How To Clean Faux Suede Shoes : 7 Simple Steps [2024]

Written By Mahia

Are your favorite pair of faux suede shoes or boots covered with dirt or soil?

Are you tired of scrolling the internet in search of how to clean faux suede shoes?

Guaranteed, in this article, you will find all the tricks and techniques that will help you with cleaning your suede shoes.

So let’s jump into the writing.


What is faux suede?

Faux suede is a type of genuine leather that comes from the inside of the animal hide. Faux suede is exactly look-alike of authentic suede but a cheaper version. Faux suede is a tough, stain-resistant fabric that is much more long-lasting.

Besides, faux suede is made of synthetic resin or polyester fiber, entwined into a fine, soft, but very sturdy plastic thread. Thus, it made it animal-friendly and is more preferred by vegans.

Also, read Can You Use Leather Shoe Polish On Black Suede Shoes.

How To Clean Faux Suede Shoes?

Even so, faux suede is sturdy, but it can easily stain and grime. But with regular cleaning and proper maintenance, this fabric will stay looking new for years.

Here, are some steps you should do to make your faux suede shoes dirt free:

Things you’ll need

  • Suede brush
  • Cotton cloth
  • Warm water
  • Mild soap/Synthetic suede cleaning solution
  • Stain-repellent spray

Check out our separate post: Can You Restore Color On Suede Shoes.

Step 1: Remove the excess soil

Check the shoes if it is dry or not. If the shoes are not dry, you will spread the soil all over. Then, take a suede brush and remove all the excess dirt and mud from the shoes by brushing it in small circular strokes. You can easily find the suede brush in any shoe-cleaning supply stores.

If you can’t find any suede brush, take an old toothbrush with soft bristles, and the output will be the same as any store brought suede brush.

Step 2: Remove stubborn stains

If the dirt is old and stuck to the shoes, wet the brush a little with warm water and brush it softly in a small circular motion.

It will help the soil that is stuck in the shoes to loosen from the surface.

Step 3: Clean the shoes with cleaner


After removing the soil, take a cotton cloth and synthetic suede cleaning solution, or you can make your cleaning solution

with mild soap and water to clean excessively soiled area. Damp the fabric with cold water, wringing out it well. Take the suede cleaner or mild soap in a small quantity into the cotton cloth.

But before using it directly to the shoe fabric, test the cleaner near the heel to make sure the colorant doesn’t change your actual shoe color. Rub the stain gently with the soapy cloth.

If mild soap doesn’t remove the spots, alternatively, you can use dish-washing soap. Dish-washing soap will help to remove oil-based stains.

Now, rub the cleaning solution all over the shoes. Evenly cover the shoes so that there is no watermark.

Related content you should read Can I Use Shoe Polish On Suede Shoes.

Step 4: Take-off the cleaner

For removing the cleaner, take a cloth, damp it with water, and wipe the stain. Keep patting it with a wet cloth and then blot it with a dry cloth. Repeat the process until there is no stain left.

Step 5: Air-dry the shoes

Keep the shoes for air-drying. It will take roughly 30-40 minutes if you have correctly dried the shoes with a cloth. Otherwise, it can take up to 24 hours for drying.


Step 6: Final brush-up

Once your shoe is completely dried, take a dry suede brush and brush it all over your shoes. It will remove any hidden dirt or soil. And will raise the bristles of the fiber.

Step 7: Usage of stain-repellent spray


After step 5, your shoes will already look brand new. Furthermore, to stop future stains use stain-repellent spray on the shoe.

These sprays protect the shoes from water and dirt. Spray from at least 1 foot away, so that the protection is evenly distributed all over the shoes instead being concentrated in small areas of your shoes. It may create dark spots on the shoes if you spray the repellant on a particular place for long, so be cautious.

Check the label/maker’s instruction

Always check the manufacturer’s label of your shoes before cleaning them; if there are instructions given on how to make your faux suede dirt-free, follow that directive because different faux suede makers suggest other cleaning methods.

If there is no direction given, follow the techniques mentioned above and make your shoes look new again.

Personal Experience Of Cleaning Faux Suede Heels

I own a pair of faux suede heel; after a disastrous fall in the mud, my faux suede heel was utterly covered in dry soil. I tried a trick which smashingly did a great job removing the specks of dirt from the heel and making it new again. The thing I used was a makeup removing wipe/baby wipe.

The first thing I did, I took a tissue paper and tried to remove the dirt as much as possible. Then gently wipe the mud with the makeup remover pads. But this technique will not work for obstinate stains instead on easy removing stains.

Girls who wear faux suede heels can try this method.

Check out our epic guide on how to Stretch Suede Shoes.

How To Protect Faux Suede?

Rather than deep cleaning the shoes, try to brush the shoes once a week, whether dirty or not, from keeping the dirt settling in. Proper maintenance and taking care of your shoes will increase its longevity.

If you can’t clean your shoes weekly, try to invest in a good waterproofing spray. It helps to repel water and prevent marks and dirt from settling.clean-faux-suede-shoes

Precautions While Wiping Faux Suede

  • Always do a patch test before spraying repellent spray or using the cleanser.
  • Use a limited amount of cleaner or spray; excessive usage can damage the shoe fabric and change its color.
  • Be very gentle while brushing the shoe (you don’t want to damage your shoe’s material, right!)
  • When using repellent sprays, cover the ornamentation and clasp in the shoe. Otherwise, you will end up destroying your
  • Wear gloves and a facemask when waterproofing the shoes so that you don’t inhale the chemicals.
  • Suede does have a sort of autumnal feeling to it, but you can also pair them up with a casual chinos in any other season. However, the only season when suede is unwise to wear is the rainy season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is faux suede waterproof?

Answer: Most of the time, faux suede is waterproof, but not all of them repel water. You can use waterproofing spray to your suede shoes following the method I have mentioned earlier.

Question: How do you get scuffs out of faux suede shoes?

Answer: You can easily get scuff marks by walking on a muddy road. First of all,  brush the shoes with a suede brush. You can use an eraser over the spots to remove the scuff and brush again to lift the fibers.

Question: Can you fix faux suede after it gets wet?

Answer: Put the suede somewhere dry, but don’t leave them next to a heater; excess heat can damage the shoe fabric. If your shoes are thoroughly soaked in water, wrap them with tissue paper, this makes sure your shoes don’t shrink or change the shape as they dry.

Question: What household item cleans suede shoes?

Answer: Take a piece of cloth, add a little white vinegar and wipe the stained area in gentle strokes. Air-dry the shoes to let the vinegar get dried up. After that, to remove the stains brush it with a suede brush in a circular motion. By any chance, if chewing gum gets stuck onto your suede shoes, keep the shoes in the freezer.

Question: Do faux suede shoes stretch?

Answer:  A new pair of shoes should feel very tight-fitting around your feet or your ankle. Over time, faux suede stretches out slightly. After this point, the shoes will still have a few years of life in them and will continue to shape themselves as your feet shape.

Question: Does water stain suede shoes?

Answer: Water can change the color of suede. However, if the water is applied correctly this can also remove those marks. To soak up the excess water from the

suede, use a dry cloth or sponge. Gently pat the leather until it soaks up all the water and makes it dry.


Cleaning faux suede shoes is not a challenging task to do. All that faux suede need is a bit of care and proper maintenance. This article contains all the information that is required in order to clean your faux suede shoes. Just follow these steps, and your shoes will look brand new again.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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