How to clean suede and nubuck shoes?

How to clean suede and nubuck shoes? 02 Dec 2017

“Well, it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and now go, cat, go. But don't you step on my blue suede shoes!” It seems that Elvis immediately knew that wearing delicate footwear such as suede shoes might not be a great idea. Nubuck and suede footwear  is very popular among men and women, because they look luxurious and are perfect for any occasion(especially in autumn and winter). However, these types of shoes get stains and scuffs easily. So how do you take care of these delicate shoes?


But first, what’s the difference between suede and nubuck leather?

Suede Or Nubuck Shoes

There isn’t much visible difference between suede and nubuck leather. Suede leather has been sanded on the inner layer of the skin, while nubuck is sanded on the exterior skin of the animal.

Since the outside layer of a skin is tougher, nubuck tends to be more durable. Yet both  materials need  more maintenance  compared to shoes made of any other material to avoid stains and scuffs.  

What do you need to clean suede and nubuck shoes?

 At MISTER MINIT we offer a lot of products to protect your suede and nubuck shoes from most dirt. Depending on the substance that caused the stain , this is what you will need:

  • Nubuck and suede brush or self-clean sponge to remove easy external dirt
  • Magic gum for dry cleaning the shoe exterior and removing stubborn stains
  • Combi foam to wash off water and salt stains
  • Nubuck and suede protector spray to enhance the colour and to protect against rain

How to clean your nubuck or suede shoes

Follow these instructions or watch the video below:

  • Brush gently the dirt of or worn shiny areas on the shoe surface with the brush or self-clean sponge to restore the nap of the suede
  • In case of stubborn stains, clean the surface by rubbing the magic gum gently onto areas to be cleaned and brush out
  • Shake the combi foam and smear it onto the shoe with the nubuck and suede brush
  • Apply water with a soft rag for cleansing
  • Dry off gently by dipping a dry rag onto the shoe to remove most liquid
  • Let the shoe dry for a couple of hours while placing a rag, a kitchen towel or a newspaper into the shoe to absorb water (yet be careful the newspaper ink doesn’t run out)
  • Take the shoe to a well-ventilated area, spray it sparingly and evenly from a 30 cm distance with the nubuck and suede protector spray and let dry
  • Polish the shoe with a soft brush

Tip: every type of leather is different so always test the product beforehand on areas that other people can’t see, such as the back of a strap or the breast of the suede or nubuck heel. 

But remember…

Not everything can be fixed or polished properly. It’s extremely difficult to remove blood stains, oil, beer and paint from suede and nubuck footwear, let alone (salt) water stains from heavy rain. If a stain gets soaked into the leather, chances are that you can’t save your shoes. So make sure you  protect your favourite pair by using a proper nubuck and suede protector spray every three months (especially if it rains a lot). Better to prevent than to treat, right?