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I have a pair of suede boots which seem to get dirty on a weekly basis and I typically just wipe them down with warm water and a sponge, however the wiping down seems to be wearing the material down.

Is there something around the house I could use to protect them from spills and dirt or at least clean them more easily?

  • Hello and Welcome to Life Hacks Stack Exchange! I like your question as a lot of us probably have a similar product. However I think that by adding what the boots get dirty with would help raise the answer quality. Thank You for your contribution and I hope to see you around Life Hacks Stack Exchange :) – Pobrecita Jan 24 '15 at 21:23
  • Hello Asa! Have you tried spraying Suede Protectant spray on the boots after cleaning them. This spray is suppose to protect against stains. – Pobrecita Jan 25 '15 at 18:30
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For my suede shoes I use a green scouring pad. They are usually available in a pack of six or so from the kitchen department at the store. They are non abrasive. If necessary, course sandpaper can be used on matted areas with an extremely light touch. Suede brushes are available, too, but I prefer the green scouring pad mentioned.

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I'm not sure if you would have it around the house, but there are commercial products available to clean and protect suede. This will help prevent it from getting dirty in the future.

Since they are already dirty, you can get most of the dirt off using warm water mixed with white vinegar and gently brush off the dirt using a soft bristled brush.

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I have suede shoes also and like to keep them clean, I have looked many times but I have never been able to find anything other than commercial protection products which are actually very good and can keep spills and liquids off keeping them dry and clean. Something that I personally use is Crep Protect which is fairly cheap and very effective - I run out of it quite quickly those which is a downside.

In regards to cleaning them, you should really steer clear of using water on the suede as this can damage them.

In the event that you spill something on the material, dry it quickly with a dry cloth and then apply talcum powder or cornmeal to the area and you will have to allow it to set overnight - this will draw out the remaining liquid and you can easily rub off the remaining powder with a soft bristled brush or cloth.

You can also treat dried on stains with a small amount of vinegar and a cloth and just rub lightly and it should gradually work the stain out.

Storage is quite a key thing as well with suede shoes and there are a couple of things that you should try to keep in mind:

  • Let the suede breath
    With other shoes you can normally store them in a box and in a cupboard, but with suede you should keep them out of tightly enclosed spaces. You can even put them inside a cotton pillow case if you're storing them in a closet and this will promote air circulation while also keeping them dust free.
  • Keep in a cool dry place
    Avoid leaving them exposed to direct sunlight while not in use as this will cause fading making them look old and worn out.

You can easily bring the suede back to life should it begin to look tired and flattened - you can scrub it with a clean toothbrush or a terrycloth towel. If they're looking really bad you can hold them over steam from a boiling kettle for a few seconds and then give them a scrubbing.

If all else fails you can take them to a professional cleaners to give them the treatment they deserve.

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