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What is the
best way to
clean suede shoes?

Before answering this question, let us clear up a common misconception: deer (daim in French, which is also a word for suede) is no longer used to make most suede.

Despite what some might think, calfskin suede is no more fragile than the regular leather from the same hide. Everything depends on the initial hide quality. Suede shoes are very easily cared for, provided you respect certain rules.

Before cleaning suede, it is important to brush it with a soft brush. If the brush is too stiff, small dirt particles and dust may be forced down into the nap and become deeply embedded.

With use, suede tends to become shiny: the hairs flatten in certain areas and lose their lift and lustre. It is therefore important to start by refreshing the nap using a specially designed crepe brush. This essential step removes the unwanted shiny areas on your shoes, cleans the suede, and lets it breathe so that the spray to be applied can penetrate deeply. Brush the crepe brush across your shoes in both directions of the nap; if some areas resist the brushing, make sparing use of a brass brush, with gentle movements until you achieve the desired effect.

You can now apply a special suede spray, either clear or tinted, to nourish and waterproof the leather. With this final step in the maintenance routine, you will restore the calfskin suede’s velvety lustre. Spray the shoe with even motions, holding the container about thirty centimetres from the shoe, in a fairly well-ventilated space. If you choose to use a tinted spray, be sure to protect your carpet first! Choose the exact shade of your shoes, or a slightly darker hue if you need to mask scratches. Let your shoes dry for a good quarter hour, and then brush them one last time – before stepping back out on the right foot.

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