How to Clean Suede Boots

The delicate nature of suede can be a source of worry for many suede boot owners. Luckily there are plenty of simple ways to keep your suede boots looking amazing regardless of what life may throw at them.


  • Suede cleaning brush
  • Clean and dry cloth or towel (an old t-shirt will do!)
  • A cedar shoe tree (can be substituted with newspaper)


Always make sure your boots are dry before cleaning them!

Do your suede boots have special care instructions? If so, read them. Sometimes boot manufactures will have special care instructions that you may need to take into consideration before you begin. If you are unsure if your suede boots have special care instructions then visit your boot manufacturer’s official website where they usually have care instructions posted. You can also call their customer service number if you are unsure.

Use a shoetree or newspaper to stuff the boots while you clean them and while they dry. This is important so the boots retain their shape.


Cleaning suede is a bit different from cleaning leather boots. It is not recommended you use leather cleaning products or leather brushes on suede. Most leather products and brushes are too abrasive and will damage suede.

The difference between cleaning leather and suede has many of us wondering how to get stains out of suede. The answer depends on the type of stain. Below are different methods you can use to get stains out of suede per stain type.


Removing dirt from suede boots:

The best way to clean suede is by using a suede brush. Brush repeatedly in the single direction of the fibers. Do not brush back and forth. You do not need to use much force to remove dirt and grime from suede. Getting in the habit of habitually cleaning your suede boots will keep them looking great in the long run.

How to get rid of scuff marks off suede boots:

Patience and pressure is the name of the game to remove suede scuff marks. Use a suede brush to scrub vigorously back and forth. A scuff is usually the suede’s grain pressed down in one direction. By scrubbing back and forth you can lift the grain back up to it’s proper form. If a suede brush does not remove the scuff, you can use a rubber cleaning stone or a pencil erasure instead. If a pencil erasure is used please make sure that it is white and not pink. Pink erasures can cause additional staining on suede. Apply even back and forth pressure when scrubbing.


How to remove water stains off suede boots:

Using your suede brush, apply some water to the stain and brush over the water stain. Yes, water can be used to remove water stains! Soak up excess water using a dry cloth. Dab gently until the water stain is gone. Make sure your boots are placed in a dry area away from bright sunlight or direct heat as this can cause the water to dry unevenly and worsen the stain. It is recommended that you use a shoe tree while the boots are drying so that they may retain their shape.

How to remove mud stains from suede boots:

Wipe away excess mud and then let mud dry before further cleaning. The mud will clunk up and you will be able to break off the mud once dried. You can use a butter knife to remove large chunks of mud or a toothbrush to brush off the smaller pieces. When the mud is dry proceed to clean your boots with a suede brush.

How to remove oil stains from suede boots:

If your boots are still wet from the oil stain then dab a clean towel or cloth to soak up as much of the oil as possible. Proceed to cover the oil stain with baking soda or cornstarch and let them sit for up to a day. The baking soda or cornstarch will absorb the oil from the suede. Once the baking soda/cornstarch is removed you can proceed to use a suede brush to restore the suede nap.

How to get salt off suede boots 

Using your suede brush or a soft thistle toothbrush, brush off as much of the excess salt as possible. Using a clean cloth rub a small amount of white vinegar into the stained suede. Blot the suede dry with a cloth. Use the suede brush to rub the nap back in forth until the salt stain is gone. This process can be done multiple times until the salt stain is removed.

How to remove blood stains from suede boots:

You will need hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls and a clean cloth. Dab the blood stain with hydrogen peroxide. Use the cotton balls to soak up the liquid from the suede. Once dried use a suede brush to brush the suede clean.



Spray a coat of suede protector on your boots.

Once the suede boots are cleaned you can prevent further stains by using a suede protector spray. Each suede protector spray is each different so make sure to read over the manufacturer instructions before using.

Let your boots dry overnight. Make sure the area is well ventilated. Do not wear until the boots are completely dry. Avoid direct sunlight as this can cause suede discoloration.


A note of caution: For super tough or stubborn stains please consider taking your suede boots to a local professional who specialized in cleaning suede shoes. Improper methods of cleaning may cause damage to your suede boots that are irreversible. 

Do not ever wash your suede boots in a washing machine or put them in a dryer. This could cause irreparable damage to your suede boots.

Consider purchasing a suede boot cleaning kit. Many manufacturers offer their own pre-assembled cleaning kits for their boots. These kits usually have everything you need to keep your suede boots clean and healthy.

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