6 Best Methods to Clean Nubuck Shoes – DIY at Home

If you are reading this article, you are definitely someone who owns a beautiful pair of nubuck boots, and you got them stained probably because you wore them out in the rain or the mud. You probably won’t believe me, but trust me, I know exactly how it feels to own a pair of expensive nubuck shoes and have them stained. By now, you might have considered the option of giving them to someone or simply throwing them away. But guess what? You saved your shoes by clicking on this article because I will show you how you can clean those beautiful nubuck shoes.

Before diving straight into the process, I would explain a bit what nubuck is. Nubuck is a type of leather that is made out of cowhide. While nubuck leather is similar to suede, it is mostly used only for boots.

While nubuck boots are highly durable and almost everyone on the face of this globe should own these boots, there is only one downside to owning them, the fact that they get stained far too easily. And you would have to clean them now and then. However, the good news for you is that they can be cleaned and can look good as new. So, without further ado, let’s get to the process.

6 Best Methods to Clean Nubuck Shoes

Now there are two things that you need to keep in mind before you read further. First, how you clean the shoe really depends on the stain. In this article, I would explain ways to get rid of both types of stains, whether they are light scuff marks or heavy stains. Second, if you own these shoes, you should take care of them. In this article, I would also mention techniques using which you can prevent future damage.

If you want to remove light scuff marks or light stains from your boots, which you got on your shoes because of dirt or dust, you can follow any method from the three methods below to get rid of those stains.

Method 1: Gently Rubbing a Nail File on the Stain

Light marks or stains on your boots can be removed easily by using a nail filer. To remove light stains from your boots, you simply need to grab a nail filer and gently rub the nail filer in the same direction as the stain. This method would instantly remove the dust particles and stains from the shoes. However, you cannot use this method daily. If you use this method often, it will damage the shoes.

Method 2: Using a Cleaning Gum

To use this method, you must have cleaning gum. For those of you who do not know what cleaning gum is, it is basically a huge kind of eraser that helps you get rid of the stains. For this method, you simply need to grab a cleaning gum and rub it gently on the stains. Keep rubbing the cleaning gum until the stains go away. In case you do not have cleaning gum, you can also use an eraser instead.

Method 3: Using Baby Wipes

This is one of the easiest methods to remove the stains. For this, you simply need baby wipes. Baby wipes are available in almost every household; following this step, you simply need to rub those wipes on the stains. However, it would help if you were very careful about this step because wipes are not really good for nubuck. You have to make sure you only rub the wipes on the stain and not the shoes.

Method 4: Using a Dry Rag

If you want to remove heavier stains from your nubuck shoes, you simply need to follow the following steps:

First, stuff your shoes with a newspaper. The newspaper would give the shoes their shape and would also prevent water from going inside the shoes. Next, take a rag and rub it on the stains. Rub the rag on the stain until the stains go away. However, be careful not to rub the stain on the entire boot.

Method 5: Using a Toothbrush

The next method by which you can get rid of heavier stains is by using a toothbrush. You simply need to get a toothbrush, which is available in all households, and a dishwashing liquid. Put the dishwashing liquid in water and make a solution. Use a toothbrush along with the dishwashing liquid and rub that soapy solution on the stains. For this method, you need not use a lot of water because it might ruin the shoes.

Method 6: Using a Suede Brush

Another method to clean heavier stains from your boots is by using a suede brush. Simply take a suede brush and rub it against the stains. A suede brush can be used if you do not want to use a toothbrush. A suede brush is always a safe option because the suede brush would ensure that the shoes do not get damaged at all. A suede brush is highly reasonable, and you should own one of these brushes if you want to protect your nubuck or suede shoes.


What household items can you use to clean nubuck shoes?

You can use household items like a nail filer, a toothbrush, vinegar, and dishwashing liquid.

Can you wash nubuck shoes?

No, you can NEVER wash nubuck shoes. It would ruin your shoes forever.

What’s the best way of cleaning nubuck shoes?

The best way of cleaning nubuck shoes really depends upon the type of stain. Different methods should be followed to clean different types of stains.


Getting these shoes cleaned is not an easy thing. And once you get them cleaned, you need to make sure you do not get them ruined again. So to prevent future damage, you need to first make sure not to wear them on moist or muddy surfaces. The second way you can prevent future damage is by spraying a waterproofing agent on your shoes. And after applying the waterproofing agent, let it dry.

By following the above-mentioned steps, you can get your shoes to look as good as new. In the end, however, I suggest you avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day to avoid future damage. Also, if your shoes are broken, you can mend them with these best types of shoe glues.

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