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The Art of Suede and Nubuck Care for Sneaker Enthusiasts

Suede and nubuck sneakers are prized for their luxurious texture and casual elegance. However, maintaining these delicate materials can be a challenge without the right knowledge and techniques. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the art of suede and nubuck care, exploring effective cleaning methods and protective measures to keep your sneakers looking fresh and stylish.

Understanding Suede and Nubuck: Before we dive into care tips, let’s understand what sets suede and nubuck apart. Suede features a brushed or buffed surface, giving it a soft, velvety texture, while nubuck is sanded or polished for a finer finish. Both materials require specialized care to preserve their unique characteristics.

Brushing to Remove Dirt: The first step in suede and nubuck care is gentle brushing to remove surface dirt and debris. Invest in a suede brush or nubuck eraser and use light, sweeping motions to lift away dirt without damaging the material. Focus on seams, stitching, and textured areas where dirt tends to accumulate.

Spot Cleaning with Care: For stubborn stains or spots, spot cleaning is essential. Use a suede eraser and suede brush to slowly rub the dirty / affected suede area on the shoe. Gently brush the debris or crumbled dirt off the shoe to reveal the results. Repeat as necessary to get better results. Take care not to saturate the material, as excessive moisture can cause staining or damage.

Steam Cleaning for Deep Cleansing: In some cases, steam cleaning may be necessary to remove deeply ingrained dirt or stains from suede or nubuck sneakers. Use a handheld steamer or steam cleaner to apply steam to the affected areas, then gently brush the material to lift away dirt and grime. Be cautious not to overheat or saturate the material.

Using Suede Cleaner for Tough Stains: For persistent stains that won’t budge with brushing or spot cleaning, consider using a specialized suede cleaner or nubuck cleaner. Apply the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then gently brush the material to work the cleaner into the fibers. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

Protective Measures

Prevention is key to maintaining suede and nubuck sneakers. Consider applying a waterproofing spray or stain protector to create a protective barrier against moisture, dirt, and oil. This helps to keep your sneakers looking clean and new for longer, even in challenging conditions.

Brushing to Restore Texture: After cleaning, use a suede brush or nubuck brush to restore the texture of the material. Brush the surface of the sneakers in one direction to fluff up the fibers and revive the soft, velvety texture of suede or nubuck. This step enhances the appearance and feel of your sneakers.

Refresh the Fabric: a suede refresher such as mink oil by Angelus or Just Suede by NuLife are great options of suede treatments to help revitalize the color of your suede and keep them soft.


With the right care and attention, suede and nubuck sneakers can maintain their luxurious appearance and texture for years to come. By following these simple yet effective cleaning methods and protective measures, you can keep your sneakers looking fresh, stylish, and ready for any occasion. Treat your suede and nubuck sneakers with care, and they’ll reward you with timeless elegance and comfort.