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Can You Use Leather Cleaner on Suede? Why You Should Avoid It

Can You Use Leather Cleaner on Suede? Why You Should Avoid It

If you’re a fan of suede shoes or clothing, you know that maintaining their appearance can be a bit tricky.

Unlike leather, suede is a more delicate material that requires special care. This often leads to the question: Can you use leather cleaner on suede?

The short answer is no, and here’s why.

a woman cuffs her jeans to wear with suede boots

Leather cleaner is designed to be used on smooth, finished leather surfaces. It works by removing dirt and grime from the surface of the leather and conditioning it to keep it supple and hydrated.

However, it is not intended for use on suede.

Suede is made from the underside of the animal hide, which has a nappy or fuzzy surface. Suede is a delicate material that requires specialized care.

If you use a leather cleaner on suede, it can damage the delicate fibers and leave a shiny or oily residue, ruining the suede’s soft texture.

Suede has a unique texture that can be easily damaged by excessive moisture or harsh chemicals.

  • The moisture in the cleaner can cause water stains or darkening of the suede, which is difficult to remove.
  • Some leather cleaners may contain dyes or other chemicals that can alter the color or texture of the suede, resulting in an uneven or discolored appearance.

Lastly, leather cleaner contains ingredients that can strip the natural oils and moisture from the suede, leaving it dry and brittle.

So, if you can’t use leather cleaner on suede, what should you use instead?

A man is holding suede eraser and suede brush

There are several suede-specific products on the market that are designed to clean and protect suede.

These products usually come in the form of sprays or foams that are applied to the suede and then brushed with a suede brush to remove dirt and revive the fibers.

Suede cleaners are designed to lift dirt and stains from the surface of the suede without affecting the nap or texture.

They may also contain conditioners that help to restore the natural oils and moisture to the suede, keeping it soft and flexible.

Suede cleaner kit from Tecovas

Suede Cleaner Kit | Click image for more info on Tecovas

When cleaning suede, it’s important to take a gentle approach. Avoid using water or liquid cleaners, which can damage the delicate fibers.

Instead, use a suede brush to remove dirt and a suede eraser to remove stains or scuffs.

You can also use a specialized suede protector spray to help repel dirt and water and keep your suede looking its best.

Read more about how to care for suede leather here!

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Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last words

In conclusion, using a leather cleaner on suede is a big no-no. It can damage the delicate material and leave it looking worse than before.

Instead, invest in suede-specific cleaning products and take a gentle approach to maintain the texture and appearance of your suede items.

With the right care, your suede shoes and clothing will continue to look great for years to come.