A Guide to Maintaining Suede Footwear
Suede footwear is known for its luxurious and elegant appearance, but it requires special care to keep it looking its best. Proper maintenance is essential to prolong the life of your suede shoes or boots and prevent them from looking worn and shabby. In this guide, we will explore the steps you can take to effectively clean and protect your suede footwear, ensuring that they stay in pristine condition for years to come.
1. Understanding Suede
Suede is a type of leather made from the inner layer of animal hides. It has a soft and velvety texture, making it highly susceptible to stains, water damage, and scuffs. Unlike other types of leather, suede does not have a protective surface layer, which means it requires specialized care.
2. Preparing Your Suede Footwear for Cleaning
Before you begin cleaning your suede footwear, it is important to prepare them properly. Use a suede brush or clean towel to remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface of your shoes. Gently brush in one direction to avoid damaging the delicate fibers of the suede.
3. Removing Stains
Stains are a common problem with suede footwear. To remove stains, start by blotting the affected area with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rub, as this can spread the stain further. If the stain persists, you can try using a suede eraser or a specialized suede cleaner. Follow the instructions provided with the cleaner and use a soft brush to work the product into the stain. Once you have treated the stain, use a clean cloth to blot up any excess moisture.
4. Dealing with Water Damage
Water can cause serious damage to suede footwear, leaving behind unsightly water stains. To treat water damage, start by gently blotting the wet areas with a clean, absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can cause the suede to become matted. Once you have removed as much moisture as possible, stuff your shoes with newspaper or paper towels to help them retain their shape and absorb any remaining moisture. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.
5. Brushing and Restoring
Regular brushing is essential for maintaining the appearance of suede footwear. Use a suede brush to gently brush the shoes in one direction. This helps to restore the nap and remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. For stubborn scuffs, you can use a pencil eraser or a suede brush with a rubber crepe surface to gently rub over the affected area.
6. Protecting with a Suede Protector Spray
To protect your suede footwear from stains and water damage, it is recommended to use a suede protector spray. Before applying the spray, ensure that your shoes are clean and dry. Hold the spray can about 6 to 8 inches away from the shoes and apply an even coat, covering the entire surface. Allow the shoes to dry completely before wearing them.
7. Storing Your Suede Footwear
Proper storage is vital to maintaining the condition of your suede footwear. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Avoid storing suede shoes in plastic bags, as this can cause the leather to become moldy. Instead, use a shoe box or a breathable storage bag. Stuff the shoes with tissue paper or shoe trees to help them retain their shape.
8. Professional Cleaning
In some cases, it may be necessary to seek professional cleaning for your suede footwear. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized equipment to effectively clean and restore suede. If your shoes are heavily stained or damaged, consider taking them to a professional cleaner to ensure the best results.
9. Tips and Tricks
Here are some additional tips and tricks for maintaining suede footwear:
– Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or muddy conditions.
– Use a suede brush to revive the nap and remove any flattened areas.
– Test any cleaning or protective products on a small, inconspicuous area first.
– Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials on suede.
– Regularly rotate your suede shoes to allow them to air out and prevent odor buildup.
With proper care and maintenance, suede footwear can retain its beauty and elegance for a long time. Regular brushing, stain removal, and the use of a suede protector spray are essential steps in keeping your suede shoes or boots looking their best. Remember to store them properly and seek professional cleaning when needed. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your suede footwear for years to come.