How to clean suede shoes with denim stains

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to clean suede shoes with denim stains
Don't let denim stains ruin your suede shoes. (gym-shoes, trainers image by Yuri Osadchi from

Indigo blue jeans with supersaturated dye can often leave denim stains on suede shoes. This is because "fugitive," or excess, dye that sits on top of the finish leaks if it is not removed before wearing. According to Margaret's Cleaners, indigo jeans must be washed at least eight times before wearing to avoid transferring denim stains to your suede shoes. It is risky to clean suede shoes yourself, and Margaret's recommends bringing them to a dry cleaners. However, try one solvent-free alternative that you can do at home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Suede brush
  • Suede eraser or block
  • Emery board or fine-grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Brush the suede back and forth with the rubber-bristled suede brush using long strokes to lift the nap, or the texture, of the suede.

  2. 2

    Rub the stained area with the suede eraser or block. Suede erasers or blocks are made specially for removing stains and marks from suede or leather clothes and accessories. Find these items at any shoe repair shop.

  3. 3

    Lightly rub the stain in a circular motion using a fine-grit sandpaper or a fine-grit emery board until the denim stain is removed.

Tips and warnings

  • Try rubbing a rubber pencil eraser against the denim transfer on suede boots.
  • Suede is a delicate fabric. Bring suede shoes to a dry cleaner's for the best results.

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