Owning suede shoes is awesome, cleaning it, a whole another story.
With recent onslaught of amazing suede shoes that Adidas has been throwing at us suede has become more common in an average sneakerheads wardrobe. And with more suede shoes in your rotation you'd better start cleaning them early and cleaning them right.
Here's a quick guide to help clean those suede puppies right.
Getting straight into it – first thing you should know about cleaning suede is that it is complicated. Colored suede usually bleeds so be extra careful if you're cleaning one of those. I've ruined a perfectly good pair of Stan Smiths. They just bled to death :(
One thing to keep in mind while getting into it is to be gentle. Don't brush hard, use water sparingly and follow the steps. Let's get to it:
Things you will need:
Step 1: Dry Clean
Remove the laces & start off with a soft brush, (toothbursh will work too) and gently rub off any dry/loose dirt. Do this a couple times in a back&forth action. Do this all over your shoe before you take any water to it. Given the hairy nature of suede, a lot of dust just settles in it's fibers. Rubbing it will get rid of a big chunk of dirt.
Step 2: Erase
Next up, take the suede eraser to parts that are actually stained. Gently rub the eraser to get rid of debris. Do this as many time as needed, careful that you do not damange the suede.
Step 3: Soap it up
Now, this step should be done on a need-only basis. Avoid wetting suede too much. While no one says it, I've noticed that doing so spoils suede over a period.
So do it only if you absolutely have to. Now, be sure to use the mildest soap you can find. I recommend only using Jason Markk Premium Sneaker Cleaner. It's the only product I use on my expensive shoes. Unfortunately, it's not available here in India so use like a baby soap or something.
Getting into the how of it:
Start by stuffing a bunch of newspaper in your shoe. This is so that your shoes retain shape.
Dip the brush in your soapy liquid and shake off excess water
Rub gently on your shoes in a back & forth motion.
Do this all over the shoe.
Clean the lather with a dry microfiber cloth.
Step 4: Drying
Now this is critical, when wiping your shoes Always use a Dab&Twist motion. Use a dry microfiber cloth and dab it on your shoe and twist. It will soak up any excess water and ensure that you do not see any ugly patches on your shoe. Once you've done this thoroughly, let you shoes air dry for an entire day.
For Tough Stains:
For seriously tough stains, you're going to need to follow the above steps a little more. Focus only on the area of damage. The trick is to attack when the stain is fresh. Blot up any excess with a paper towel or anything that you may find nearby. Be gentle, you don’t want to push the stain further into the pores. Remember, Dab&Twist. If your stain dry then start with the eraser to brush off first.
IMPORTANT: Treat your new suede shoes with a good Stain and Water protector before you wear them. I trust only Jason Markk but VetroPower seems to be an Indian player worth a shot. before you start wearing them. This will make cleaning them later, a whole lot easier.
Hope this helps keeping your precious sneaker clean and lovely. Until next time!