Can I Polish Suede Shoes? The Right Way To Care For Suede

If you know anything about Suede boots, you know that these move in and out of the trend from year to year. Since now is the ripe time for your suede shoes to make a comeback, you will need to think about one essential aspect of wearing suede shoes: caring for them.

Caring for your suede essentially goes to ask: can I polish suede shoes? Not always. Polishing suede can be a hard job

Because if your shoes have it wrong, you could end up ruining your favorite pair of suede boots. With a few of the following questions, you’ll learn all that there is to know about polishing suede boots.

Can I Polish Suede Shoes? The Right Way To Care For Suede

Can I Polish Suede Shoes?

Yes. It is possible to polish suede. If you want to jazz up old suede and you want to restore their old luster, you can use polish on them. 

However, there are a few polish-related things you need to keep in mind before you justify the decision. Because sometimes there are better ways of restoring older suede with a proper cleaning process than putting polish on them.

How to Clean White Suede Shoes

Cleaning your white suede shoes is pretty easy. You need to only gather everyday household items without any fancy equipment. All you’ll need is a stationary eraser, white vinegar, and a flannel cloth. Although not fancy, some of you may not have a suede brush and some suede protectors at home. In that case, you’ll need to buy these two.

With just 4 steps, you can quickly and effectively clean your white suede boots/heels or sandals:

Step 1: Dirt Removal

Using a clean nail brush or your old toothbrush that is lying in the kitchen, you can start the first step. Start with light strokes and brush the surface of the shoe. 

This is going to remove loose particles and grit stuck on the upper surface of your suede shoes. When you are brushing, remember to go in the same direction as the suede sits.

For scuff marks, pressurize the brush back and forth swiftly to raise the flat suede fibers. If the dirt on the shoe is wet instead of being dry, you will need to wipe off the dirt and let it dry so that you can do the brushing technique. 

If you insist on removing the wet dirt with a brush, it may further push the dirt into the suede, making it tougher to remove.

Step 2: Mark Removal

Using an eraser or suede rubber, you can perform a more rigorous version of clearing up the scuff marks on the shoe. You have to use the back and forth pressure of the brush above, only with rubber. 

This is going to dislodge the surplus dirt particles. However, you don’t need to be too forceful, as it may ruin the suede.

Step 3: Tougher Stain Removal

In this step, you let go of all the hard objects and work with liquid ones instead. You can use liquids such as white vinegar and/or rubbing alcohol. With their acidic compositions, you can expedite the process of tough stain removals.

For this, mix vinegar and alcohol in a small bowl, dip the corner of your flannel cloth without drenching and mass it onto the suede shoe in back and forth movements. You will only dampen the suede and not completely soak it.

Now keep working the mark and reapply the vinegar/alcohol mixture where you need it. With repetition and patience, you will get rid of both the smells and the stain.

If you see altering color on the fabric, don’t be alarmed. It’s only for the dampening. The suede shoes will return to their original color once the acids have evaporated.

Step 4: Finish With A Suede Protector

Finish the entire restoring process with a suede protector. But remember, you may accidentally use the wrong protector and see permanent color changes on your shoes. So always use a protector with the highest ratings and reviews. 

How to Make Suede Smooth Again

Suede has always felt luxurious. But if yours has hardened in some way and needs to be made smooth again, you should first send it to the dry cleaners to clean it or do it yourself. Then do the following steps:

  1. You will have to take a suede brush. Using this, you will brush the suede in different directions. This is the opposite of what you did in the Dirt Removal step. This opposite-direction brushing will lift the nap and as a result, help the material of the shoe get softer.
  2. Now, grab some spray conditioner made for suede (not leather), spritz it over the coat of the shoe in an even layer.
  3. In this step, you can also use your hairdryer to set the spray.
  4. Lastly, brush the coat for one final time and you will have a soft suede pair back!

Now, if you want to restore the Suede Texture, you can also attempt the following steps:

  1. Remove the shoelaces from your suede shoes, if they have any. Now, place shoe trees inside your pair of shoes.
  2. Take a suede brush with soft bristles, and use it to brush the fabric in both directions of the naps.
  3. On the last go, use your brush to only go in the same direction as the nap with the fibers pointing the same way, and you will end up with a better texture than before.

The third way is to clean up the stains on your shoes. Often, this makes the shoe as good as before. 

  1. For this, you need to dab the vinegar/alcohol mixture on the stain with a flannel.
  2. Let it dry and then use a home eraser or suede rubber to clear up the stain.
  3. In the last step, use some fine-grit sandpaper and gently polish the stain away for smoother shoes than before.

How to Make Suede Shiny

In order to make your suede shiny, you need not do much. The first step is to ensure that the suede shoe is entirely clean. You can follow the cleaning steps above for this purpose. Once you have cleaned the shoe, you can apply your polish. 

Use suede-friendly polish and remember not to go too thick. Let the polish dry out entirely by keeping it at room temperature for a day and after that, buff the shoe with a brush.

Make sure not to be too hard as it could ruin them.

How to Make Suede Shiny

Can I Dye Suede Shoes with Shoe Polish?

Yes, suede shoes can be dyed with shoe polish. But at-home dying suede shoes don’t always give good results. So you should have them dyed professionally.

Can I Use Shoe Polish on Suede?

You should not be using liquid shoe polish on your suede shoes. As this material is very porous, it tends to soak up the liquid quickly, causing the suede to adhere strongly to the potential liquid. It may boil you down to not being able to use the shoes at all.

However, if you still want to use liquid shoe polish on your favorite suede shoes, you should always go for one with a darker color. Even if you are using a primer coat, a darker polish of suede should always be the first choice than lighter polishes.

And if you want to completely refurbish your old suede shoes, your best bet would be to just do the cleaning steps and then the rest of the other hard work that is involved in the process.

Jimmy Lewis

Jimmy Lewis, a travel enthusiast with professionalism and a hobbyist who goes around the world, leads an enjoyable life with remarkable comfort. I’m one of the men with expertise in traveling, hiking, trekking, and jumping over 5 years of experience in living a remarkable life to be happy! That’s what, about shoes, I built an amazing website named to express my gathering knowledge over decades. Learn more about my team

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