How to Clean Suede Shoes (If the Slush Hasn't Ruined Them Already)

::takes a step outside:: ::immediately goes back in::

Human leg, Bag, Textile, Outerwear, Winter, Street fashion, Luggage and bags, Fashion, Maroon, Tan,

To set the mood for both winter and this educational story on giving your precious loafers a fighting chance at lasting the season, here is a photographic epigraph, otherwise known as a meme.

Mood. Same. Me. Now that we've established a tone of agony but also of compulsory adventure (adulthood has a way of forcing you to put your paw out there), we segue into another grownup concept: shoe care. Here, the top five things you must remember for protecting your fawn-colored pumps from ruin.

1 Great, Another Thing to Brush

Do be quiet, because if you're like us, you haven't brushed anything but your brows since 2014. For anything with visible fibers, choose soft bristles and softer strokes for cleaning dirt and stains. A wire brush works on shorter suede, though you'll want to be careful not to leave Wolverine marks. And always brush in the direction of the grain of the fabric.

2 True Grit

Dried-on residue can be treated a bit more aggressively with a block, emory board, or even the least scratchy sandpaper Home Depot has to offer. But go at it carefully, not as if you're a lumberjack trying to fell a redwood.

3 Re: Water, Think Wicked Witch

As in, nah. It can affect the color and texture adversely, which anyone who's been caught in the rain in a pair of nubuck slippers can attest to.

4 Get Thee to the Kitchen

Clarks suggests combining two parts water and one part white vinegar and gently wiping shoes with the solution for another DIY cleaning method. Allow to fully dry in the open air before storing or wearing again.

5 Seal Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

As with most things, prevention is key, so the best way to save yourself from having to perform the above repeatedly is buying some sealant and spraying your shoes every few months to repel dirt. But still consider taking them to a professional, at least for a final cleaning before you put them away until next year—because spend some money now, have plush, velvety shoes ready to wear later.

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