Angie asked: How do I clean black, faux suede boots? I used my dad’s suede shoe cleaner from footlocker to clean my black faux suede boots and scrubbed them with the brush it came with. I think it was chemical foam. Now, my boots are faded and look kind of gray instead of black. Should I wash them with water? It looks like the foam just stained them and never came off. Please help!
If your faux suede has faded, the good news is that a simple fade is relatively easy to repair. Suede color is typically just on the surface, so fading is most likely the result of a cleaning process that took the color right off of it. All you need is a dye that will work on the type of faux suede you have and the proper application tools. However, before you dye the suede, it’s a good idea to clean it if it’s dirty. Here are the steps you should take.
You Will Need:
- Mild detergent
- Soft toothbrush or sponge
- Clean towel
- Dye for suede (make sure it is indicated for the type of fabric you want to use it on)
- Application device for dye (check the label for directions)
- Silicon spray
Steps to Restore Suede Dye:
- Create a solution of water and mild detergent. You don’t want to have a bubbly, soapy bucket, because you will end up with soap stuck to your suede. Add just enough detergent to cut through any dirt or grease on your suede. A couple of drops may be plenty.
- Use the toothbrush or sponge to dip in the water and detergent solution. Lightly scrub the material, taking care not to damage the nap.
- Blot the item to remove as much water as possible, then allow it to air dry completely before proceeding.
- Next, follow the directions on the dye for the suede dye application and drying time to revive the color of your faux suede.
- Finally, after the dye has set, apply the silicon spray to help protect your faux suede from water or dirt in the future.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Suede can be dyed to a darker color, but not a lighter one. For the best results at home, don’t try to change the color of your suede.
- While faded suede is relatively easy to revive, any other damage could pose a problem. If your suede has damage beyond just the color, you may need it professionally repaired.
- Ultrasuede (100% polyester) cannot be dyed with regular suede fabric dye. Polyester requires something called a disperse dye and needs to be professionally applied. However, if the surface just has a dull finish due to residue, it can tolerate washing without the fear of damage that regular suede may incur.
- Instead of cleaning with mild detergent and water, you can buy a suede degreaser/cleaner.
- Always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure there are no adverse effects to the item.
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