Firstly I must confess that I own more pairs of suede shoes / loafers / boots than any other man I know, I totally love suede as a material. I love the soft and forgiving nature of suede and I wonder at how easy it is to add texture to any look by simply adding suede footwear. It also comes in the full spectrum of colours from Elvis inspired blue to funky green and even classic Navy.
However my beloved suede does have a major disadvantage against other materials such as leather or even canvass – suede can be ruined by the winter weather. Wet and dirt combined can flatten and stain perfectly good suede which ruins the look and can even ruin the item for good! Thankful we have put together these 5 handy tips to help you protect your suede so you can keep looking ice cool even when the weather is ice cold !!
1 – Prevention Is Better Than A Cure
Yes it sounds simple and it is, the first thing you should do is invest in some good suede protection sprays. These can be found at any good supermarket or ordered online from specialist retailers and the prices can be very different but whatever your budget make sure you buy a good number of sprays before winter sets in. The next thing to remember is that after buying them you actually have to use them !!! That’s right people just buying the spray is not good enough, you need to spray your suede and not just once or one every few weeks. You need to be spraying your shoes at least a couple of times a week.
2 – Brushing
Ok so you need to think about brushing your suede the same way you think about brushing your teeth – it needs to be done every day. Actually multiple times every day for your teeth but you could get away with just once with your suede!! However you must get into the habit of brushing your suede as soon as you get back home. You need to remove any dirt that has been collected while out of the house and make sure you keep the texture of the suede. If you don’t have a good suede brush then get what – an old tooth brush will do the job just fine!!
3 – Rubbers Are Crucial
Yes you read that correctly – here we are talking about how you manage a dirt patch that has affected you suede. You can purchase a suede cleaning block, it looks like a child’s rubber erasure and basically works the same way so if you have a small child in the house it’s just as quick to borrow the rubber out of there pencil case. Rub the affected area gently and then firmly brush with your suede brush / toothbrush. Keep repeating the process until all the dirt is come but be careful not to flatten or damage the suede.
4 – Stay Away From The Radiator
No matter how damp your suede gets never never never try to dry them by placing them close to any heat source such as a fire or radiator. This will only cause the suede to become brittle and stiff. You can get a cotton towel or some absorbent kitchen towels and gently dab the affected areas. Then start brushing and cleaning as per the previous recommendations above.
5 – Steaming is OK
So you know not to put water or a damp cloth near suede, this is basically the number one cardinal rule of suede care. BUT did you know that you can use a little bit of steam to help restore suede that is matted and flatten by water damage! Just hold the affected area a couple of inches away from the spout of a boiling kettle and allow the steam to flow over the affected area for a few seconds. Then quickly brush against the flow of the suede with your brush / toothbrush and you will quickly see the texture been restored.
So in conclusion please make sure that you buy the right products and remember to use them, this prevention will protect your suede against most misadventures. However if you do suffer a lot of dirt or water damage just stay calm and follow the above cleaning advice and your suede will be back to looking cooler than a polar bear in no time.