Can You Wash Suede Sneakers In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Suede Sneakers In The Washing Machine

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No, it is not recommended to wash suede sneakers in the washing machine. Suede absorbs water, causing color loss and stains. Water can also damage the seams of suede sneakers. Instead, opt for dry brushing, erasing, and spot cleaning with appropriate suede cleaning methods.

Suede sneakers have become an iconic and versatile fashion choice, blending comfort with style. Their soft texture and unique appearance, however, require special care to maintain their allure. A common question that arises among suede sneaker enthusiasts is whether the washing machine is a suitable solution for cleaning these beloved shoes.

In this article, we will explore the intricacies of washing suede sneakers, offering insights into the dos and don’ts of suede sneaker maintenance. From the best practices to alternative cleaning methods, we aim to guide you toward preserving the charm of your suede sneakers.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Suede Sneakers In The Washing Machine


  • Regular Brushing: Regularly brush your suede sneakers using a soft-bristle suede brush. This prevents dirt buildup and restores the suede’s texture.
  • Preventive Measures: Before wearing your sneakers, apply a suede protector spray to shield them against liquids and stains.
  • Proper Storage: Store your suede sneakers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent color fading.
  • Rotation Is Key: Rotate between multiple pairs of sneakers to distribute wear and extend their lifespan.


  • No Water Washing: The porous nature of suede makes it vulnerable to water damage. Washing suede sneakers in the machine can lead to color loss, stains, and damage to the seams.
  • Harsh Chemicals Are a No-Go: Refrain from using harsh cleaning agents or household chemicals on your suede sneakers, as they can damage the delicate suede fibers.
  • Gentle Approach: Avoid aggressive scrubbing, as it can damage the suede’s nap and texture. Opt for gentle cleaning methods to retain the appeal of your sneakers.
  • Say No to Heat: Direct heat sources like radiators or hairdryers can cause suede to shrink, warp, or become brittle. Allow your sneakers to air dry naturally.

Best Way To Wash Suede Sneakers

Although machine washing is off the table, there are effective steps to clean your suede sneakers:

Step 1

Dry Brushing: Begin by dry brushing your suede sneakers with a soft-bristle suede brush. This removes surface dirt and restores the suede’s nap.

Step 2

Erasing Stains: For scuffs and marks, use a rubber eraser to gently rub the stained area. This can often lift minor stains.

Step 3

Spot Cleaning: For more stubborn stains, employ appropriate suede cleaning methods such as a suede cleaner, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. Always test these solutions on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Alternative Washing Methods For Suede Sneakers

For those looking for alternative methods of cleaning, consider the following techniques:

  1. Freezing Technique: Place your suede sneakers in a plastic bag and freeze them overnight. Freezing helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria. Gently brush off dirt or residue after freezing.
  2. Baking Soda Absorption: To absorb odors, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside your sneakers and leave it overnight. Shake out the baking soda and use a suede brush to restore the nap.
  3. Cornstarch for Grease Stains: For grease stains, apply cornstarch to the affected area and let it sit for a few hours. Gently brush off the cornstarch and use a suede brush to restore the nap.


Can I use a slightly damp cloth to clean suede sneakers?

Answer: It’s advisable to avoid using water directly on suede sneakers. Dry brushing and spot cleaning with appropriate solutions are better options.

Can I wear suede sneakers in wet conditions?

Answer: It’s best to avoid wearing suede sneakers in wet or rainy weather to prevent water damage.

How often should I clean my suede sneakers?

Answer: Regular brushing and spot cleaning should be performed as needed. Consider deep cleaning or seeking professional cleaning services every few months, depending on wear frequency.

Can I apply a protective spray after cleaning suede sneakers?

Answer: Yes, applying a suede protector spray after cleaning can help maintain a protective barrier against liquids and stains.

Do suede cleaning kits work effectively?

Answer: Yes, suede cleaning kits are designed with specialized brushes, erasers, and solutions tailored for optimal suede care. They are a valuable investment in preserving the quality of your suede sneakers.

Final Words

In conclusion, while the allure of using a washing machine to clean your suede sneakers may be tempting, it’s essential to choose a gentler path. The delicate nature of suede and its vulnerability to water damage make machine washing a risky endeavor. Instead, embrace the meticulous and effective cleaning methods discussed above to ensure your suede sneakers remain a timeless part of your wardrobe.

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