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How to Clean Suede Shoes

Learn the steps to rejuvenate, restore, and renew your suede shoes using Medaille d'Or's collection of suede cleaning products.

Products used in this video:


Hi, I'm Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project. All shoes are not created equal which is why you cannot use traditional calfskin polish on a pair of suede shoes. This video is going to show you step by step how to rejuvenate, restore, and renew your suede shoes using Saphir Medaille d'Or's collection of suede cleaning products. First what we're going to do is we're going to clean off any dry stains using the Saphir Gommadin Suede Eraser. Then we're going to shampoo and really deep clean the suede using the Saphir Medaille d'Or Omni Nettoyant suede shampoo. Then we're going to condition and renovate the color using Saphir's Suede and Nubuck renovating spray. And then finally what we're going to do is we're going to waterproof and protect the suede using the Super Invulner.

The first step is to remove any dry or difficult stains using the Gommadin Suede Eraser. This is an optional step and really what you need to do is you just need to look and inspect the suede to see if there's any kind of harder stains that look like they're on top of the actual suede. What the Gommadin Suede Eraser does is these small filaments allow you to really get into the suede and kind of brush those off. So here you can see some stains. Basically what you're doing is you're just trying to rub these stains out using moderate to firm pressure. These white shavings you can simply brush off using a suede brush. This is really more for spot treating. And you don't want to go crazy with this on the entire shoe. After we've applied that you can just simply brush this off using a suede brush. And you're going to see kind of varying degrees of success here. So that stain's been completely removed, I've gotten a good portion of that off.

These two stains right here you can see really were accentuated, so we're going to use the Omni Nettoyant to really kind of shampoo those off. The next step is to then shampoo the suede using the Saphir Medaille d'Or Omni Nettoyant suede shampoo. This is safe to use on suede, Nubuck, and textiles, and is a fantastic and all-purpose kind of cleaner. What this does is it's really going to get in the leather, remove any dirt, and then also during the process, which you'll see after you shampoo your suede, is that it also helps to almost renew the color and restore that slight little patina that you expect from suede shoes.

So I've got some water here that I'm going to use. And then basically shake the Omni Nettoyant and then pour some into your water. You want to dilute it, two to one or three to one should be enough. So I'm going to set that aside. It comes with a small little Dauber that you can use to shampoo your suede shoes but I prefer using one of our Hanger Project Deluxe Dauber, which has an inch and a half inch head diameter. Just because I find that it's more efficient and it's a lot easier to use since whenever you're shampooing suede shoes you're doing it over a pretty large surface area. So take your dauber, and then you really just want to rub it in and shampoo the shoes pretty vigorously.

You're going to see the color of the suede change as the water begins to saturate the suede. That's completely normal. It's absolutely safe and okay to get your suede shoes wet, so I wouldn't worry too much about the water. After you vigorously shampoo the shoes using the Saphir Omni Nettoyant the next step is to then stuff the shoes with paper to have them keep their shape and allow them to dry overnight. So I've got some newspaper here. Just stuff the shoes. You could use a shoe tree, but I prefer using newspaper just because that's going to help absorb some of the water that these shoes have taken on. So these Suede Shoes have been thoroughly shampooed using the Omni Nettoyant. I've got them stuffed with newspaper so that they can dry overnight and then tomorrow once they're dry, we're going to finish cleaning these.

OK so now that we've allowed the suede shoes to dry overnight you can really see how fantastic of a job the Omni Nettoyant did to actually clean the suede. I mean almost all of the dirt and stains have been removed from the shoe. And they're really looking great. The next step is going to be to re-brush the suede using a suede brush. Now the reason this is important is just like if you shampoo carpet, any time you put water on suede you're going to basically have the pile collapse. So you need to re-brush it with a suede brush in order to re-fluff that pile. So here I am using a Large Horn-backed Suede Brush and using moderate to firm pressure I'm just going to brush the suede out.

Now that we've cleaned the suede shoes the next step is going to be to condition. Now Saphir Medaille d'Or has an incredible product, it's the Renovating Suede and Nubuck Spray and it's the only product on the market that actually is going to condition suede. It uses an almond oil to actually condition and help nourish the suede to keep it soft. And then it also is available in four colors: neutral, black, light brown, and dark brown. And what that's going to allow us to do is to actually kind of re-pigment the suede shoes. That's a very light pigment so it's not going to completely change the color of the suede. And for that reason it's really not that important to have a perfect match on the color. But what it does is that slight amount of pigment is just going to help bring back and help re-saturate the finish of the suede shoes. Now if you're having trouble matching then you can always use the neutral which is still going to condition with the almond oil. And then it also helps restore that nice kind of sheen that you have with suede shoes.

Once you've conditioned the suede using the Renovating Suede Nubuck Spray then optionally you can come on top of that with the Super Invulner to actually waterproof it. The Super Invulner Medaille d'Or Spray is safe to use on really the highest quality suedes. It doesn't use any harmful silicones in order to produce the waterproofing. And it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to dry. Now that's actually a benefit because what it does is it prevents any type of rings from forming whenever the aerosol dries too quickly. So on a really nice pair of suede shoes I wouldn't recommend using something like the Tarrago Nano Protector, I would only use the Super Invulner. The Super Invulner is applied the same way as the Renovating Suede Spray. You just want to take these outside and then spray the shoes at a distance of about 12 inches and then allow them 30 to 45 minutes to dry. So after you've applied the Saphir Super Invulner and allowed it to dry you're done.

Here we are with my suede chukka boots and you can see they look much better. Clean and ready for another hundred thousand miles. I just want to show you how effective the Super Invulner is at waterproofing real quick before we end. This is one of the boots and you can see that whenever I pour some water on there it just rolls right off the shoe. That just goes to show you how effective the Super Invulner is, it's really fantastic. What I love most about it is that it's effective waterproofing without being too strong like the Nano Protector. You will find that the waterproofing will wear off over time and so people often ask when do I know if I need to reapply the Super Invulner. The answer is really easy. You know whenever water doesn't bead up and roll off the shoe anymore you need to reapply it. So just spray it again. Now this video is a complete tutorial on a total cleaning of your suede shoes. Just to remind you, you really should still be using a suede brush regularly to brush out the suede for maintenance. And then whenever you feel like you really need a total cleaning then you can follow this tutorial.

So that's it. If you have any questions on this tutorial feel free to email us at or ask them in the comments section below. We love answering questions and if there's anything we can ever do to help, feel free to ask. All the Saphir Medaille d'Or products are available on under the shoe care section. And thanks for joining us. I'm Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project.