Can Suede Be Washed and How Do You Wash Suede?

Last night while at a party, my girlfriend spilled a drink all over my suede, which made me think my shoe was ruined. At that moment, a friend recommended just washing it; in an instant, my girlfriend and I questioned, can suede be washed?

The answer is a bit more complicated than just yes or no. For an amateur, is it not recommended to wash suede as not knowing the proper measures may damage the product. Many recommend using chemical-free soap and cold water, which is somewhat safe for suede. But it’s safe – a professional washes it.

Let us jump straight into this idea to get a better grip on it.

Can Suede Be Washed?

Can Suede Be Washed

Before knowing the answer to this question, you need to know what suede is. Suede is leather that has been physically or chemically altered to get a napped finish. Its characteristic is to have more of a decorative finish than any other type of leather. To add to it, it is more delicate.

Furthermore, a crucial issue with suede is that it is not waterproof, so most manufacturers do not recommend washing suede material in the washing machine. However, most suedes nowadays are made watertight with special sprays.

So, the question remains can suede be washed. Yes, you can wash your suede shoes, but it has to be in a suede protective way, or else the fibers in your shoe may get damaged. Try using chemical-free soap and cold water.

Suede cleanerWhy You Should Use It
Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner98.3% natural, completely biodegradable, and safe on all colors.
Pink Miracle Shoe CleanerCleaner and Conditioner, Need only a few drops to clean your suede.
Kiwi Suede and Nubuck KiDeep cleans and conditions, Removes tough stains, shiny marks, and water spots, rtc.

Here is an all-rounded guide on washing suede shoes and other garments. 

How Do You Wash Suede?

Let’s start washing your dirty suede.


Here are some methods to wash your suede shoes without damaging them.

  • Start off by removing the laces and soaking them separately in a dishwasher and hot water mixture. 
  • Then prepare a bowl with cold water and Kiwi suede cleaner 
  • Soak a soft towel or brush onto the mixture and gently rub it on the dirty areas of your suede shoe
  • We recommend holding the shoe in one hand and using the other to rub circularly. 
  • Repeat till it’s completely clean and let it dry for 24 hours.


Here is a list of steps to clean your suede clothing properly without damaging it.

  • We recommend hand washing your suede garment as the washing machine may ruin it. So, start by filling up a bucket with cool water.
  • Then add a cup of mild detergent. Make sure it is not chemically too strong.
  • Proceed to add your suede clothing and gently soak it in the water.
  • Rinse thoroughly while squeezing and pressing out the water.
  •  Make sure not to wring
  • Now to continue, lay the suede garment on top of a large toilet towel
  • Then squeeze it using the towel to remove the water and dry it out. This is the safest way to do it without damaging the material
  • When it is completely dry, use Ralyn Brass Suede Brush to relax the nap 

How To Remove Stains From Suede

How To Remove Stains From Suede

There are a few simple methods you can use to remove stains from suede shoes and clothes. For example, you can use a clean bath towel to rub it off. If a dry towel does not work, you can soak it in water. We recommend using a bit of whiter vinegar on the towel to get the most dirt out.

Another simple way to remove minor stains from your suede shoes is to use a clean pencil eraser. Dry stains can be rubbed off using an eraser.

Furthermore, if there are lumps of dirt on it, you can try rasping it off using a fingernail filer. However, be sure to be gentle, or else you may damage the fiber of your suede shoe.

Steps To Remove Different Types Of Stain From Suede?

Steps To Remove Different Types Of Stain From Suede

When handling suede shoes, stain treatment should be done immediately, or it may become permanent. Here are some steps to remove different types of stains from your suede shoes. 

  • Scuffs

Use either a regular or Sof Sole Suede eraser to remove scuff stains from your suede shoe. Keep rubbing the stained area gently till it disappears.

  • Watermarks

We have all been there, you go out wearing your favorite pair of suede shoes, and suddenly it starts to rain, and now your shoe is soaking wet. Rain leaves watermarks on suede shoes, so it is crucial to remove them as soon as possible.

To start, use a paper towel to soak up all the moisture; however, if the watermark is old, spray a little bit of water on the rest of the garment. It results in the watermark blending in with the rest as it dries.

You can also use the same methods to remove watermarks from your suede clothing. 

  • Tea or Coffee Stains

Tea or coffee stains are the hardest to remove from suede shoes and clothes. If the stain is recent, then soak a piece of paper towel in white vinegar and rub it on the stained area. The stain should go away after a few rubs.

  • Grease or Oil

If you have stained suede garment or shoe with oil, try applying talcum powder or baking soda or the stained area. Pour the powder directly on top of the stain and let it rest for a few hours while it soaks up the oil.

Once a few hours have passed by, dust off the power and wipe it off with a paper towel.

General Tips For Suede Cleaning

Here are some tips we suggest that may be helpful when cleaning your suede shoes

  • The first time is that cornflour or cornmeal are excellent cleaners. These work as they absorb moisture. So it is beneficial when cleaning grease and grime. Pour it on top of the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Then simply brush it off; this will remove any stain your suede shoe may have. 
  • Steaming helps restore color. You can use this method when your suede shoes start to look faded. However, be sure to do a quick steaming session, or else there may be watermarks and damage to your shoe. 
  • To buff out pressed areas, use a piece of sandpaper or cardboard. Make sure to rub it gently and not damage the material. Then brush it with a suede brush.
  • If you get our suede shoes wet, dry them naturally at room temperature to avoid getting watermark stains.

Is It OK To Put Suede In The Washing Machine?

Is It OK To Put Suede In The Washing Machine

It is not recommended to put the suede shoes or garments in the washing machine as it may lead to discoloration and stiffening of the material. Suede experts suggest that you refrain from putting your suede shoes in the washing machine as it may lead to fibers getting ripped off. 

However, you can remove the shoe laces and put them in the washing machine separately. 

How Well Do Suede Wash?

The answer to this question depends upon what type of suede it is. Synthetic suede washes very well. Usually, there will be a tag on your suede shoe box, which dictates all the instructions on cleaning it properly.

Natural suede doesn’t wash well. So the best way to clean it is dry cleaning. We suggest avoiding washing natural suede shoes at all costs. 

Can Suede Be Dry Cleaned?

Yes, for sure, it can be dry cleaned. Most experts recommend dry cleaning for suede shoes. The liquids are not harmful to your suede garment if used during dry cleaning.

Another benefit of using dry cleaning for suede shoes and garments is that removing those study stains is the safest and easiest way. As most dry cleaners are professionals, they have the proper idea and equipment to remove any stain.

Can You Clean Suede With Baking Soda?

Indeed you can. Baking soda is a highly absorbent material, perfect for removing those greasy stains from your suede shoes. However, the most crucial factor here is to apply the right amount of baking soda.

Pour just enough baking soda to cover the stain and let it rest for a hefty period.

Once clumps start to form due to the moisture being absorbed, rub the baking soda off and wipe it off with a paper towel.

How To Protect Suede

How To Protect Suede

Suede is on the more durable side of the leather, but it requires a lot of care. As it is prone to staining, we recommend not wearing your suede shoes during heavy rain or snow. Avoid being in too much heat or near the bbq grill as it may get grease stains.

To get the maximum protection, you can apply Kiwi Suede Protector spray before wearing it to repel dirt and other harmful material. Brushing your suede shoes with a suede brush may also protect it from being damaged.

Lastly, put it on a dry shoe box and store it in a properly ventilated area that is not directly in contact with the sun to prevent any damage to your suede garment.

How To Clean Suede With A Suede Cleaner Spray

Start by making sure the stained area on your suede shoe is completely dry. Next, shake the can properly and hold it at least 6 inches from the surface. Then proceed to spray slightly, do not saturate the stain too much as the excess liquid may do further damage your shoe

After spraying, wait till it dries off, then wipe it off with a clean paper towel if the stain remains after the first use, repeat until the stain is removed.


  • Is suede fabric washable?

Despite being durable and luxurious, cleaning a suede fabric is very complicated. As it is not washable using a washing machine because the fibers may get damaged, and the fabric may shrink. So to clean your suede garment, follow the methods mentioned above.

  • Can you clean suede with soap and water?

You can wash it with soap and water only if your suede garment is waterproof. Still, it is recommended to use minimal water and soap. However, we recommend using alternatives such as vinegar, cornflour, baking soda, and suede erasers to remove stains.

  • Can you clean suede with vinegar?

Well, yes, you can; vinegar is a brilliant alternative to water for removing stains. Neither does it mark the garment nor lets any stain remain. Vinegar is known to take out the toughest of stains.

Simply pour vinegar onto a bowl and soak a clean cloth. Then rub it on the stained area and let it dry. Proceed to brush the area; repeat till the stain goes off completely.


In conclusion, the answer to “can suede be washed” is – it depends on the method you are using. It’s a material prone to stains and damage; there may be irreversible damage if proper measures are not taken when cleaning.

So, we recommend using the able mentioned methods to clean your suede garment or send it to a nearby professional dry cleaner. However, make sure not to use a washing machine, as it may rip the fiber off or shrink your garment.

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