How to remove grass stains from suede shoes


Suede is a velvety, surfaced leather that has a smooth texture and faintly fuzzy appearance. Many love suede shoes for their comfort and durability, but if you spend time outdoors, your suede shoes can end up with persistent grass stains. 

Cleaning suede shoes can be a tricky ordeal since if it is done incorrectly, it will lose most of its texture. When dealing with grass stains on suede shoes, you must take extra precautions. Read further to learn ways to remove grass stains from suede shoes effectively.

Steps on how to remove grass stains from suede shoes

Once you discover a grass stain on your suede shoes after a walk outdoors, you must act right away. Let’s take a look at the removal steps.

  • Scrub the stained area using a firm pencil eraser. Before applying any liquid, you must loosen the stains as much as possible while dry. Suede is likely to lose most of its texture if exposed to excess moisture. Using a pencil eraser is a safe way to loosen and even remove some types of textured stains such as those caused by exposure to grass.
  • Use a firm suede brush to scrub the stain. This will further remove the residue that was previously loosened by the pencil eraser. Perform quick motions to separate the grass residue from the suede surface.
  • Add a few small drops of white vinegar to any leftover trace of the grass stain. Avoid pouring vinegar or any other liquid directly but distribute just enough to carefully cover and penetrate the discoloration. Additionally, only use white vinegar since it has a low acetic acid content and cannot damage the suede surface. Remember that some types of vinegar have higher acid concentrations. 
  • With a dry cloth, rub the stain in rapid circular motions to remove any lingering residue. The vinegar works by breaking down the grass stain. This will allow you to readily wipe away the remains. 
  • Air dry your suede shoes. If a trace of the stain lingers, apply a few more drops of white vinegar and scrub the site a second time. 

How to prevent grass stains

Sadly, the only way to prevent grass stains is to avoid them. This can be a difficult task especially for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. 

Your clothes and shoes can end up with grass stains. Another option to prevent stubborn stains is to deal with them immediately. A fresh grass stain is not likely to dye the fabric of your clothes or shoes, making it easier to remove. You should treat the stain right away for the best chance of removing it completely.

How do you remove a stain from suede shoes?

Suede is natural or dyed leather with a fuzzy or napped finish. It is generally a thin, porous leather and not as sturdy as solid hide. With the right cleaning methods, you can keep suede free from stains, soft and supple for years. 

  • The first task is to use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any loose particles from the suede surface. Do this after each time you wear the shoes or at least weekly. Remember that suede can readily absorb oils and soil.
  • Use a clean cloth to blot away as much moisture as possible. Place it directly over the stain and place pressure to soak up moisture away from the suede. Continue to switch the cloth to a clean area and continue blotting. 
  • Once no more moisture is soaked up, allow the suede surface to dry fully but it should be away from direct heat.

Are grass stains permanent?

Grass stains are similar to dye stains. This simply means that this type of stain can be hard to remove. The reason for this is that they contain complex proteins and the color of the grass pigments. 

Although difficult and bothersome, grass stains can be eliminated with the right cleaning techniques and some effort on your part. 

What takes grass stains out of suede shoes?

Before using any liquids, use a dry removal technique such as using a pencil eraser to loosen up the grass stain so that the grass residue separates from the suede surface. Follow-up by applying a few drops of white vinegar on the stained area to get rid of any leftover residue. Once the stain fades, rub a clean cloth to soak up any leftover residue.

Final thoughts

Grass stains on suede shoes can affect the overall appearance of your shoes. Although this type of stain cannot be avoided among those who spend a lot of time outdoors, it can be removed if you will deal with it immediately. With the techniques described on how to remove grass stains from suede shoes, you can get rid of any stain and keep your shoes in good shape for years to come.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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