Can You Wash Suede Tennis Shoes In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Suede Tennis Shoes In The Washing Machine

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No, it is not recommended to wash suede tennis shoes in the washing machine. Suede absorbs water, so washing suede shoes with water can cause stains to set in the fabric and lose their color. Additionally, water can spot stain suede shoes and damage the seams.

Suede tennis shoes are a perfect blend of athletic performance and fashion-forward style. Their soft texture and unique appearance make them a popular choice among sports enthusiasts and fashion aficionados alike. Yet, one question that often arises is whether these luxurious suede tennis shoes can withstand the rigors of a washing machine.

In this article, we will delve into the essential details surrounding washing suede tennis shoes, providing you with insightful dos and don’ts, alternative cleaning methods, and ultimately guiding you toward the best practices for keeping your suede tennis shoes looking their best.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Suede Tennis Shoes


  • Regular Brushing: Suede’s textured surface makes it prone to capturing dirt and dust. Employ a soft-bristle suede brush to gently remove surface debris and restore the suede’s natural nap.
  • Preventive Measures: Prior to wearing your suede tennis shoes, apply a suede protector spray. This invisible shield safeguards against liquids and stains, helping you preserve the pristine look of your shoes.
  • Proper Storage: When not in use, store your suede tennis shoes in a cool, dry environment. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as this can cause fading and discoloration over time.
  • Rotation is Key: Wearing the same pair of tennis shoes repeatedly can expedite wear and tear. To extend the life of your suede tennis shoes, rotate between multiple pairs to distribute the impact evenly.


  • No Water Washing: Suede and water do not mix well. Due to suede’s propensity to absorb water, machine washing or soaking suede tennis shoes can lead to stubborn stains, color fading, and deformation.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using harsh cleaning agents or household cleaners on your suede tennis shoes. These chemicals can harm the delicate suede fibers and result in irreversible damage.
  • Gentle Approach: Avoid aggressive scrubbing, as it can damage the suede’s nap and texture. Always opt for gentle cleaning methods to protect the visual appeal of your shoes.
  • Say No to Heat: Direct heat sources like radiators or hairdryers can cause the suede to shrink, warp, or become brittle. Opt for natural air drying to ensure the integrity of your suede tennis shoes.

Best Way To Wash Suede Tennis Shoes

Although the washing machine is not suitable for suede tennis shoes, there are alternative methods that can maintain their charm:

Step 1

Spot Cleaning: For small stains or localized dirt, opt for spot cleaning. Utilize a suede eraser or white pencil eraser to gently rub the stained area. Afterward, use a suede brush to restore the nap.

Step 2

Steam Refreshing: A handheld garment steamer can work wonders for your suede tennis shoes. Hold the steamer a few inches away from the surface and employ a suede brush to revive the nap.

Step 3

Professional Help: When facing stubborn stains or requiring a deep clean, it’s advisable to consult professionals experienced in cleaning suede items. They possess the expertise and tools needed to clean without causing damage.

Alternative Washing Methods For Suede Tennis Shoes

If water-based cleaning methods give you pause, consider these alternative techniques:

  1. Freezing Trick: Place your suede tennis shoes in a resealable plastic bag and freeze them overnight. Freezing helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria. Once frozen, gently brush off any dirt or residue.
  2. Baking Soda Absorption: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside your tennis shoes and leave it overnight. Baking soda can absorb odors. In the morning, shake out the baking soda and brush your shoes.
  3. Cornstarch for Grease Stains: If grease stains are a concern, apply cornstarch to the stained area and allow it to sit for a few hours. Cornstarch aids in absorbing grease. Brush off the cornstarch and use a suede brush to gently restore the nap.


Can I use a slightly damp cloth to clean suede tennis shoes?

Answer: Yes, you can use a slightly damp cloth to wipe off minor dirt or stains. However, ensure the cloth is not excessively wet, as excess moisture can damage suede.

Can I wear suede tennis shoes in damp conditions?

Answer: It’s advisable to avoid wearing suede tennis shoes in wet or rainy weather. If they do get wet, stuff them with newspaper and allow them to air dry naturally.

How often should I clean my suede tennis shoes?

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

Is it safe to apply a protective spray after cleaning suede tennis shoes?

Answer: Yes, applying a suede protector spray post-cleaning can help maintain the protective barrier and repel liquids.

Do suede cleaning kits work effectively?

Answer: Yes, suede cleaning kits typically include specialized brushes, erasers, and solutions designed for optimal suede care. They are a worthwhile investment for the maintenance of suede tennis shoes.

Final Words

In essence, while the allure of machine washing your suede tennis shoes might be enticing, it’s paramount to resist the temptation. The delicate nature of suede and its vulnerability to water make this an unwise choice. Instead, follow the gentle and effective cleaning methods outlined above to ensure your suede tennis shoes remain a captivating component of your wardrobe for years to come.

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