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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Dear Shopping Savage...
Dear Shopping Savage,
I just bought a pair of red suede pumps that I absolutely love - or should I say loved - until I went out a few nights ago and, a few drinks later, tripped on the side walk and got a few smudges on them! So, Shopping Savage, how do I clean my new suede shoes?
Smudge On Suede Shoes
Suede can be a persnickety material to clean, which is why most would recommend handing your problem over to a professional. However, that could get costly, and there's not much more of a guarantee that they'll do a better job than what I'm about to advise you to try.
First, you need to access the damage. Use a suede brush - or old toothbrush in a pinch - to clear away any loose dirt or debris and to restore the nape of the suede as much as possible. (Note: do not rub vigorously or with too much force. You want to avoid pushing the stain further into the affected area and/or cause discoloration. The purpose of this is to "loosen up" the stain.)
If this doesn't completely clear the area then you need to treat it with a suede cleaner. Wet the stained area and use the suede brush to apply the cleaner. If the bottle doesn't have a spray nozzle then either transfer its contents to an empty spray bottle with a trigger for more control, or use the cap as a measuring tool and either pour it directly onto the brush or dip the brush into the cap. Now, with light effort, apply the solution to remove the stain. Repeat until the stain - or all stains - are lifted.
Now that you've effectively removed the stain you need to wet both shoes entirely to ensure color consistency. Use the brush to apply water evenly to the suede. You may notice some color run off but this shouldn't cause a noticeable color change once the shoes dry.
Some suggest using a towel to soak up the excess water from the shoe. I typically place my freshly washed suede shoes on a drying rack - face down to pull the excess water away naturally and to avoid any more dye loss.
Let them dry over night and the next day, with the brush, go over both shoes to restore the suede's nape. Your shoes should be back to pre-smudge perfection.
For more suggestions on cleaning suede I found this site helpful.
To protect your shoes - or any suede garment - familiarize yourself with these tips.
Need sartorial advice? Email me: ShoppingSavage@gmail.com