Suede shoe cleaning hack

Had a breakthrough moment this weekend 6 over the years I’ve dealt with all sorts of stains on suede shoes with varying treatments and degrees of success from suede shampoo to scraping the pile with a Swann Morton surgical scalpel. However this time nothing had worked on a prominent dark oily tarry blob on a much loved, fifteen year old, pair of light taupe, narrow-toed Oxfords. But inspiration did come - just don’t know why it didn’t arrive many years earlier - a few gentle passes with the 120 grain sanding pad on a multitool. Incroyable !

Shoes now seem good for another fifteen years - just hope their owner is too…

Maybe this might prompt a few more simple living hacks…

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We find magic sponges work pretty well. Just don’t breath while doing it, or wear a mask.

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I’d tried that, also acetone and rigid vinyl screen printing thinners too, but in the end just had to get brutal…

But are the blue :slightly_smiling_face:

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My blue suede loafers are fine thanks -they haven’t been stepped on…


I find that volcanic stone rubber thingy works well and I can control how much pressure and for how long. (Also good for removing calcium deposits on ceramic without scratching :slightly_smiling_face:).

Perhaps this is what Jane mentioned, the “magic sponge”?

Very pleased to read this my hush puppies which I have kept for 40 years will now hopefully have a new lease of life.

I have 2 suede shoe issues. First are my cute pink snaeakers / trainers that are very stained. What are my best optiins? to clean ?

Second are some brown mid-calf boots. They are not dirty but look a bit worn and the colour a bit faded. Any ideas to peej them up?

I have an issue with one of my big toe nails that has meant I can wear very few shoes at the moment :sob:,including my lovely new knee high Kickers :sob:. Hence my need to smarten up shoes which have been home shoes!

you can re- dye suede, best to same colour, and it comes up a treat. Sometimes even if it was filthy or a bit worn, though less likely if it was a light colour. Meltonian used to do pots of suede dye in the UK, they had a spatula on the lid inside (John Lewis a likely source).

For all shoe colouring consider masking tape on edging and heels and if a brush is not provided use a very small brush especially round the edges. Do the colouring with the shoe upside down if you can (I used to dye a lot of silk shoes - upside down and small toothbrush).

Shoe shops sell suede cleaners, a spray ISTR, but not all are good. There’s one Bally used to sell, I think a Swiss brand that started with W, think it was Woly, that was meant to be OK.

Casino has a magic sponge branded Mr Propre as well as their own they do differ as to whether any good, never tried on suede though.

Talcum powder is an old tip for suede. IME - “don’t”

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Generally, I prefer the aerosol suede cleaners that spray foam rather than liquid onto damp suede, currently using Collonil which works well, but the can’s on the small side. I then scrub the foam in with a rubber brush, let it dry and finish off with a wire suede brush.

Apropos using a multi-tool sander, I was already using it for its intended purpose when I had the shoe idea, on reflection one would do even better with a smaller Dremel tool sanding tip - finer and more adaptable etc.

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Thanks @KarenLot and @DrMarkH I’ll have a play. The boots may look OK once fluffed up / cleaned if not I’ll try to get some dye.