How to Clean Dirt Off Suede Shoes? – An In Depth Guide

Wondering how to clean your stained and dirty suede shoes? Or maybe you have stepped on the mud and want to clean them immediately.

Suedes are versatile and classy shoes that get dirty easily if you wear them often. These shoes are built with the underside skin of the animals. The bonus point is that you can clean them immediately using the right tools.

In this guide, I will disclose some simplest and fastest steps to remove dirt from suede shoes. Be with me to know every little detail about cleaning suede shoes.

Let’s move!

how to clean dirt off suede shoes

How to Clean Dirt Off Suede Shoes?

  • Remove the grime from the shoe surface using the suede brush
  • Wipe the remaining marks with the rubber
  • Apply rubbing alcohol or white vinegar solution to remove the leftover stains
  • Apply baking soda to wipe the grease or oil stains
  • Use a suede protector to give the finishing look

Things Required

Before cleaning, you must gather the following items and arrange them for your ease. All these materials are easily available in the nearby store or a shoe shop.

  • A suede brush or nail bush
  • Eraser or rubber
  • White vinegar
  • Cloth or flannel
  • Baking soda

Steps to Clean Dirt Off Suede Shoes

I used household items to wipe the caked-on dirt when I cleaned my shoes. The reason is that some cleaning agents are harsh, so there is a risk of damage. Also, you don’t have to spend much money on shoe cleaning if you take proper care of them.

Follow the given steps to avoid any mistakes. Just stick to one guide, and don’t intermix the steps.

Step 1. Remove Additional Dirt and Grime from The Shoe Surface

I used the suede brush to remove the loose dirt particles. You can use an old toothbrush or nail brush if you don’t have a brush. Both of them work well for scrubbing.

Keep in mind to scrub in the forward direction. Furthermore, I applied more pressure on the stubborn stains and mud spots. Try to brush in back and forth direction, so this will help lift the fibers of suede shoes.

Note:  if the mud on the shoes is still wet, dry it before using the brush. If you brush shoes when wet, then instead of removing dirt, the brush keeps the grime deeper and more difficult to remove.

Step 2. Use the Rubber to Wipe the Remaining Stubborn Marks

Use a pencil case if you don’t have the suede brush; this step effectively removes the scuff marks and stains. It is an easy approach to removing the mud.

All I did was move the rubber forward and backward by applying constant pressure. I noticed that all the surplus particles were removed.

If you think the rubber is not cleaning, don’t force it. The reason is that large pressure can ruin the suede material.

Step 3. Use White Vinegar or Rubbing Alcohol for Tough Stains

Rubbing alcohol and white vinegar work amazingly in breaking down the clumps of mud and dirt, which is essential for cleaning.

So I dipped the cloth in the white vinegar solution and applied it to the stubborn stains. Avoid drenching the entire piece of cloth in the solution and move in forward and backward motion.

The main purpose is to dampen the fabric, not fully soak it. Afterward, I kept scrubbing to remove all the dirt on my shoes. The smell of both suede stain removers will fade away with time.

Step 4. Remove Grease or Oil Stains

Before applying baking soda to grease stains, I did a patch test on my shoes. Then I sprinkled a little baking soda and blotted off the additional stains.

After leaving my shoes for one night, I used a suede cleaning brush to wipe the baking soda away. Repeat the procedure if you are not satisfied with the results.

Step 5. Finish with A Suede Protector

It is a smart idea to apply suede protector spray on shoes. Make sure to buy the spray that is specially designed for suede shoes. To preserve my shoes for a longer time, I applied an additional layer of suede spray.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What Can You Not Clean Suede With?

You cannot clean suede shoes with water because it ruins the shoe material. That’s why it is appropriate to use alcohol or vinegar for suede shoe cleaning. Dip the clean fabric in vinegar solution and start rubbing it until all the tough stains are gone.

Can Magic Eraser Clean Suede?

Magic eraser is effective in removing visible stains and does its work well. Without it, cleaning the dirt from suede shoes is tricky, so apply a magic eraser.

Does Dish Soap Clean Suede?

A generous amount of dish soap is required to remove the grease stains. Leave the shoes for ten minutes to sit the soap and wipe it away using a moist cloth. I suggest not soaking shoes in the water.

How to Clean Suede Shoes Without Suede Cleaner?

The most suitable way to clean suede shoes is to use alcohol or white vinegar instead of suede shoe dirt cleaner.

You just have to dab the cotton ball in the rubbing alcohol and rub it to remove all the grime. When it is all cleaned,  use suede protector spray to prevent damage in the future.

Final Thoughts

Remove dirt from suede shoes by following the above steps. Use dish soap if there are salt stains instead of baking powder. Never place your shoes in direct sunlight to dry because it can harden the material of suede shoes.

Apply peroxide to remove the blood stains from suede shoes using a cotton ball. I hope this guide assisted you in cleaning suede shoes, and let me know if there is anything else regarding it.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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