Can you put suede shoes in the washer?

No. This is not recommended since suede is a delicate material. Exposing such shoes to lots of water can make them lose their softness. It can also discolor some suede shoes and make the material stiffer. Instead of the washer, you should consider cleaning suede shoes by hand.

Suede shoes are trendy since they have an elegant appearance. The type of leather used to make such shoes makes them stand out. If you like wearing such shoes regularly, they are prone to getting dirty. Learning how to clean suede shoes properly can help you extend their lifespan. Here is everything you should know regarding how to take care of suede shoes.

Washing suede shoes in a washer

We mentioned that you should not wash suede shoes in a washer. This is because exposing the shoes to water can damage the material and degrade the shoes. If you, however, still want to take the risk, ensure that you use the right detergent. Look for a detergent that is explicitly made for suede. Do not use a fabric softener.

You should also set the washer to a low temperature and slow spin setting. Choosing the gentlest setting can minimize the risk of damaging the shoes. If the washer features a hand wash setting, you should use it. Wrap the suede shoes in a towel so that it can help in absorbing lots of moisture. When they are clean, air dry them rather than using a dryer.

The right way to clean suede shoes

Suede shoes are made from a specific leather that is physically or chemically abraded to give them a napped finish. Though they are quite classy, such shoes are not that easy to care for. If the suede material of your shoes is synthetic, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Since cleaning suede shoes in a washer is not advisable, here is what you should do when these shoes get dirty.

Allow them to dry

If, for instance, your favorite suede shoes have stubborn stains from coffee or are a bit muddy, you should give them enough time to dry. When suede shoes are completely dry, they become easy to clean.

Brush them

Once the suede shoes are completely dry, you can now brush them. The market offers brushes that are specifically designed for suede shoes. Consider getting one to minimize the risk of damaging such shoes as you try to clean them. If you don’t get such brushes, you can still clean suede shoes using a soft brush such as an old toothbrush. Brush suede shoes lightly, and don’t scrub them too hard.

Consider using a rubber

If the suede shoes have some stubborn stains, you can use a rubber to clean them. You can either use suede rubbers or regular rubber. Ensure that the rubber you use to clean the shoes is clean. If you choose to use a rubber, you should apply the correct amount of pressure. Do not use too much force on the suede shoes. As you do this, keep on checking the progress to confirm that you are not damaging the delicate material of the shoes.

Use white vinegar

Rather than using water to clean suede shoes, you can use white vinegar. Pour some drops of white vinegar on a clean cloth, then gently rub it on the suede shoes. Though you should not expose suede shoes to lots of liquid, white vinegar is great for cleaning these shoes since it helps in breaking down dirt particles on the surface. Do not use too much white vinegar to clean suede shoes. During cleaning, you might notice a change of color on the shoes, but the original color will return when the suede shoes dry.

Use hot steam

If the methods above do not give you the expected finish, you should consider using hot steam to clean suede shoes. Hot steam can be effective at loosening stains on suede shoes. For this, consider using a kettle or handheld steamer. It is a simple cleaning technique since you only need to put the suede shoes over the steam. Use a soft brush to eliminate stains after exposing the shoes to hot steam. Be careful with this since the shoe should not get overly wet.

Use water and soap

This can be tricky since suede shoes should not be exposed to excess water. If you still want to use the technique, use minimum water and mix it with soap. Ensure that you only use the suds rather than the water itself to clean the suede shoes.

Try using baking soda

If, for instance, you spill some tea on suede shoes, you can clean them using baking soda. This substance is highly absorbent and does an excellent job of lifting liquid stains from such shoes. Once you use baking soda on the shoes, leave them overnight and confirm whether it worked after this time.

Get a suede cleaner

Most stores sell suede shoes also market suede cleaners. Though these may not remove dirt well on the shoes, they can help in lifting stains from suede shoes. Using suede cleaners can also help restore the original appearance of such shoes.

A summary of how to clean suede shoes

Allow them to dry
Dry suede shoes are easy to clean
Brush them
A brush can get rid of mud on the shoes
Rub them
This can eliminate stubborn stains on the shoes
Use white vinegar
It lifts dirt particles from suede shoes
Hot steam
Can loosen up stubborn stains
Try baking soda
Absorbs stains from suede shoes


The material used to make suede shoes is thinner and softer than that of full grain leather. If you have a couple of suede shoes, you should avoid cleaning them through a washer since this can damage the delicate suede. Consider some of the alternative methods that we have discussed.


What is a suede protector spray?

This is a product that can give suede shoes a waterproofing coating. It prevents suede shoes from staining easily.

Which is better, cleaning suede shoes in a washer or by hand?

Hand washing is the most recommended method.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.