Suede is a delicate material that can easily become stained, discolored, or damaged. With the right techniques and products, you can often restore suede shoes to look as good as new. Here are some tips for fixing various issues with suede shoes:
- Act quickly when suede gets stained to prevent the stain from setting. Lightly dab stains with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb excess liquid. Don’t rub, which can grind in the stain.
- Use a suede eraser or fine grit sandpaper to gently buff the stained area. This will lift stain particles from the material.
- For tough oil-based stains, apply a small amount of cornstarch or talcum powder. Let it sit for several hours to absorb the grease, then brush it off.
- Try using a specialized suede cleaner or gentle soap solution. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to create a light lather on the suede. Rinse with clean water and air dry.
- If suede has become faded or discolored over time, use a suede color restorer spray. Apply light coats to refresh the color and nap of the material.
- For small faded spots, try using a colored candle that matches the original shoe color. Rub the candle over the area to deposit color into the suede.
- Baking soda can also help remove discoloration. Sprinkle it on the suede, let sit briefly, then wipe off. The abrasion will lift some of the stained particles.
Remove Scuffs and Scrapes
- For surface scuffs, use a suede eraser, brush, or fine sandpaper to buff them away. Brush the nap in one direction after buffing.
- For deeper gouges or scrapes, apply a thin layer of clear nail polish to the damaged area using a small brush. Let it dry completely then buff lightly with sandpaper.
- Consider taking heavily damaged suede shoes to a professional cobbler for repairs like patch reinforcement or full resurfacing.
Protect and Weatherproof
- Apply a suede protector spray to create a protective barrier against water and oil-based stains. Re-apply as needed.
- Waterproofing sprays can be used on suede boots to make them more resistant to rain and snow. Follow the product instructions closely.
- Use shoe trees to help suede shoes keep their shape when storing. Stuff with tissue paper to absorb excess moisture.
- Handle suede gently, brush often with a suede brush, and store in breathable shoe bags when not wearing.
With some care and prompt attention, it’s often possible to salvage stained, scraped, or faded suede shoes. Utilize products specifically designed for suede, and always test products on an inconspicuous area first. With these tips, you can extend the life of your suede footwear.