Suede shoes can be difficult to clean because the nap of the material traps dirt, making it harder for water and cleaning solutions to reach the surface. The more a suede shoe is worn, the more scuff marks and bald spots appear throughout the nap. These spots aren’t permanent or damaging. They get in your way when you’re trying to re-shine your shoes.
To fix bald spots on suede shoes, you only need to fill them in with a small amount of fabric glue. You can also use a carpet repair kit, but the color and texture may not match your shoe’s original material. We will discuss more below on how to fix bald spots on suede shoes. So make sure you read the blog post till the end.
Possible Reasons For Bald Spots on Suede Shoes
- Loose or worn out heel counter
- The heel is bunching up in the back from wear and tear
- Shoes are not being stored correctly
- Staining with oils, food dyes, etc.
- Shoe trees are not being used when storing your shoes
- Golden Age Shoe Cream is not being used, or shoe cream with dyes is used on the suede.
- Shoes are being stored in an enclosed area such as a closet, causing pressure and overheating, which causes the suede to dry out and shrink over time.
- Suede replacement from new shoes is wearing out easier
Materials You’ll Need
- Rubbing alcohol
- Felt-tipped marker
- Suede brush
- An iron and ironing board
- Plastic bag or newspaper
- Your suede shoes
Instructions: How to Fix Bald Spots on Suede Shoes
Clean the area first before you try to fix your suede shoes. Use a suede brush or eraser to remove the small spots of baldness. Make sure you rinse out all of the rubbing alcohol from the area that you just brushed before applying the marker so that it doesn’t run off and cause more spots.
Once the spot is clean, draw a dot or several dots on the bald spot. The number of dots you choose should correspond to the amount of material that needs to be replaced.
Using an iron, hold it against the dot using your plastic bag or newspaper to protect the surrounding suede. Make sure you apply gentle pressure and regularly check until the area is filled in with color evenly. Allow time for the area to cool before testing if it has been filled well enough and repeat as necessary.
Note: Although this method works best on larger bald spots, tiny marks might need some extra time under the iron’s heat to fill them with color.
Once you are finished making your mark, use your felt-tipped marker to color in the spot. Use a matching colored marker to blend so that it doesn’t look like you just added dots on your suede shoes with a dot marker.
Now that the holes are gone apply a protective spray or treatment on them before wearing them again. This will help keep your shoes looking great much longer and protect them from any further damage.
After you’ve treated your shoes, make sure that all of the leftover residues from the marker is removed so that it doesn’t rub off and create a mess. Make sure you use a suede brush or eraser to clean this area again before wearing them to ensure they last as long as possible.
Note: Make sure you only treat light colors gently with this step, such as browns and blacks, since dark colors might cause excessive shrinking of the suede material, which would make it hard to get out later. Use caution when trying this step, and always test an area first before applying it to the whole shoe!
If you have any broken stitches on your suede shoes, apply a drop of super glue to the back of the loose thread and then use scissors to clip off the excess. Be careful not to cut into or touch the main suede material until you are sure that it holds strong.
Break-in your new pair of suede shoes gradually to prevent more damage. Please don’t wear them for a long period of time without giving your feet a little fresh air, and don’t put all of your weight on the shoe until it is fully broken in.
10 Ways To Clean Suede Shoes
1.Brush Strongly Using Suede Brush:
Never brush the suede with your hands. Brush it strongly using a suede brush. This will remove all the dust and dirt that is stuck deep inside the shoe and wear out a new layer of leather on top of the old one to make it look brand new.
2.Dip Damp Cloth In Water and Rub Shoes:
This will remove small stains & watermarks from the suede. Make sure that you rub very gently so as not to damage the shoes too much.
3.Remove Dirt Deep Inside Shoes:
Get a bucket of warm/hot water with mild detergent and put your sodden pair of suede shoes inside it. Attach a brush to an electric drill and scrub the mud off your shoes. Be sure that you don’t overdo this step, or else you will wear out the suede leather and expose your shoe’s base.
4.Use Stain Remover:
If there are some stubborn stains on your suede, then you can use something like Shoe Goo. It’s a liquid that can be applied on suede, and it will protect water, mud, etc.
5.Buff the Shoes:
To make your shoes look shiny again, you will need to rub them with a suede eraser or buy a suede shine/protectant.
6.Put Them Into The Freezer:
If your shoes have gotten wet and you want them to dry up quickly, put them into the freezer for about three hours and then let them back to room temperature so that they can air out properly.
7.Use Suede Protectant:
This will help keep the base of your suede shoes from wearing out and keep them clean for a long time.
8.Spray Them With Water:
If you are going to store your shoes for a long period of time, make sure that you spray them with water and cover them up so that the dust doesn’t stick on them. This will help your shoes last for a long time.
If you find that your suede shoes are looking a bit worn out and the texture is no longer smooth, here’s what you can do: Take a disposable razor blade and carefully shave off some parts of the suede. It will help them regain their original shape and feel better than before.
10.Use Sand Paper:
If there are still parts of your shoes that don’t have a smooth texture, you can sandpaper and buff the shoe. Sandpaper is used to roughen up the part of suede that has become smooth and less textured over time due to frequent handling.
Types of Stains On Suede Shoes and Their Solutions
If you have a water stain on your suede shoes, chances are it results from standing in and then walking out of a puddle or small pond. For this type of problem, you need to be quick! The longer your suede sits in a large pool of liquid, the more damage will be done to its finish!
Suppose the stain has not yet discolored the leather, sponge some warm water on top of the patch, and blot with paper towels until no more moisture is absorbed into the towel. Repeat as needed. Once dry, use a suede brush to buff away any remaining marks.
If you have an oil stain on your suede shoes, chances are they were caught in the rain. The good news is that most of these stains can be removed from suede! Use a towel or paper towel to blot as much moisture out of the leather as possible. If this does not work, try soaking up the excess liquid with a wet rag.
This should loosen any dirt and grime stuck in the material before blotting until no more fluid could be absorbed. Apply some saddle soap or gently rub petroleum jelly onto the patch, then cover it with a clean cloth and apply pressure for several minutes to remove spot marks. Repeat if needed until clean, then buff using a shoeshine brush.
If you have mud on your suede shoes, chances are they were caught in the rain. Mud will remove any waterproofing that has been applied to the leather and cause stains as it dries. Start by blotting off excess liquid with a towel or rag, then use a gentle soap and water mixture (1 part shampoo to 5 parts warm water) to scrub away remaining marks.
After they dry, this should remove almost all of the discoloration! If not, repeat until gone. Once clean, let them air-dry overnight before applying some shoe cream or polish for added protection.
There is one food stain that will get out every single time, which is chocolate! Once you have cleaned up as much of the mess as possible, use a paper towel or rag to dab the rest of the stain dry before it sets.
The good news is that chocolate stains are usually a solid color (as opposed to colored liquids), which will make them easier to cover! Apply some shoe cream for added protection and allow at least an hour for it to do its magic.
Ink stains can be extremely difficult to remove from suede if you are not quick about it. The longer your shoes sit in the stain, the harder they will be to clean! Start by blotting off excess liquid with a paper towel or rag, then sponge some rubbing alcohol onto a different cloth and dab the same area.
Once dry, use a leather cleaning solution (most art/office supply stores carry this!) and wipe away any leftover marks. This should hopefully fade out any discolored patches! Repeat until no more ink could be removed, applying as little pressure as possible to prevent additional damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Fix Discolored Suede Shoes?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to fixing discolored shoes is that you should remove the offending substance before attempting to clean and restore the affected area. The basic cleaning process involves removing any dirt by following with saddle soap, then using a suede brush or toothbrush with a liquid cleaner.
How to Get Stains Out of Faux Suede?
If your shoes are stained from food or drink, be sure to blot up as much of the stain as possible before attempting to clean them. Once this is done, you can either use pre-treatment products (these go on before applying the stain remover) or wait for a while until they dry completely first, then apply some more saddle soap and gently rub in an upward motion.
How Do You Restore Worn Suede Shoes?
If your suede shoes have become worn due to extensive use or abuse, you will need to smooth out the surface texture. Sand down the tough parts with some fine sandpaper and condition them with shoe polish.
How Do You Get Suede Shoes Clean?
You can easily get suede shoes clean using a mild soap (Castile soaps work well); make sure that the shoes are first rinsed off in cold water before being hand washed. A brush should then be used in an upward motion, either on its own or while scrubbing lightly with a soft cloth (whether it’s fake or real suede). After rinsing, leave them out to dry naturally and apply shoe polish when they are completely dry.
Bald spots on suede shoes are a common problem, but there’s no need for you to worry about your balding footwear anymore! This blog post will teach you how to fix bald spots on suede shoes with simple steps and techniques. Use hair spray or shoe polish and apply it directly onto the spot that needs covering up.
Do this twice a year just before summer sets in so you can enjoy your favorite pair throughout all four seasons without embarrassment! This little trick will help keep those pesky stains at bay too. So what are you waiting for? You don’t want any more holes; that’s why get started now by using one of these handy tricks today!