How to Soften a Suede Leather Hat

Cory asked: How do I soften a suede leather hat? I have a suede leather hat which has gone hard. How do I soften it? Thank you.

A new suede hat looks and feels great, but if it’s exposed to the elements, over time the suede may become stiff and uncomfortable. To restore your suede leather hat to its soft, supple former glory, follow these simple steps.

You Will Need:

  • Liquid silicone
  • Damp sponge
  • Clean toothbrush

Steps to Soften the Suede:

  1. Ensure the suede is clean and free of dust or loose debris. If you are unsure of how to clean your suede, see our guide How to Clean Suede.
  2. Apply liquid silicone with the damp sponge or spray directly onto the suede. Be sure to cover all of the surfaces.
  3. Work the silicone into the suede with the damp sponge. Use a toothbrush to work silicone treatment into any hard to reach areas.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Liquid silicone does an excellent job of conditioning and softening suede. It can be found in shoe stores.
  • This process may darken suede slightly. This is normal and will not hurt your suede..


  1. David says:

    Some baseball glove conditioners/softeners are silicone-based. If you can’t find any silicone in the shoes dept., try sporting goods. Use sparingly, as the author says, it will darken any leather, suede or not, and the more you put on, the darker it will get.

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