How to make your water-damaged suede shoes look better

Written by gwendolen akard
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How to make your water-damaged suede shoes look better
Suede shoes can be permanently damaged by water. (suede female shoes image by terex from

After water damage, suede leather can become stiff, dull or stained. The sooner you attempt to restore suede shoes, the more successful you will be. If you wait too long to repair water-damaged suede, you risk permanent damage. It may be impossible to fix everything, but it is fairly simple to make your suede shoes look a lot better.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Soft brush
  • Clean eraser

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  1. 1

    Brush the shoes with a soft-bristle brush. A suede brush is ideal for this, however, any brush that is not too stiff will work. The brush brings up the nap on the suede, which negates some of the water damage. Do not use a lot of pressure or fast motions.

  2. 2

    Use a clean, dry pencil eraser to lightly rub at any water stains on the shoes. Do not rub too vigorously.

  3. 3

    Hold your shoes over a steaming pot of water. The steam restores the nap on the suede. Do not let the steam get the suede wet.

  4. 4

    Bring your suede to a good dry cleaner or leather restorer for treatment. The process takes longer than normal dry cleaning, but an experienced dry cleaner can at least partially restore the quality of your suede. A leather restorer will do the best job and can recommend products to you for future use.

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