Can You Put Suede Trainers In The Washing Machine?

It’s not advisable to wash suede trainers in the washing machine. Suede can’t handle excessive moisture; if they absorb too much water and then dry, they become stiff, uncomfortable, and more likely to get damaged. This makes them likely to break and lose their distinctive texture.

What else should you know about caring for your suede trainers? In this article, we’ll learn some effective alternatives to washing machines and how you can care for and maintain your suede trainers to extend their life and keep them looking their best.

Why Is Water Damaging To Suede Shoes?

open washing machine door

Suede differs from leather in its response to moisture. One key issue is its inability to reabsorb water once dried. The water strips away the natural oils that keep the suede material flexible, similar to how excessive water exposure dries out human skin. 

Suede also has small hairs on its surface that provide its fuzzy appearance. These hairs can become brittle and break if they get wet, spoiling the suede and making it lose its fuzzy texture, ending up with something that isn’t really suede or leather. It may also exacerbate any existing stains, further spoiling the fabric’s look and feel.

Using products like suede shampoos can add slight moisture, but generally, it’s wise to avoid getting your suede trainers damp. Use a protection spray instead, which helps water to bead up and roll off without soaking into the material. 

How To Clean Suede Trainers

suede trainers

While water is a no-go, keeping your suede trainers fresh is still achievable. Here’s what you should do:

  • Use a suede brush to remove dirt and dust. Brush gently in one direction to lift debris without damaging the delicate hairs.
  • Target stubborn stains with a suede eraser. This gently buffs away marks without harming the material.
  • For deeper cleaning, consider a suede shampoo. Always test it on a hidden area first to ensure no colour changes occur. 
  • Clean with minimal moisture. A damp cloth is all you need. Remember, the goal is to refresh, not soak. The suede might darken slightly, but this should disappear as it dries naturally.

Important: Never attempt to clean suede shoes while they are wet. Allow any dirt or moisture to dry before brushing to avoid setting stains. Additionally, avoid using a dryer as it could cause further damage. Instead, fill the shoes with newspaper or use a fan to help them air out evenly.

How To Treat Scuffs And Scratches On Suede Trainers

If you notice small scratches, gently rub over them with your finger to make them less noticeable. For scratches that are a little deeper, applying suede conditioner to the affected area and buffing it could help. 

If this approach doesn’t work, gently use a suede brush on the leather fibres. It could make the scratch less noticeable. Should the scratch be particularly large or deep, a leather filler kit might be required, or preferably, take them to a leather expert.

How To Care For Your Suede Trainers

Regular care is essential to keep your suede trainers soft and prevent scratches. After cleaning, use a gentle brush or cloth to put on some suede conditioner, which might be cream, wax, or oil. 

Stroke it in linear paths, alternating directions to make sure the conditioner covers the shoe evenly.

How To Properly Store Suede Trainers

Proper storage is important for maintaining suede’s quality. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources like radiators to prevent colour fading and drying out. 

If storing them for extended periods, especially between seasons, wrap them in tissue paper and store them in a shoebox or dedicated shoe bag in a cool, dry place. This helps prevent mould growth in humid conditions.

SEE ALSO: Can You Put Trainers In The Tumble Dryer?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put suede trainers in the washing machine?

No, it’s not advisable to put suede trainers in the washing machine. Suede can become stiff and uncomfortable when it absorbs too much moisture, increasing the likelihood of damage and altering the material’s distinctive texture.

Can suede trainers get wet?

Suede trainers should not be allowed to get wet. Water damages the suede by stripping away natural oils, making the material less flexible and causing the surface hairs to become brittle and break. This can spoil the suede’s appearance and worsen stains.

How do I clean suede trainers?

To clean suede trainers, use a suede brush to gently remove dirt and dust by brushing in one direction. For stubborn stains, a suede eraser can be used to buff away marks. For a deeper clean, a suede shampoo might be appropriate, but always test on a hidden area first to check for colour changes. Clean with minimal moisture, using a damp cloth and allowing the trainers to air dry naturally. Avoid using water excessively to prevent damage.

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