Whether it’s your hard-wearing, go-to pair of Ugg boots or your ultra-versatile, wear-them-every-season knee-high boots, suede shoes and boots (and pretty much all suede items!) just tend to attract stubborn stains. No matter what you do, suede will occasionally (or often) get dirty, so what can you do to try to avoid stains in the first place? And remove dirt once it’s latched on?

Here are our top tips to keep your suede boots in tip-top condition

Prepare with Suede Protector

Suede cleaning starts before you’ve even worn your new pair of suede boots or shoes. When you’re in the shop remember to purchase some suede protector alongside your shoes or if you buy them online, grab some from somewhere like Amazon, where you’ll find a huge selection of suede cleaner products.

A suede protector can be sprayed onto your fabric before you’ve even stepped out of the door and gives your shoes an extra layer of protection from water, salt stains, mud and any other kind of dirt you might “run into”.

Invest in A Suede Brush

A suede brush is not a magical dirt eraser or remover. However, cleaning suede can be made a whole lot easier if you start here. Lots of dry stains can be removed or greatly lessened with just a dry suede brush. The thing to remember here is to allow the dirt and mud to dry in full before you attempt to brush and never add water.

An old school way to do this is with a toothbrush (hopefully an old toothbrush!)but now suede brushes (which are not expensive) are designed and made in just the right fabrics to lift the dirt and remove scuff marks without damaging the fabric of the boot.

Use White Vinegar Not Water

Once you’ve completely removed the heavy dirt when cleaning suede shoes, you can get to work on the stains rather than the mud itself. Never use water on suede. This is because it simply continues to stain the fabric further. Instead, use a small amount of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol and add a small amount to a simple paper towel, dabbing gently onto the stains. This will clean suede without damaging the fabric permanently.

Once you’ve done this, allow to fully dry again naturally and then once again, brush off with your suede brush.  If you have very stubborn stains that are still there, try using a pencil eraser,a small piece of sandpaper, or even an emery board for the last few marks. This should gently lift the toughest marks away.

If you have very tough stains, such as oil marks, cover the stain with cornstarch or baking soda, allowing to sit for 10-20 mins to draw out the oils and then brush off with your suede brush.

The best thing you can do to clean suede shoes (or even a suede jacket) and save your suede long-term is to initially prepare with suede protector and to never clean when wet. Always wait for them to dry before using a cleaning brush and using a suede eraser. If all else fails, head to a dry cleaner for advice.

You also need to store them well. Wrapping them where possible, using shoe stretchers, and stacking them on a shoe tree will all help to keep them fresh and new for longer.

Whichever boot trends you’re into this season, take our top tips on how to clean suede boots and remember to keep all your footwear investments in the best condition possible so that they last you longer!

You want your shoes to look great, right? If you learn how to clean suede now, whether you find yourself with water stains or covered in mud, you’ll know what to do! Shop suede boots on Shop It To Me and you’ll find this season’s collections from all your favorite brands with both full-price and ALL the sale options available.