How to Clean Suede Vans? (The Correct Way)

Have you bought your new pair of suede vans and looking for ways to clean them correctly?

The texture of the suede material is so unique that it makes these vans so appealing. However, it is so delicate that it gets damaged with little carelessness. Thus, this footwear becomes one of the hardest shoes to clean.

In fact, every suede shoe cleaner will damage the material if not used properly, so these shoes should be treated gently. Regular maintenance is essential to keep them in good condition for a long time.

In this article, we will discuss how to clean suede vans correctly.

how to clean suede vans

How to Clean Suede Vans?

  1. Scrub the suede vans with a brush.
  2. Rub with a dampened cloth using water and vinegar solution.
  3. Stuff rags or papers into the shoes and keep them air-dry.
  4. Apply suede brush again to restore the softness of the material.

Tools and Materials Required

The following things will be required to clean your suede vans:

  • Suede brush
  • Suede spray
  • Suede cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Cloths
  • Towels
  • Bowl
  • Papers
  • Toothbrush
  • Dish soap
  • Magic eraser
  • Sneakers wipes
  • Cornstarch

Ways to Clean Suede Shoes

Suede vans are so pricey but delicate that a little harshness can damage them. They can last for years if properly cared for.

I will discuss different methods to clean the suede vans, but I use vinegar to clean my shoes. Vinegar is a natural but powerful material that cleans stains easily without damaging the surface.

1. Vinegar Suede Cleaner

Vinegar is available in every home, so you will not spend money buying a cleaner to clean your shoes; thus, it saves you a lot.

  • Grab a soft-bristled suede brush and rub it thoroughly on all areas of the shoes so that all the loose grime and dirt can be removed from the surface.
  • In a bowl, pour vinegar and water in equal amounts and mix them to make a solution.
  • Dip a cloth in this solution and wring it thoroughly so that there is no more dripping and the cloth is only wet. This is very important to use a damp cloth on suede because of its delicateness.
  • Apply this cloth to all the external areas of the vans properly. Thoroughly rub the stained areas; this way, all the hardened dirt or dry stains will be removed.
  • Rub another damp cloth on the white rubber sole around the shoes to sparkle it.
  • Stuff the internal side of the vans with papers or clothes; this will keep them in their original shape.
  • Let them air dry, but make sure they are not exposed to sunlight.
  • When completely dry, scrub their external surface again with a suede brush. This way, the original softness and texture of the suede will return.

2. Deep Cleaning Suede Boot Cleaner

While skateboarding, walking in muddy areas, or sometimes drinking wine or any drink, spills fall on your suede vans, making your footwear too dirty. Some stains become so stubborn that cleaning them with vinegar doesn’t work.

As we know, suede material is delicate, so these shoes are not machine washable. You can choose any cleaner specially designed for suede material deep cleaning.

  • Scrub your shoes with a suede brush to remove dirt and dust as much as possible. Make sure you have scrubbed the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Grab a small toothbrush and pour some suede cleaner on it. Apply it on all the stubborn stains and other areas of suede thoroughly.
  • Continue this step until all the dirt and stains go away.
  • Now, take a small container and pour water into it. Mix a few drops of dish soap and clean the white color rubber sole and bottoms with this solution. Use a toothbrush in this step to scrub these places.
  • Next, stuff the insides of the shoes with some paper and keep them in the air to dry.
  • To bring back the softness of the suede, rub the brush on the surface after drying.
  • If the white rubber around the vans still looks dirty, you can clean it with a magic eraser.
  • Some imperfections and spots don’t go with anything. To make the surface clear, you can use sneakers wipes on them. However, it is recommended to read the instructions on its label before applying them to your shoes.

3. Use Suede Spray for Protection

When you purchase so expensive footwear, it becomes necessary to protect them so they can last for a long time.

This spray prevents the water from entering the suede material; thus, the stains don’t find their way to set on the shoe surface. It reduces the use of cleaning them every time.

  • Gently apply the protector spray on all the suede surfaces of the vans. Make sure the spray is not applied on the white rubber and other parts of the footwear.
  • Next, let them air dry for 24 hours. It is important to give them a proper time to dry before wearing them.

4. Washing Suede Shoes

The parts of the suede vans are fixed with some adhesives, so washing is not recommended for this footwear because the glue will loosen up. Even then, if you want to wash them, follow the guidelines below.

  • Never wash suede vans in a washing machine.
  • Soaking in water will also damage them, so avoid doing this.
  • Never wash hot water due to extreme dirt if you want to wash them. Instead, use cold water and immediately dry them with paper towels or clothes and stuff them with paper or rags. Now, keep them to air dry.
  • If there are greasy stains, apply cornstarch on the affected area and leave them the whole night. A carpet cleaner can also be used to remove tough stains from suede.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have given answers to the most frequently asked questions that people often ask.

Is This Possible to Clean Suede Vans without Using Suede Cleaner?

Without using suede cleaner, you can make your suede vans like new ones:

  • Clean their surface using a suede brush.
  • Wipe all the external sides using a dampened cloth using a vinegar solution.
  • Stuff them with papers or clothes and let them air dry.

Does Vinegar Clean Suede Vans?

Vinegar is very effective in cleaning suede vans; it is an easily accessible cleaner. While cleaning suede, make sure the area is not fully wet. Use a dampened cloth with vinegar solution to wipe the surfaces only.

Are Suede Vans Machine Washable?

Machine washing will extremely damage suede vans because this material is so delicate. The parts of this footwear are connected through glue which gets loosened due to machine washing or soaking.

Using a pillowcase or laundry bag to wash them also do nothing to protect vans. Thus, it is better to clean them with a dampened cloth only.

Can You Use Baking Soda to Clean Suede Vans?

Baking soda is very effective in removing stains from suede material. Pour this powder into the effective area and leave it for 20 minutes. Now, remove it using a suede brush. You can also use a toothbrush instead.

Which Cleaner Is the Best to Clean Suede?

Vinegar and rubbing alcohol are the best cleaners that remove stains from suede material without damaging them. Apply them on the surface of your vans with the help of a cloth.

You can also purchase cleaners from the market, but make sure they are specially made for suede material cleaning because it will damage if you treat them with harsh chemicals.

Final Thoughts

Accessories made from suede material require attention and care while cleaning because this is so delicate. Washing your suede vans in a machine or soaking in hot water extremely damages them so I’ll not recommend it.

Only rubbing with a suede brush and wiping with a dampened cloth will clean them. It is better to use a protector spray after cleaning them because it will not allow entering any dirt or dust on the shoe surface. If you try hard and the stains are so stubborn that they don’t go, you can take help from any professional.

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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