How to Clean Mud off Suede Shoes Like a Pro

A pair of muddy suede shoes next to a set of cleaning tools including a soft brush

Table of Contents

Suede shoes are a stylish and versatile addition to any wardrobe. However, they can be a bit tricky to clean, especially when they get muddy. In this guide, we’ll show you how to clean mud off suede shoes like a pro, ensuring they stay looking their best for years to come.

Understanding Suede

Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, handbags, and of course, shoes. It’s loved for its soft, velvety texture and elegant look. However, suede is also known for its porous nature, which makes it susceptible to stains and water damage.

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand why suede gets so easily stained. The porous nature of suede allows liquids and fine particles, like mud, to penetrate the surface and settle into the material. This is why it’s crucial to clean mud off as soon as possible, to prevent permanent staining.

Materials Needed

Before you start the cleaning process, you’ll need to gather a few tools. These items will help you remove the mud and restore your suede shoes to their former glory.

  • Suede brush
  • Suede eraser
  • White vinegar or suede cleaner
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • White sponge
  • Water

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Mud off Suede Shoes

Now that you understand suede and have gathered your materials, it’s time to start the cleaning process. Follow these steps carefully to ensure you clean your shoes without causing any damage.

Step 1: Let the Mud Dry

It might seem counterintuitive, but the first step in cleaning mud off suede shoes is to let the mud dry completely. Trying to clean wet mud can cause it to spread, potentially staining more of the shoe.

Place your shoes in a dry, well-ventilated area and let the mud dry naturally. Avoid placing them near a heat source, as this can cause the suede to dry out and crack.

Step 2: Brush off the Dried Mud

Once the mud is completely dry, use a suede brush to gently brush off the dried mud. Always brush in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the suede. Be patient and take your time with this step, as rushing can cause damage.

If some mud is still stuck, you can use a suede eraser to gently rub off the remaining mud. Again, be gentle and patient to avoid causing damage.

Step 3: Clean with Vinegar or Suede Cleaner

If there are still stains after brushing and erasing, you can clean the area with white vinegar or a suede cleaner. Apply a small amount of vinegar or cleaner to a clean, dry cloth or white sponge and gently rub the stained area. Be sure to test this on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t discolor the suede.

Once you’ve cleaned the area, let the shoes dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. Again, avoid placing them near a heat source.

Step 4: Brush the Shoes Again

After the shoes have dried, use the suede brush again to restore the nap of the suede. Brush in the direction of the grain until the suede looks even and smooth.

And there you have it! Your suede shoes should now be clean and looking their best.

Preventing Future Stains

Now that your shoes are clean, you’ll want to keep them that way. Here are some tips on how to prevent future stains on your suede shoes.

  • Use a suede protector: This is a spray that you apply to the shoes that helps repel water and prevent stains.
  • Avoid wearing suede shoes in wet or muddy conditions: Suede and water don’t mix well, so try to avoid wearing your suede shoes in rainy or muddy conditions.
  • Store your shoes properly: When you’re not wearing your shoes, store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. This will help prevent them from getting dirty and also help maintain their shape.


Cleaning mud off suede shoes may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s actually quite simple. Remember, the key is to be patient and gentle to avoid causing damage. And with a little bit of preventative care, you can keep your suede shoes looking their best for years to come.

Join the Cleaning Pros!

Now that you’ve mastered the art of cleaning mud off suede shoes, why stop there? Become a cleaning expert with by your side! Our free tips and pro advice are just a click away. Subscribe to our email list today and get exclusive content, from article roundups to special offers, that will turn any cleaning challenge into a triumph. With, you’ll have the confidence to tackle any mess, anytime.

Was this article helpful?
Something seem wrong? Let us know. We rely on your reviews.