Remove Shoe Polish From Suede Shoes : Simplest Ways [2024]

Written By Mahia

If you have landed on this article, then you must be searching for the easiest ways to remove shoe polish from suede shoes.

Let me help you with the easy yet effective solutions that will help you take off the shoe polish from your suede shoes.

I guarantee this article will help you every bit in removing shoe polish from your suede shoes because all these solutions are self-tested, and the result blew me.

So keep reading to find out more about shoe polish and its uses on suede

How To Take Off Shoe Polish From Suede Shoes?

A few days back, when I was getting ready for my nephew’s birthday, I took out my Madewell suede shoes which I thought the napped and matty look of the shoes would complement my semi-formal outfit.

However, the shoes looked a bit faded, and to give them a more attractive and fresh look; I slightly run the shoe polish on the shoes. But little did I know the shoe polish will ruin my $220 Madewell suede shoes.

I didn’t want to discard my suede shoes, so I did thorough research on the internet to remove shoe polish from the suede. After seeing hundreds of recipes, I tried several of them and find a few of them very useful.

I have explained few effective methods below that will help you in taking off the shoe polish from your suede shoes quickly:

Firstly, get in mind that suede fabric is entirely different from leather. For instance, when removing the polish from leather, it is advised to take off the polish as soon as possible; the more the stain stays on the shoes, the harder it will get to remove.

But in the case of suede shoes, the process is the opposite. If you want to remove the polish, you have to wait until the polish dries completely. Also, if you rub or brush the shoes while the polish is wet, you will ultimately make a big mess of it.

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

Method 1: Use Suede Eraseruse-suede-eraser

Things you’ll need:

  • Paper Towel
  • Hairdryer(optional)
  • Suede Eraser
  • Suede Brush

Insert a shoe tree into the shoes; this will keep the shoes’ shape intact and make the shoes more comfortable to work with. Also, make sure the polish is not wet.

Take clean paper towels and make a round ball of them. Rub gently onto the shoes to remove the excess polish. Keep blotting it lightly until you see there is no residue of polish in the paper ball.

Get this in mind, the drier the polish gets, the easier it will be to remove. So to speed up the process, you can blow some hot air using a hairdryer.

Invest in a good suede eraser and gently rub on the dry polish. With the suede, the eraser takes off the polish as much as you can.

With a suede brush, start brushing the polish off; this step is a game-changer and a bit time-consuming. Brushing thoroughly will remove all the polish from the shoes.

Once you see there is no stain of polish, your shoes are ready to wear.

Method 2: Wash The Shoes(Not Appropriate For All Suede Shoes)

Things you’ll need:

  • Detergent
  • Bucket of water
  • Suede brush
  • Cloth

This method is not a bit risky and sometimes can damage your suede shoes. Follow this method only if method one doesn’t work.

Fill a bowl with warm water, add a mild detergent to it, place the suede shoes in it.

Take a clean cloth and gently rub the polish off. Do not keep the shoes in the water for more than 10 minutes.

Take off the shoes from the water and let them sit for drying.

Once the shoes are thoroughly dried, brush the shoes with a suede brush to remove the remaining polish.

You may also like to read: Can You Use Suede and Nubuck Protector on UGGs.

Method 3: Use Saddle Soapuse-saddle-soap

Saddle soap is an excellent option to remove polish from suede shoes. Additionally, saddle soap also conditions the shoe fabric.

Fill the inside of the shoes with newspaper or insert a shoe tree so that shoes hold their shape.

Take a damp clean cloth and gently wipe the shoes; this will remove the excess dirt and moist the shoes a bit so that saddle soap can work properly on them.

Take another cloth and wet it with warm water. Wrap the fabric around your fingers and pick up some saddle soap on the material.

In a circular motion, rub the soap all over the shoes.

Once the soap penetrates through the shoe polish and into the shoes, with a clean cloth wipe off the residues.

Now let the shoe air dry for a couple of hours, and you are good to wear the shoes.

Can You Use Shoe Polish On Suede Shoes?

No, you cannot use shoe polish on suede shoes. Unlike leather, shoe polish doesn’t give a shine to suede; instead, shoe polish changes the suede color and ruins the fabric.

Suede has napped fibers, so the process and the products for polishing them are different from leather shoes. However, if you have unknowingly used shoe polish on suede, you can quickly fix them following my above methods.

The best way to polish and enhance the matte look of suede shoes is to brush them regularly with a natural bristle suede brush. But make sure your suede shoes are completely dry before you brush them.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Shoe Polish On Suede Shoes?

Suede is a dry and absorbent fabric, whereas shoe polish is entirely made of wax; these two actually don’t go with each other. Any liquid product not only stains the suede but sometimes damages the material ultimately.

When you apply the shoe polish on suede shoes, suede absorbs all the goodness of the polish, like- wax, glycol, lanolin, colorants, and ultimately leave you with a stained shoe. And removing these stains is definitely a pain in the back if you don’t follow the exact techniques.

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

Can You Use Leather Dye On Suede Shoes?

No, you shouldn’t use leather dye on suede shoes. Leather dyes are made explicitly to dye leather fabric, so when applied to suede, it acts differently, and the outcome is not that satisfying.

There are various types and brands of suede dye available in the market which will dye your suede shoes with a solid color and shine. Among all Fiebing’s black suede dye, Angelus suede dye, and Tarrago suede and Nubuck dye are the best suede dyes.

Also, read Does Liquid Shoe Polish Expire Or Not.


Suede shoes have an excellent napped and matty look, so why ruin its beauty using shoe polish. It is always better to have a thorough knowledge before applying something on shoes, especially on suede shoes.

But even if you accidentally use shoe polish on your suede shoes, then this article will be definitely handy for you. However, if you are not confident enough to remove the shoe polish from your suede shoes, immediately go to the cobbler; the professional hands will do the magic on your shoes.

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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