How to Clean Suede Sneakers

We know that life can get messy.

You wanna buy very expensive sneakers and then run through the dirty streets of New York City. Do your thing.

But what happens when your puddle jumping, subway riding and Central Park visiting damages your prized jawns? Anarchy.

The trusty folks here at ONE37pm are covering the stuff that matters, like how to get the dirt off your favorite suede sneakers. We’ve got you.

We’ve tapped sneaker-cleaning expert Jason Angsuvarn—founder of the footwear world’s favorite product line, Jason Markk—to spill the details. Below, he explains the steps to keep your expensive suede sneakers fresh.

Recommended tools for cleaning suede sneakers:

  • Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner
  • Standard Brush
  • Premium Brush
  • Premium Microfiber Towels
  • Suede Kit

Steps for cleaning dirty suede sneakers:

  1. Take the suede brush (or the premium brush) and dry brush the uppers of the suede before you clean. Suede is leather and has pores, so you want to clear all the dirt from the pores so that you don’t cause any inset stains by wetting the suede with dirt on it.
  2. Take the standard brush and start from the bottom up. Be mindful to immediately wipe down with a microfiber towel so the suede doesn’t get wet.
  3. Use the premium brush. The soft hog-hair bristles will work well in lathering and conditioning the suede nap to help break down stains. Afterward, immediately use the microfiber towel to blot and soak up the stains.
  4. Blot all the moisture from the suede uppers until you feel the suede dry up. Take the suede brush and brush the suede to lift the nap back up.
  5. Check on the shoes throughout the day and dry brush the uppers to allow the nap to fully air dry.

Things to remember when cleaning suede sneakers:

  • Dyed suede may cause a color transfer. Test an inconspicuous spot first, like the tongue or heel area.
  • Apply a protectant to suede shoes when they’re brand new so that maintaining them will be easier.
  • Dry brush the suede with a suede brush after each wear so dirt doesn’t build up.
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