How to Clean Suede Shoes With Rubbing Alcohol?

how to clean suede shoes with rubbing alcohol

Suede shoes have been desired for a long time, and still have a long way to go. Even after years from now, these shoes are going to stay in trend and fashion.

Hence the pair of Suede shoes you are going to buy today is going to stay with you for quite a while. Especially if you care well for them, this investment isn’t going to disappoint you.

But is it really easy to care for belongings like shoes? What about those mud splashes, accidental stepping, or dropping? How do you deal with the tough stains?

Ever thought of Rubbing Alcohol? You might need to. Here is all about how Rubbing Alcohol can clean your Suede shoes. Have a look:

What are Suede shoes? An insight into their upkeeping

Suede is a variety of leather made with an animal’s hide underside. The makers actually separate the underside of the animal hide from the top and then rub it to make a velvety nap. The final result comes out as thin, soft, and flowy.

There goes a lot of Dos’ and Don’ts for upkeeping Suede shoes.

Here are what we emphasize:


  • Brush them Regularly in one direction only.
  • Always use a goof Suede protector.
  • When coming in contact with water, use talc on your suedes.
  • Use suede erasers for light and small stains.


  • Never Brush back and forth or in a circular motion.
  • Avoid using water on your suedes.
  • Never get them cleaned by a boot cleaning guy.
  • Avoid storing suedes in a closed space.

How to Clean Suede shoes?

Cleaning Suede leather is different from cleaning the regular leather stuff.

A little irresponsible method or wrong product can ruin your Suede shoes with an irreversible loss.

However, some methods and tips will allow you to clean Suede carefully, without ruining them. Have a look:

Cleaning Suede shoes with Rubbing Alcohol

The idea of using a high concentrative solvent like Rubbing Alcohol on your Suede shoes might fear you but believe us; it is safe.

Especially for heavier stains on Suede, the ideal solution is Rubbing Alcohol.

For a more in-depth step-by-step, read on!

  1. Firstly, take a cap full (or half) of Rubbing Alcohol and pour it onto a white cloth.
  2. Now rub the Alcohol damp cloth onto the stain and then let it sit to dry completely.
  3. Later, fluff the fabric back up using a brush and then brush off the loosened dirt.

Note: Rubbing Alcohol may not work effectively upon stains like turmeric, orange, blueberry, or so. However, it will definitely work miraculously upon dirt, salt, and other common staining agents.

TIP: You can also switch Rubbing Alcohol with White Vinegar, depending upon the availability. Unlike water, both of these solvents won’t stain your suedes.

  • Once you are done removing the stains, continue the process by brushing your suedes. Take a Suede safe brush and fluff the shoe (brush only in one direction). You will end up with clean-looking and lustrous Suede shoes.
  • At last, finish the cleaning process by applying a suede protectant spray. Though such sprays are expensive, investing in them is undoubtedly worth it. They keep the Suede fresh and new and make the future cleaning process a lot easier.

Can You Wash Suede?

Though Suede as a material isn’t meant for cleaning, for your shoes, always go with the manufacturer’s instructions.

A lot of Suede shoes or bags already have been treated with special chemicals.

These chemicals protect the fabric from water and soap damage. Thus, if your manufacturer allows, you can definitely wash your suedes.

Can I use a toothbrush to clean my Suede shoes?

If you do not have a suede brush, but you immediately need to clean your Suede shoes, then go with a soft bristle brush. Also, make sure the toothbrush is clean and dry.

However, because you own a pair of Suede shoes, consider investing in a multi-purpose suede brush as well.  

What to do when Suede shoes and boots become wet?

Water on your Suede shoes: The worst-case scenario is that your shoes will get ruined. However, if you know how to properly care for them, even water won’t make your Suede shoes/boots go bad.

For an in-depth step-by-step, read on!

  • Blot the Suede: As soon as your Suede shoes get wet, take a microfibre towel/ paper towels and blot the Suede. Here, the idea is to soak up more water into the microfibre towel than Suede.
  • Brush the Suede: Well, and good if you won a Suede brush. Though if you don’t take a soft, clean, and dry toothbrush and brush your Suede. Continue the process in one single direction and for a minute or two. 
  • Dry the Suede: Now blow a hand dryer over your wet Suede and continue brushing. The idea here is to revive the nap of the Suede before it dries. Remember, once it dries and hardens, it is difficult to bring suedes in their best condition.
  • Protect the Suede: At last, once your Suede shoes are clean and dry, apply a protectant. There are Several Water and Stain suede protectants in the market that ensures longevity for your shoes. So even the next time you are stuck in the rain for long, your Suede shoes will still stay safe.

TIP: If your Suede has got wet in the rain, remember the sooner you will care for them, the better they will revive. 

Wrapping up…

The above tips on how to clean Suede shoes will come in handy for you during hard times. Though the biggest and most important tip is “Treat your Suede the earliest”.

Remember, once your Suede shoes dry with any stains or watermarks; it will become close to impossible to treat them at home.

At times, even the professional cleaners might not prove helpful for you, at least without running your suedes.  

Concluding that, we also recommend you to use Suede protectant on all your Suede belongings. This will help enhance their lives and keep them safe from accidental stains. 

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