How To Care For Your Suede Shoes

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Every time you fail to waterproof your suede shoes, an Effortless Bitches hope dies.

Suede shoes are great, they add texture to your outfits, they’re soft and they’re a perfect shoe for all seasons. But we all know that after only a few wears, how dirty they can get. Scuffed sides, water-marks, stains and gunk stuck to the heel sometimes trick us into thinking our suede shoes life is over, but it’s far from it. All it takes is a little grooming and care to bring them back to life.

Dirt Stains

Treatment: Ensure your shoes are dry before starting any cleaning. Get your hands on a suede shoe brush and use the bristled side to brush in the same direction. Don’t move the brush back and forth or in a circular motion, always move in a forward direction.


Treatment: When you scuff your favourite suede shoes, it means that the grain of the fabric has been pushed in one direction. Using your suede brush, brush in a fast manner in a back and forth motion to lift the grain back up. If the scuff is stubborn, use a clean eraser to rub over the mark.

Water Marks

Treatment: Sometimes removing water marks from suede can be difficult and it can even discolour the leather, so it’s always best to test on an old pair of shoes or a small patch of suede. You’ll need to stuff the inside of the shoe with some paper, avoid using printed paper as the ink will transfer onto your shoes.

Apply a light coat of water over the entire shoe exterior with the suede brush and use a dry and clean cloth to wipe away any excess water. Wipe the suede until the leather looks even in tone. Let the shoes dry over night and brush over them lightly once completely dry.

Waterproof Your Shoes

When buying new suede shoes, it’s best to waterproof them using waterproofing spray. You can pick this up from multiple shoe stores and fashion retailers. Follow the instructions on the back of each spray can and remember that there are two different sprays for suede leather and regular leather. Every few months, spray your shoes again so you can get the most protection and wear out of them.

My Top Shoe Cleaning Picks:

Suede Brush: Nine West – $7.95
Suede Waterproofing Spray: Nikwax – 8.95
Suede Shoe & Bag Cleaner: Murchison Hume – $12.95

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Owner / Blogger / Stylist

Alarna Hope is a Fashion Stylist and Writer based in Sydney, she's considered an expert in her field as a Personal Stylist and is also quite good at writing about herself in the third person. She cries during movie makeover scenes, has a jar of Nutella under her bed for safety, and can tell you the synopsis of every Kath & Kim episode ever. She currently resides in Sydney with her Oscar worthy cat, Meryl Streep.

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