How to Clean Your Suede and Nubuck Sperrys

December 20, 2018
in Since 1935

We pride ourselves on designing shoes that are practical, but never sacrifice style. While suede and nubuck are two of our favorite materials, it can be a challenge to keep them looking fresh. Whether it’s a pair of suede boat shoes, or nubuck penny loafers, with the cleaning tips below, they’ll stay in tip top shape—no matter what kind of shenanigans they get into.

How to Clean Your Suede & Nubuck Shoes

Stuff your shoes to hold their shape.

Prep your suede or nubuck shoes for a scrubbing. Stuff enough crumpled up newspaper into the shoes so that they keep their natural shape while you get to work.

Make friends with a suede brush.

Restore newness to suede and nubuck by investing in a suede brush (an old toothbrush works in a pinch) and getting the proper technique down pat. Glide the brush over your dry shoes in the direction of the fibers to remove dirt and simultaneously fluff up the material. Be gentle.

Hit them with conditioner.

After all the dry marks are brushed away, it’s time to give your Sperrys the special treatment. Apply a bit of our leather cleaner and conditioner to a dry brush and gently massage it all over the shoes. Make sure you cover the entire suede or nubuck upper (even the clean parts) to ensure an even color when the material dries.

Do some recon on tough stains.

If there are still visible spots on your beloved suede or nubuck shoes after you’ve tried all the above cleaning methods, don’t despair—there’s still hope. Once your shoes are completely dry, try sprinkling cornstarch over any potential oil stains to absorb the grease and let it sit overnight before brushing away with a suede brush. Not sure what the stain is? Try applying a little bit of white vinegar to the area with a clean cloth. Let it dry thoroughly and then rub with a suede brush to work the stain out.

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