Katherine asked: How do I clean suede “dust” from the inside of old boots? I found a fantastic pair of old suede boots at a thrift store, but the inside of them is dirty. The dried up suede flakes off into this grainy dust, and I can’t figure out what to do about it. I haven’t wanted to wear them because they get my feet and legs all dirt and dusty. There’s a thin layer of nylon on the inside, so I can’t scrape it at all, and a damp sponge only does so much. Ideas?
Suede doesn’t have the natural protection barrier of leather, making proper maintenance extremely important to keep your product in good condition. If you have an older suede item that hasn’t had the benefit of regular care, it may be impossible to completely repair the damage, although an improvement is certainly possible. To improve the condition of old “flaking” suede from the inside of a pair of boots, follow these steps.
You Will Need:
- Moist, soapy towel
- A Nubuck Cleaning Kit
- Dry cloth
Steps to Clean the Suede:
- First, try to clean as much of the loose debris from inside of the boots as possible. If your boots have a lining, this may be difficult or not particularly effective, but it’s important to clean them before moving to the next step. Use the moist, soapy towel to work on the inside and allow the boots to dry completely before continuing.
- Following the directions for your kit, use the sponge to apply the liquid Nubuck Cleaner to the inside of your boots. Allow the cleaner to work right through the lining of your boots. If the suede “dust” can get through it, so can the cleaner.
- After a thorough cleaning, wipe up any excess with a dry cloth and allow the boots to dry completely.
- Freshen up any spots of exposed suede with a Nubuck cloth. It can take care of light spots or marks without the requirement of an extended drying time.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Can’t find a Nubuck Cleaning Kit? Assemble your own with Liquid Nubuck Cleaner, Nubuck Cloths and sponges.
- If your suede item or the manufacturer’s directions with your Nubuck Cleaning Kit differ from what you see here, follow the directions related to your specific items.
- If the boots still flake old suede, consider wearing dark socks (or socks that match the flaking) so you can still enjoy the boots.
- Another idea to speed the process is to use a vacuum hose to remove all loose debris from the inside of the boots. The upholstery attachment should do the job.
- Repeat the cleaning process every six months for maintenance with average wear. Until the flaking stops, repeat more often.
- Do not soak the boots unless you’re willing to chance further damage. Soaking can cause shrinkage and water damage.