How To Clean Faux Suede Shoes

It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, it can be a mean feat trying to keep your shoes clean, particularly faux suede shoes. You can be extremely careful but accidents do happen and replacing shoes can be costly.

To help get more out of your shoes we have put together a guide of the best ways to clean your faux suede shoes at home meaning you won’t have to say goodbye to faux suede shoes anymore. This guide can also be applied to cleaning real suede shoes.

How To Clean Your Faux Suede Shoes At Home

Suede Cleaner:

This is the easiest way to clean your faux suede shoes as it is a product specifically designed to do this task while also nourishing the material. Suede cleaners can be used on both suede shoes and faux suede shoes and can be purchased in most shoe stores or large supermarket stores.

The method for using these products will depend on the suede cleaner that you purchase. Instructions on how to best use the product can usually be found on the back of the product. Read these instructions thoroughly and follow the steps carefully for optimal results.

Most products will recommend leaving your shoes to dry overnight or for up to several hours and so this method won’t have your shoes ready to wear instantly.

Suede Brush:

This is the quickest way to clean any dried dirt or debris off your shoes but it is essential that it is only used on dirt that is 100% dry as otherwise, it will smear the dirt around the shoe and push it deeper into the faux suede fibers.

Suede brushes are fantastic at removing both dust and dirt that has become trapped in the faux suede fibers and it also helps to re-raise the fibers, keeping your shoes looking clean and feeling soft. Similar to suede cleaner products, suede brushes can be purchased in shoe stores.


There are specific erasers that can be purchased in shoe stores that are designed to clean shoes of different materials. Suede shoe erasers can be used on faux suede shoes. To use the eraser simply rub the clean eraser on the dirt you wish to remove, gently.

There is no need to leave shoes to dry overnight when using this product making it a quick, efficient way to clean your shoes and have them ready to wear in a matter of minutes.

Homemade Cleaner: 

If you don’t want to purchase harsh chemicals or use them in your home then this method is perfect for you. 

How to make your homemade cleaner and how to use it: 

1. To make your homemade cleaner mix a few drops of dishwashing soap into a bowl of cold water. You should have enough drops to create a foam on the top of the water but not enough to discolor the water in the bowl.

2. Take a toothbrush, dip it in the solution, remove and shake off the excess.

3. Place the toothbrush on the area you wish to clean on your faux suede shoes and apply using gentle, circular movements.

4. Work slowly from the top to the bottom of the shoes to prevent the shoe from becoming soaked.

5. Remove any foam that may be left on the shoe by patting your suede with a clean cloth. It is important to not leave any soapy residue as this can stain the faux suede material.

6. Leave your shoes to air dry overnight. 

For optimal results, brush your shoes once they have completely dried with a suede brush to raise the fibers and restore that velvety look to your shoes.

Makeup Remover Wipes:

Makeup remover wipes can often work perfectly on faux suede shoes and can be purchased in any retailer store.

Simply rub the makeup wipe over the dirt and the stains and you should be able to notice as they begin to disappear instantly. If the dirt is not lifting, turn to a different method to clean your shoes as some makeup remover wipes may work better than others.


What Is The Difference Between Suede And Faux Suede?

Faux suede and real suede may look the exact same but there are a number of differences. Faux suede comprises mostly plastic materials, making it the perfect choice for vegans or animal lovers. Real suede is made from animal hide. The hide is sanded to raise the nap, which creates that soft, velvety finish. 

How Is Faux Suede Made?

Faux suede is a man-made material, it is made of polyester microfibers that have been woven to create a thin but very strong plastic fabric.

What Is More Durable, Faux Suede Or Real Suede?

Faux suede is also more durable than real suede. Faux suede is a stronger material due to the plastic that is used to create it. 

Does Water Ruin Faux Suede?

Yes, similar to suede, faux suede is not a water-proof material and so water can damage the shoes.

How To Protect Faux Suede Shoes?

There is one simple way of protecting your shoes and that is by applying a layer of waterproof suede-protector spray to your shoes immediately after purchasing. If your shoes are old, it is best to clean your shoes prior to applying this treatment.

The water-proofing spray will help to keep out water, dirt, and any other substance that could cause damage to your shoes. Another great way of maintaining your faux suede shoes is to frequently brush them using a suede brush.

By raising the fibers you can maintain that new, fresh look while also removing any dust or dirt that may be trapped in the faux suede fibers.

Can you put faux suede shoes in the washing machine?

No, putting your faux suede shoes in the washing machine would destroy them. The integrity of the material would be destroyed if they were to become saturated. It is best to use the recommended methods of how to clean your faux suede shoes in the above guide.