How To Clean Vintage Suede Shoes

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I found these lovely 1960s Mod suede shoes and although they had a few stains and wear marks, I knew I could revive them with these 4 easy steps to cleaning suede. A few things first - always check your material in an unnoticeable spot before starting anything. If you are unsure and the item is precious to you, give it to a professional cleaner, no questions asked. Second, this method will clean dirt and debris that is embedded into the suede. It will also 'clean' water stains by darkening the entire suede leather. Our old things are treasures and I do what I can to restore them - darkening the suede is the easiest way to breathe new life into them.

You will need:
White tissue paper
Soft brush, Like a nail brush or toothbrush
Distilled white vinegar & warm water (mixed at a 1:1 ratio)
Soft Cloth

Here is the original 1960's Mod House Slipper:

 FIRST: Stuff the toe with white tissue paper. The tissue paper will help keep the shape of the shoe while absorbing the moisture while the shoes dry. Be sure to not use newspaper as the ink will make a mess of the inside of the suede shoes and may leak to the surface on lighter suede.

SECOND: Brush loose dirt with a soft brush, going in one direction - take care to not “scrub” the fibers.

THIRD: Mix distilled white vinegar with warm water at a 1:1 ratio and test on an unnoticeable spot.

FOURTH: Dab the vinegar mix onto the stains. Covering all the suede will darken the entire piece but
hide the water stains.

Let dry and then enjoy your new treasure - View the final version here!


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