How to Clean Suede Boots at Home

Leave your suede boots at home if the forecast calls for rain.
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After a night of partying with your friends or being caught in a rainstorm, your once to-die-for suede boots are looking stained, dull and just plain nasty. Suede is constructed from soft leather and features "nap," which is the fuzzy texture that easily becomes crusty if exposed to dirt and water. Instead of looking for the nearest trash can and saving for a new pair, restore the appearance and feel of your suede boots to turn them from drab to fab.

Clean off dirt, debris or dust from your suede boots with a suede brush. Rub the brush gently over the entire outside surface of the boots using gentle, back-and-forth motions. This removes any loose dirt or mud.

Spot clean any water stains or caked mud with a suede eraser, which is available at shoe or department stores. Work the suede eraser, which breaks down as you use it, over the stain until it is eliminated. Avoid rubbing vigorously; you could damage the suede.

Clean salt lines or marks from the suede boots with a combination of 1/2 cup cool water and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Dampen the corner of a cotton washcloth with the mixture and gently wipe down the salt marks. Allow the suede boots to dry completely in a cool, dark space. Don't dry the boots near or with a heat source, such as a blow dryer.

Restore the suede's nap with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Run the toothbrush over any areas where the suede is flat, such as the newly cleaned spot, using gentle, back-and-forth motions to lift the nap.

Cover the suede boots with a light coating of spray protectant. Test the product on a small, insignificant area, such as on the bottom near the sole, and allow it to sit for five minutes. If any unwanted discoloration occurs, try a different product. Follow the manufacturer's directions and suggestions on how and how often to apply the product.

  • Clean the suede boots with the suede brush after each wear to prevent discoloration and stains caused by caked on dirt and mud.

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.