped or brushed finish.
  • It is thinner and suppler than the regular leather as well as less durable due to which extra care is needed to prevent it from water stains or wear and tear.
  • If the suede is waxed, then it becomes more water-resistant and tough but less fuzzy.

What is Nubuck Leather?

  • Nubuck leather is made by buffing or sanding the outside of the skin to give it a slight nap of protein fibers.
  • It is more water-resistant as compared to suede leather.

Apart from the differences between Suede and Nubuck Leather, taking care of them is equally challenging, but you can use almost similar methods to clean them.

Can I Clean Suede / Nubuck Shoes?


As you know that leather is a very delicate material, so you must take care to make sure that you are cleaning the shoes properly without causing any damage to the shoes.

If you have got a genuine pair of suede or Nubuck, then don’t put them in a washing machine or dryer. You can clean them by hand. You can also check tags or follow cleaning instructions to ensure secure cleaning.

How to clean shoes with Suede or Nubuck?

Cleaning Suede / Nubuck Shoes:


Some of you may feel that it is a scary drill to clean your suede / Nubuck shoes, but let us assure you that you can follow these simple and easy instructions to have clean shoes.

In this section, we are going to share the process of cleaning different suede/nubuck shoes.

How I Can Clean Suede or Nubuck Sneakers?


Trainers are great for casual and daily wear, but if you want some stylish sneakers, suede trainers are the right choice. But using suede/nubuck sneakers in streets and towns can result in stains and marks. So for cleaning your dirty suede sneakers, follow the following approach:

  1. Remove Laces

    First of all, remove the laces.

  2. Insert Shoe Tree

    Insert a shoe tree to maintain its shape.

  3. Remove Dirt

    To get rid of any sort of loose dirt, use a suede/nubuck eraser.

  4. Clean the Shoe

    Now clean the shoes with the help of a suede brush, suede cleaner, and water.

  5. Let them dry

    Let them dry after cleaning the shoes.

  6. Brush it!

    In the end, brush the shoes to reset the nap.

How can I Clean Suede / Nubuck Boots?


To maintain the stylish look of suede/nubuck boots and use them in the longer run, it is necessary to keep them clean and neat. To achieve this, consider the following steps:

  1. Remove the laces and take a small container filled with suede cleaner.
  2. Take a soft brush and soak it in the container.
  3. Use one hand to hold the shoe from the inside and use the other hand to brush the shoes in circular but small motions.
  4. Repeat the same process for the other shoe.
  5. Let the boots dry for 24 hours.
  6. When they are completely dry, use mink oil with the help of a small suede brush to make them smooth and soft.

How I can Clean Mud and Dirt Off Suede / Nubuck Shoes?


Mud and dirt are the most common factors leaving stains and marks on suede/nubuck shoes. You can clean nubuck/suede shoes and can get rid of mud and dirt gently and efficiently. Just follow this method:

  1. First of all, ensure that mud is completely dry before you remove it.
  2. Now, use a brush to get rid of mud as much as you can.
  3. If marks are there then, moisten the shoes with the steam.
  4. After the steam, use the brush again and an eraser to get dirt-free shoes.

How I Can Clean Suede / Nubuck Shoes at Home?


Even though suede and nubuck shoes are delicate and need extra care while cleaning but it does not mean that you need a professional every time for their cleaning. You can easily clean them at home by following these simple instructions:

  1. Stuff your shoes with paper and use a suede brush to get rid of light marks.
  2. Consider using the eraser for tougher stains and marks.
  3. To remove the marks of water, you can dab a clean and wet cloth before blow dry. If this method does not help to remove stains completely, then use the brush or an eraser.

How I Can Clean Black Suede/Nubuck Shoes?


The cleaning of black suede/nubuck shoes is a bit tricky because of the chances of fading of black color.

To clean them, simply follow a regular method which we have shared above. After removing the dirt or stain, you can touch the faded spots using black suede dye.

You can also use your finger and rub black crayon onto the scuffed spots.

How I Can Clean White Suede/Nubuck Shoes?


White suede shoes are a great addition to your stylish shoe collection but are difficult when it comes to cleaning. So follow these instructions:

  1. To maintain the feel and look of your white suede shoes, include a suede protector on your list.
  2. Use the protectors immediately when shoes get a stain or mark.
  3. Get rid of excess moisture then use an eraser to remove stains.
  4. For getting rid of stains completely, wet a soft cloth using white vinegar.
  5. For restoring the nap, brush your shoes.

Some Additional Tips On How to Clean Suede/Nubuck Shoes:

  • Always ensure that before starting the cleaning process, you have removed the laces and inserted a paper or shoe tree to maintain their shape.
  • Always consider products specifically designed for suede/nubuck shoes such as a suede/nubuck cleaner, protector, eraser, brush, etc.
  • Select a soft brush for removing any dirt or mud from the shoes.
  • For stubborn marks and rough spots, scrub your shoes lightly with the help of a cleaner and brush.
  • When you are done with the drying of shoes, use gentle dry brushing, or you can use mink oil to regain their soft touch.

Now you can wear your suede shoes without fear of stains and clean your suede/nubuck shoes without any hassle. If there is anything you want to know from us about suede shoes, drop a comment below.

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