It might seem counterintuitive to use liquid to treat suede, especially after listing “never try to clean suede while it’s wet” as rule numero uno. However, due to its acidic composition, white vinegar is actually really effective at lifting stains and is highly unlikely to leave any marks behind. If brushing hasn’t worked, dampen your cloth with a very small amount of white vinegar. Seriously, start with less than you think you need. You can always add more. Rub the vinegar into the stain by gently going back and forth, before leaving it to dry completely. Repeat steps one and two before trying more vinegar. Yes, this process is time consuming, but it’s also worth it if you want to restore your favorite booties back to their former glory. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.
Step 4: When In Doubt, Go To The Professionals
If you’ve tried and tried and tried some more, but you just can’t seem to brush that scuff out, it’s probably time to bring your boots to a shoemaker or suede specialist. They have the skills, tools, products and, let’s be honest, patience that the rest of us simply can’t match. The pros should be able to restore your shoes better than any at-home method.
How To Protect Your Suede Boots From Future Stains
Now that you’ve done all the work to make your shoes look as good as new, you’ll probably want to do everything you can to keep them looking as such. Apply a waterproofing spray or suede protector, like Bickmore Gard-More Water & Stain Repellent ($13) or Kiwi Suede Protector ($9), either as soon as you purchase a new pair of shoes or once they’ve been thoroughly cleaned and dried. These products work wonders and can protect your gorgeous footwear from needing another deep clean (although they might benefit from an annual brushing before storage). Also, be sure to read the directions and labels carefully, as you may need to reapply protector every six to 12 months, depending on the formula.