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Article: This is how you clean suede and nubuck sneakers

This is how you clean suede and nubuck sneakers

Sneakers are rarely made of a single material, so it is essential to understand the care your shoes require. For a comprehensive series of cleaning tutorials, click here .


What you need to know when cleaning suede and nubuck sneakers:

Suede comes from the inside of the skin and nubuck from the outside. You can recognize nubuck by the short, sandy, peach-like hairs, and suede by the looser brushed hairs. Both require the same approach.

Before we go any further, let's clear up a common misconception: it's not like you can't get suede/nubuck wet at all. We do recommend treating it dry as much as possible, if the material is not too dirty. So you treat it more carefully than other materials.

Important to know:

  • Suede/nubuck darkens when wet and lightens as it dries.
  • After drying, the suede becomes rougher in texture. The surface needs a dry brushing to restore its original softness. Although people often think that this will damage the material, this can be done with a hard brush. Do the cleaning yourself with a soft brush.


This is how you clean suede and nubuck sneakers in 7 easy steps

  1. Preparation
  2. Brush dry
  3. Clean lace
  4. Clean sole
  5. Clean suede/nubuck
  6. Let dry
  7. Protect


1. Preparation: make sure you use the right products.

When cleaning suede and nubuck sneakers, it is crucial to use the right products. Avoid household products such as green soap or dishwashing liquid as these are less effective and can cause damage. Instead, opt for specially developed sneaker care products , such as that of First Amsterdam.

We also recommend using shoe trees so that cleaning is easier and the shoe does not deform. For small stains we recommend a suede and nubuck eraser.

2. Brush dry: brush loose dirt from the sneaker

A good brush is essential to effectively remove loose dirt before wetting the shoe. We recommend always removing loose dirt with a soft brush, such as our premium brush . Especially with suede and nubuck.

Is there mud on the shoe ? Then make sure you remove this as much as possible to avoid brushing it into the material.

3. Clean laces: remove the laces and clean them separately

Are your laces very dirty? Remove the laces from the shoe and immerse the laces in a bowl of water containing a suitable sneaker cleaning agent, such as the specially developed cleaning formula from First Amsterdam. If there is a lot of dirt or stains, apply a few extra drops to the laces and rub them between your hands until it foams well.

TIP: Run the wet laces through a microfiber cloth to dry them faster and wipe off the dirt.

Are your laces less dirty? Then you can also leave the laces in the shoe and brush them clean with a soft brush, a little water and the cleaning formula.

TIP : Do not use a hard brush for this, because there is a good chance that the laces will fluff when they come into contact with these hard bristles.


4. Clean the sole: clean the sole properly

Use a stiff brush and a good cleaning agent to clean the soles, so that stubborn dirt does not stand a chance. Don't put too much pressure and let the bristles do the work.

Do stains remain? Then add some of the cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth and rub it on the stain with your index finger to remove it.


5. Clean suede/nubuck: then clean the shoe thoroughly

Does the suede/nubuck have some small stains? Then first try to treat it dry with a suede and nubuck eraser . Rub this lightly over the stain to remove it. If this doesn't work, continue with the steps below.

Is the water very dirty? Preferably replace the water and repeat the steps in step 4, but PLEASE NOTE: now use the soft brush. This brush has soft bristles, which prevent you from damaging the suede/nubuck while cleaning.


6. Allow to dry: Allow your shoes to dry properly

After cleaning, dry the sneakers with a microfiber cloth. Then let them air out naturally for best results. It is best to leave the shoe trees in the shoe.

Keep the shoes away from heat sources such as the sun or a heater. This can cause the shoes to deform and/or discolour.


7. Protect: Use a water and dirt-repellent spray to protect your sneakers

Use a good water and dirt-repellent spray to protect your shoes against unwanted stains and wear. Extend the life of your sneakers and maintain their fresh appearance!

Cleaning tips for suede and nubuck sneakers