Skip to Content

Can Water Ruin Suede? How to Protect and Clean Your Suede Items (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

does water ruin suedeDo you know that over 85% of people think water can ruin suede? Well, it doesn’t have to be the case. If you take the right steps and precautions when your suede items get wet, they will last for a long time.

So if you’re wondering ‘does water ruin suede?’ – don’t worry! By understanding how to protect and clean your precious shoes or boots from getting ruined by rain or other liquids, there’s no reason why they won’t stay in perfect condition.

In this article, we’ll cover everything about taking care of wet suede, including what happens when it gets wet, treating stains, prevention tips, plus top products to help keep them looking good as new!

Key Takeaways

  • Suede is highly vulnerable to water damage, which can cause fading, stretching, and watermarks.
  • Using hydrophobic spray can provide protection against water damage to suede.
  • Immediate action should be taken when suede gets wet, including blotting and brushing to dry it.
  • Stain removal can be done with suede erasers and homemade solutions, such as warm water, vinegar, and dish soap.

Can Suede Get Wet?

Can Suede Get Wet
You feel the cool mist against your suede boots as you walk through the woods, anxiously remembering what the cobbler said about treating them with a water-repellent spray beforehand. Suede is a delicate material vulnerable to water damage if left untreated. Exposing suede to moisture without protection can cause the nap to become misshapen from stretching or leave permanent stains.

While a bit of dampness may only stiffen the fibers temporarily, prolonged wetness risks permanent damage. Safeguarding suede requires diligent protection before exposure to prevent stains, distortion, and the potential ruination brought by water.

Using a hydrophobic spray to form an invisible barrier against moisture will help fend off the threats of the elements.

With proper preparations against the risks of water, your suede boots can withstand the journey ahead.

What Happens When Suede Gets Wet

What Happens When Suede Gets Wet
Suede is quite vulnerable when it gets wet. Exposure to rainwater can deteriorate the material, fade the color, cause stretching, and leave unsightly watermarks, so it’s critical to treat suede with a protective spray before wearing it in inclement weather.

Rain Deteriorates Suede

When rain drizzles onto your boots, the nap corrodes like acid eating a delicate membrane. Helpless against its acidic onslaught, the supple fibers disintegrate under each cold raindrop. Gradually, the vibrant hues wash away until only a faded specter remains. But you can shield suede’s vulnerability.

With proactive waterproofing, your boots withstand the storm’s barrage. Care for them properly, and they’ll continue protecting your feet, their beauty unscathed by the rain.

Rain Makes Suede Fade in Colour

Exposure dims suede’s vibrancy, so protect your shades with water-repellent sprays.

  • Use suede protectant sprays as a barrier against moisture.
  • Spot clean stains quickly with a suede eraser.
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure to prevent fading.
  • Consider indoor storage for extra delicate hues.

    Renew color with dye sprays after signs of wear appear.

Wet Suede is Prone to Stretching

If soaked, suede can stretch like a wet sponge. The fibers expand, distorting the shape and creating watermarks. To fix it, reshape while damp. Stuff it with socks to restore its form as it dries. Avoid DIY stretching remedies. Commercial stretching sprays often contain silicone to reduce friction between fibers.

For suede footwear, prevention is best. Waterproof it upfront and allow the shoes to dry naturally after getting wet to maintain their shape. Frequent brushing with tea tree oil nourishes the fibers, preventing deterioration.

Rain Leaves Watermarks on Suede

The rain can leave ugly watermarks on your suede if you don’t protect it. Here are 5 tips to prevent and remove watermarks on suede:

  1. Apply a suede protector spray before wearing in the rain. This creates a barrier against moisture.
  2. Blot damp suede with a clean towel. Don’t rub, as it can damage the nap.
  3. Use a suede eraser on dried marks. Gently rub in a circular motion.
  4. For stubborn stains, try a homemade solution of vinegar and water. Dip a cloth and dab the marks.
  5. Restore color with a suede dye if the watermarks won’t lift. Remember to reapply the protector spray afterward.

Utilizing suede protection and proper cleaning methods will help you avoid those unsightly rain watermarks.

Treating Wet Suede

Treating Wet Suede
When suede gets wet, take immediate action to prevent permanent damage. Soak up excess moisture with a towel, gently brush the nap with a soft bristle brush to restore texture, apply low heat while brushing to accelerate drying, and treat any stains with a suede eraser or brush.

Soak Up as Much Water as Possible

You’d better blot that drenched suede pronto, pardner, lest it shrivel up like a raisin in the desert sun.

Drying Technique Description Tips
Blotting Use a clean microfiber towel to gently blot wet suede. Avoid rubbing. Pat lightly to absorb excess moisture. Change towel as needed.
Brushing Use a soft bristle suede brush once damp. Brush nap gently in the direction it lies after blotting.
Drying Use a hairdryer on the cool setting to accelerate drying. Keep the dryer 6 inches away. Move continuously to avoid heat damage.

Treating wet suede quickly is crucial to avoid permanent damage. Blot, brush, and dry while being cautious to maintain the suede’s smooth nap.

Brush the Nap

You’ll want to gently brush the damp suede with a soft bristle brush. This light brushing removes surface moisture to accelerate drying while smoothing the nap. Use gentle, even strokes following the grain. Avoid rubbing or disturbing the delicate fibers.

Proper technique restores the supple texture and original finish. Continued brushing after drying further enhances the suede, nourishing the nap.

Apply Heat While Brushing

Dry your suede gently, like warming a newborn – use a hairdryer on low and brush the nap continually so it rises soft and smooth. Apply heat cautiously, sweeping the horse-bristle brush across damp suede as you dry.

This technique lifts the nap, restoring the velvety texture. Do not overheat, keep the nozzle moving to avoid damage. Patiently drying and brushing revives suede’s supple feel. With care, even soaked suede can be renewed.

Treating Stains

Using a suede eraser helps lift stains while maintaining the material’s smooth finish. Gently rub the stained area with a suede eraser, brushing across the nap instead of up and down. Check the eraser frequently to avoid transferring dirt back to the surface. For stubborn stains, use a small amount of saddle soap on a damp cotton swab.

Let it fully dry before brushing. With patience, you can salvage stained suede and retain its supple feel.

How to Treat Wet Suede Shoes

How to Treat Wet Suede Shoes
Don’t fret if your suede kicks get drenched – gently dab ’em dry with a towel and once they’ve air-dried, buff the nap back to life.

Here are 3 tips for treating wet suede shoes:

  1. Blot damp suede gently with a clean, dry towel to absorb excess moisture. Avoid rubbing, which can damage the nap.
  2. Stuff shoes with paper towels to help them retain shape as they dry. Allow 24 hours of air drying time.
  3. Once fully dry, use a suede brush to restore the nap. Brush in different directions to revive the texture.

With prompt action, you can rescue soaked suede shoes. Careful drying and nap restoration will have them looking fresh in no time. Suede is a delicate material, but taking precautions means wet shoes don’t have to spell disaster.

How to Treat Water Stains on Suede

How to Treat Water Stains on Suede
When it comes to treating water stains on suede, the key is to approach it gently yet effectively. Start by making your own cleaning solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to lift stains without damaging the delicate nap.

Blotting with a clean cloth rather than rubbing the area will help avoid abrasion.

Removing Stains on Suede

You’ll want to treat those stains on your suede quickly before they set in. Grab a suede eraser and gently rub out fresh stains in a circular motion. For stubborn stains, make an egg white and vinegar paste. Dab it on with a toothbrush, let it dry fully, then buff away with a nylon brush.

Spray on some waterproofer afterwards to repel future stains. Restoring color is trickier – try a recoloring spray in small sections first to test it out before fully committing.

How to Make Your Own Cleaning Solution

Mix up your own suede cleaning solution and breathe new life into those stained shoes. Create a gentle, homemade suede cleaner with warm water, white vinegar, a touch of dish soap, and a soft toothbrush.

Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the delicate fibers. Gently dab the solution on stains and let it dry fully. Buff lightly with a clean cloth. DIY cleaners allow you to remove stains safely without spending a fortune.

Preventing Water Damage to Suede Shoes

Preventing Water Damage to Suede Shoes
Waterproofing your suede shoes before wearing them is the best way to prevent water damage. Utilizing a protective spray and maintaining proper care will shield your suede from stains and moisture that can ruin the delicate material.

Waterproof Your Suede Shoes

You can easily waterproof your suede shoes by treating them with a water-repellent spray before wearing them out. Did you know suede is three times more prone to water damage than regular leather? Protect your suede shoes against damage using a nano-polymer spray like Pedag’s Canvas and Fabric Waterproofing.

Apply it evenly according to the instructions, and let it dry completely. Test the water repellency before wearing. Reapply as needed for optimal suede protection. With proper preparation, you can confidently wear your suede shoes without worry.

Prevention is Key

Keep suede goods as new by spraying on protection before exposure. Adding a moisture barrier ahead of time helps suede repel water droplets. Make preemptive protection part of your suede care routine. When scouting styles, look for water-resistant variations.

Read product details to confirm the upper’s composition is waterproofed. Condition the fibers regularly with a suede protector like Tarrago Nano Protector spray. This preparation prolongs the life of your investment. Guard against water damage through proactivity.

Top 5 Suede Protection Products

Top 5 Suede Protection Products
Pedag’s canvas and fabric waterproofing spray provides intense water repellency for leather, suede, and textiles. Tarrago’s suede nubuck recolor dye nourishing spray revives suede’s original color while nourishing the material and protecting against water.

Moneysworth’s suede renew black dye restores the black color on suede items while guarding against stains. Shacke’s suede nubuck leather brush cleaner kit effectively removes dirt and scuffs from suede.

Ralyn’s shoe polish dauber applicator set includes light and dark horsehair daubers suitable for applying paste polish to smooth leather shoes.

Pedag Canvas and Fabric Waterproofing Spray

After slathering that German nano-technology miracle spray on your suede shoes, you’ll be fearlessly stomping through monsoon puddles while cackling like a supervillain. This high-quality waterproofing spray provides intense protection for suede against water, dirt, and stains.

For optimal suede shoe care and stain removal, follow these steps:

  1. Apply the spray evenly from 12 inches away in a well-ventilated area.
  2. Use the spray outdoors and wear a mask for protection.
  3. Spray the product onto clean, dry shoes.
  4. Reapply the spray after 10 days of wear.

By safeguarding your suede with this nano-tech shield, you can conquer the elements while keeping your signature style immaculate.

Tarrago Suede Nubuck Recolor Dye Nourishing Spray Black

The Tarrago dye spray revives faded black suede while nourishing the material, though be mindful of potential color transfer.

Before After

Faded black suede shoes Vibrant black suede shoes

Sc■ and worn suede jacket Renewed and rejuvenated suede jacket

This easy-to-apply spray dye penetrates the microfibers to renew the black color of worn suede items like shoes, boots, jackets, and handbags. While it restores moisture and protects against water damage, some customers noted concerns about potential color transfer, so apply carefully.

Moneysworth Suede Renew Black Dye

You’re right to use caution when spraying this black dye to avoid overspray, but it can restore the rich color of faded suede if you mask off areas neatly.

  1. Test on a small hidden area first.
  2. Apply light coats, allowing drying time between each coat.
  3. Work in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Clean the nozzle after each use to prevent clogs.
  5. Coat the entire suede surface evenly for uniform results.

The alcohol-free formula penetrates the fibers to renew the color and moisture of suede while also providing protection against water damage and stains. With care, it can revive faded black suede and nubuck items such as shoes, purses, and jackets.

Shacke Suede Nubuck Leather Brush Cleaner

Gently clean neglected suede boots with the Shacke Suede Nubuck Leather Brush Cleaner’s built-in bristles for impressive results. This expertly designed 4-piece kit effortlessly removes heavy dirt and scuffs without solutions, renewing your boots.

Its unique nylon, thin metal, and rubber bristle heads deep clean all crevices, quickly restoring faded suede’s supple nap and removing stubborn stains. For optimum suede shoe care and renewal, trust this ingenious brush set to gently yet thoroughly refresh the appearance of neglected boots.

Ralyn Shoe Polish Dauber Applicator Set Light Dark Hair Shoe Leather Brushes

Polish up those shoes with Ralyn’s handy dauber set!

  1. Effective leather cleaning
  2. Versatile bristle options
  3. Comfortable wooden handles
  4. Suitable for shining shoes
  5. Maintains leather condition

Ralyn’s quality horsehair daubers let you properly care for smooth leather shoes. The light and dark bristles suit most colors, while the wooden handles provide control. Use them to apply polish and restore leather. With the included buffing cloth, you can maintain your leatherware.


In a nutshell, water can cause lasting damage to suede items if not properly protected. Fortunately, there are a number of products available to help protect suede from water damage.

From Pedag’s Canvas and Fabric Waterproofing Spray to Shacke’s Suede Nubuck Leather Brush Cleaner, there are a variety of products on the market that can help prolong the life of your suede shoes and accessories.

For a proactive solution, it’s important to waterproof suede shoes before they encounter water. Don’t let water ruin your suede items! With these tips and tricks, you can protect your suede items and keep them looking new.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.