How to Clean Suede Shoes with Vinegar?

Are you looking askance at those dirty, ugly strains on your beautiful trendy suede shoes? You must be wondering what you can do to get rid of those hideous strains. If yes, then let me tell you a secret. You can easily remove those unattractive strains using a liquid that is undoubtedly present in every household. Can you guess what it could be? No? Then let me tell you my friends that the white vinegar that you so often use in your dishes and salad dressings can also be used to clean your shoes as well.

Yes, white vinegar is that marvelous liquid that works like a charm on the suede. A few days back I had a major heart attack when I accidentally spilled coffee over my $900 suede boots. It was a heartbreakingly intense situation. I had to prepare myself to say goodbye to my favorite and overbearingly expensive shoes. That is when a friend of mine told me this little secret which I’m about to share with you. Who would have thought that those expensive pairs of suede shoes can be cleaned by using such a cheap and easily accessible liquid? So, here I  have prepared a simple step-by-step guide for you on how to clean your suede shoes using plain white vinegar.

How To Clean Suede Shoes With Vinegar

we all know that Anything made with the suede material can be quite problematic to take care of. As beautiful as the fabic looks on the outside of the shoes and bags at the same time the maintenance can be quite a fuss. Theres so many beautiful suede products in the market but top rated suede shoes definitely take the limelight. While nano waterproof sprays or other shoe protector covers may help ypu keep the shoes protected but sometimes accidents just happen and for those unfortunate events we have the perefect syep by step solution.

Items You Will Need

  • Cotton Pads
  • A rag
  • Pencil Eraser
  • Old toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • A Razor
  • Suede Protector Spray

Patch Test

Always remember that it is highly recommended that you do a patch test before heading right into it. So apply just a very small amount of diluted vinegar solution to the part of the suede shoes that are hidden in the inside of the shoes with the help of a cotton pad. Let it air dry. If it dries out fine then you are good to go.

A Step by step Guide

Step # 1: Take the pencil eraser and rub it over the strain to make it visibly lighter. You can also use a suede eraser but it is a little more costly.

Step # 2: Take a bowl and add equal amounts of water and white vinegar into it. This is what you call a diluted solution of white vinegar

Step # 3: Take a cotton pad and perform a patch test.

Step # 4: If the patch test turns out fine then apply the solution directly to the stained area on the suede shoes in a gentle dab motion.

Step # 5: Then take an old toothbrush and rub the stained area.

Step # 6: Let the shoe air dry. It may seem like the vinegar solution is forming discoloration on the shoes but wait until they are completely dry.

Step # 7: When it dries, take a rag and rub it over the shoes to even out any noticeable difference. You can also use a suede brush as an alternative if you have it.

Step # 8: If you can still see the strain on the shoes then repeat the whole process.

Step # 9: Now take the rag and dip it in the vinegar solution and gently rub it over the whole surface of the shoes to give them a brand new look.

Step # 10: After they dry out, simply take the razor and shave away any wayward strings on the fabric.

Step # 11: Now take the suede protector spray and spray it all over the suede shoes. And Voila! You got your beautiful suede shoes in the most pristine form possible.


Does white vinegar clean suede?

White vinegar is perfect for cleaning suede. It is light and dries quickly and does not even strain the material. But always remember to use only a small amount of vinegar and don’t rub it harshly against the surface of your suede shoes because doing so may cause some sort of discoloration to appear.

Does vinegar ruin suede shoes?

The answer is no. White vinegar does not ruin suede. On the contrary, vinegar can be used to clean suede shoes. It won’t even strain the material, unlike water. So, if your suede shoes are a little dirty, feel free to use some white vinegar on a cotton pad and rub it gently on the surface without the fear of damaging the material.

Can you use baking soda and vinegar to clean suede shoes?

Yes, you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean suede shoes. First, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda directly on the oily strains on the suede surface so that it will absorb them. Wait for a few minutes and then put a small amount of white vinegar on a cotton pad and gently rub it against the stain until it is gone completely.

Is it necessary to dilute white vinegar before using it on suede?

Yes, it is very important to dilute white vinegar before you can use it on suede because the concentration of acetic acid in white vinegar can damage certain types of suede shoes. So it is always recommended to be on the safe side.

Is it important to patch test the vinegar solution on the suede shoes?

Yes, it is always a good idea to patch test everything. The same rule applies here. Apply a small amount of diluted white vinegar on the inside of the shoe where it is not visible on the outside. If it dries fine then you are good to go. White vinegar in its diluted form does not cause any harm to the suede shoes but still, you must be careful.


Its no surprise that some of the most comfortable walking shoes come in suede with the fancy appearance making it perfect for travelling. But the price tag that comes with these shoes have always made it a nightmare to get them all mucky. Well thanks to this article those were days of the past.

Luckily you dont have to worry about getting them dirty now that you are fully aware of a very simple yet effective technique to clean suede shoes using white vinegar. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take those beautiful pair of suede shoes out of the closet and wipe them spotless. They are way too gorgeous to rot in your dark closet liked an embarrassed little puppy.

Latest posts by Verna Blom (see all)