Suede shoes: tips for cleaning and caring for them

Suede is a leather material that has been commonly used for a long time to make belts , watch straps, bags and many other elements of everyday life. More specifically, it is a type of very delicate material that is manufactured from the inner face of the animal’s skin, so that the material is obtained through different processes.

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We could define it as “the skin turned inside out”. That is to say, for its manufacture, the leather is turned, and it is worked with different processes of both polishing and tanning on the inside. Thus, the part that we see of the belt, the watch strap, the bag or the winter booty is the part that was “glued” to the meat of the animal.

Suede material is usually made from lamb, sheep or goat skin, which stands out as a really soft type of leather. Although it is also true that others can be used, since originally the suede came from the antelope or the elk. However, today the term “suede” is even used for any type of leather turned inside out, and tanned in a similar way to the original suede.

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In the case of men, for example, it is more likely that they will find this material, especially in men’s footwear, especially those known as chukka boots. Thus, the suede material looks and feels good, adding a certainly unique visual and physical texture to both shoes and accessories, but it has a “problem”: its truly delicate nature, as it scratches easily, and also , it can be easily damaged by water, grease and other elements, even staining.

That is to say, despite the fact that it is very soft and really pleasant to the eye and to the touch, its main problem is its enormous delicacy, which is why it is necessary to know how to care for and clean it.

How to care for suede and how to make it last longer

Although it is true that suede material is a delicate material that almost always scratches even just looking at it, the truth is that it is easy and simple to clean and care for. In fact, scratches can be easily buffed out, so a little water or dirt doesn’t have to permanently ruin our shoes.

But to be able to enjoy suede footwear like the first day, it is necessary to take care of it and keep it in good condition, just like with other types of leather, although to achieve this it is necessary to use a somewhat different process and series of products .

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You will need to get a suede care kit, which will come with a small brush and some sort of sponge or suede-like material that will help remove marks that form on the shoe. Also, depending on the kit you buy, you may have a clear spray-on leather protector.

From there, you must perform the following basic routine regarding the guide that we will propose in the following section: once a month, more or less, if you use the shoes a few times a month. Or every 1 or 2 weeks if you usually wear the shoes regularly throughout the day. Take note:

1. brushed

Use the bristle brush in order to clean any dirt or sediment that has been impregnated in the material of the shoe. Of course, to avoid scratching the material, it is necessary not to press too much, and brush in only one direction, to keep the material as uniform as possible.

2. Deleted

If there are specific stains, or these have not come out with the first brushing, use the shoe ‘eraser’ to clean the material gently, using only a rather light pressure. As long as it’s not greasy, the ‘eraser’ will work great, as well as being useful for small scratches.

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And if the stain is grease? The truth is that grease can become the worst element that could fall on a suede shoe, since it could ruin its uniform appearance. Luckily, cornstarch can become a very useful product. To apply it you just have to put a little cornstarch on top of the stain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Then brush it with a suede brush. Although a single application of cornstarch can help and completely remove the stain, if this doesn’t happen you can apply more cornstarch again, and repeat the process until the stain is gone.

3. New Brushing

After using the eraser, carefully and gently brush the suede footwear again. And, again, do it in a rather uniform direction.

4. Spray

Now it’s time for the spray, which actually consists of a transparent protector to prevent the material from being damaged by daily and regular use.

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Just apply it by holding the shoe at a distance, and give it a nice touch of spray all over. If you notice that the material changes color, don’t worry, it will disappear in a few minutes.

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