Can You Wash Suede Shoes in the Washing Machine? Find Out Here

The initial thought when anything gets dirty is to clean or wash it. However, there are instances where you must fight your gut instincts and seek an alternative cleaning solution because of the item’s material.         

Suede is a material that needs special care, which also means you need to clean suede shoes in a different way.             

This article will give you all the answers you need to know about cleaning suede shoes, and whether or not you can use a washing machine to wash this delicate material!   

can you wash suede shoes in the washing machine    

Washing Suede Shoes in the Washing Machine

Suede is leather that has a napped finish because it has been physically or chemically abraded. Suede leather seems to have a more aesthetic finish compared to most other leathers. 

It also tends to be more fragile than other types of leather, since it’s more challenging to weatherproof than ordinary leather. This is despite the fact that suede protectants can be applied to keep it from getting damaged. 

Although the majority of suede shoe manufacturers don’t encourage cleaning suede in a washing machine, you may opt to do it if you don’t wash them frequently.

Cleaning suede shoes in the washing machine is not highly recommended. Whenever suede shoes get wet, the color fades and the fabric stiffens. Water could also cause patches to appear on suede shoes or damage the seams. 

Although it’s not the best decision, you can wash suede shoes in a washing machine. However, you should only do this on rare occasions because it will gradually damage the shoe. 

If you decide to take a chance on it and wash your suede shoes in the washing machine, we’ve given you some steps below to follow.

  1. If your shoes are soiled or muddy, the first thing you should do is let them dry before you can start cleaning them.
  2. Brush your suede shoes. Brushes manufactured exclusively for suede shoes can be an excellent investment if you value maintaining the quality of your shoes. 

If you don’t have a suede brush, then a soft brush, like a toothbrush, can suffice. Brush the suede shoe softly, and be sure to brush it using the grain to keep it looking good. 

If you find yourself having trouble removing the stain, exert a little extra pressure, but be careful not to cause any damage to the suede shoes by scrubbing too aggressively

  1. Put your suede shoes in the washing machine with a suede and leather-specific detergent. To figure out the amount of detergent you should use, look at the detergent’s instructions.
  2. Only use the mild cycle in the washer. Set the machine at a slow spin and a low temperature. Choose the ‘hand wash’ option if available. If not, use the option that’s the most moderate.
  3. Leave the cycle to finish without adding any fabric softener.
  4. Take your suede shoes out of the washer and carefully tug them back into their natural shapes.
  5. Wrap the suede shoes in a towel or cloth for as much moisture as possible to be absorbed as fast as possible. 
  6. Allow the suede shoes to dry completely by laying them flat on top of a clean cloth. Suede shoes have to be air-dried.

Other Ways to Clean Suede

1. Eraser

Using a suede eraser to clean suede shoes is possible, but it’s usually not the initial step in any suede washing procedure. It’s usually in a later stage, and the eraser is often used after a stain has been properly removed and the spot has dried.

When only a small amount of residue has been left on the suede, you can then use the eraser to clean the shoe. This generally occurs where the stain hasn’t been entirely removed by rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or soap suds.

Furthermore, when using the eraser, don’t push it down too hard on the material. Instead, be careful and steady. Pink-colored erasers can also leave a mark so bear this in mind when you go out to purchase suede cleaning erasers. 

can you wash suede shoes in the washing machine

2. White Vinegar

Using white vinegar is a wonderful substitute for water. It can remove a variety of difficult stains that may be on your suede shoes. Simply test it beforehand to ensure that it will not ruin your suede shoes during cleaning. 

Once you’ve confirmed this, use a soft brush to brush out the area with the stain to remove any loose material. Next, put some white vinegar on the soft cloth that you’ll be using to clean and then wipe it over the portions of your shoe that require cleaning. 

Remember that you need to do this very gently. It might not appear to be doing anything at first, but you should see some results soon enough. 

Allow the spot to dry completely. It’s important not to skip this step because when vinegar is wet, you’ll see that it causes the color of the suede shoe to change.

Once you return to it after it has dried, use a suede brush to firmly brush the area with the stain. If the stain doesn’t entirely come off after your first attempt using vinegar, then try again. This approach may take a few tries, but it should eventually work. 

3. Dish Soap

If you choose to clean suede using dish soap, there’s a straightforward procedure that you can follow. In a small container or bowl, mix a tablespoon or teaspoon of dish soap with some water.

Next, create a mixture of the two until you have plenty of foam. After the mixture has lathered up, only apply the foam on the stain. Avoid putting water directly on the stain because it will leave a watermark that you’ll have to clean up afterward. 

After blotting the suds on the stain a couple of times using a clean cloth, it should be gone and your suede should be left clean. Be mindful that this method works if it’s a light stain. 

4. Suede Cleaner Spray

When using suede cleaner spray, the first step is to ensure that the stain is completely dry. After shaking the can well, you should position it about 6 inches away from the shoe’s surface. 

Try not to saturate the stained area when spraying. The spot can be ruined by too much spray solution. After you’ve sprayed the stained spot, wait for the chemicals to dry on the stain before wiping it away using a clean towel. 

In a scenario when the stain persists after the initial cleaning process, repeat it all again. Be careful to follow the directions given on the spray can before you begin spraying away.

can you wash suede shoes in the washing machine


Does Suede Wash Well?

Synthetic suede tends to hold up nicely when washed. However, the manufacturer’s washing instructions should be followed when cleaning.

Natural suede, on the other hand, doesn’t tend to wash well. Washing it in any water temperature might cause damage. Suede is among the materials that must be handled with extra care and caution. 

Will the Washing Machine Ruin Suede?

It’s not recommended that you use washing machines to clean suede, whether it has been used on shoes or clothes. Nevertheless, if you’d like to take a chance and clean your suede shoes in the washing machine, ensure to use a suede or leather-specific detergent. 

Also, follow the directions provided on the detergent box to avoid adding too much or too little. In the washer, use the gentle cycle and don’t use fabric softener in your wash. After you’ve removed your suede items from the washing machine, lay them out flat to air-dry.

What Household Item Can Be Used to Clean Suede Shoes?

Sometimes you may find that you don’t have any suede cleaner in your house, but this shouldn’t worry you. You can also wash your suede shoes using a variety of household materials. The items you pick will be determined by the type of stain you’re dealing with.

Brush, flour, baby powder, water, paper towels, dishwashing detergent, cloth, pencil eraser, vinegar, talcum powder, sandpaper, cornstarch, and a regular-sized eraser are among the items included.


Suede is one of the most delicate fabrics, which is why it’s not a surprise that many people ask “Can you wash suede shoes in the washing machine?” 

As we’ve seen in this article, the answer is yes, you can use your washing machine to clean your suede shoes. However, it’s not highly recommended. Before washing your suede shoes using a washing machine, you should check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding washing so that you don’t damage your shoes. 

There are suede shoes that simply aren’t designed to be washed, and putting them in the washer could damage them. However, if you have no other alternative, you can maintain your favorite pair of fitting suede shoes by following the specified steps above.

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