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Keep Them Looking New: How To Clean Birkenstock Suede Shoes

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It seems like everywhere you look you’ll see someone wearing a pair of Birkenstock shoes. And it’s not hard to understand why! Whether it’s Birkenstock sandals or Boston clogs, Birkenstock suede shoes are not only comfortable, but they also add a trendy and casual touch to any outfit. However, regular wear and tear can quickly make them look dirty and worn out. You know – you’ve got a pair! But fear not, because with the right cleaning techniques, you can easily keep your Birkenstock suede shoes looking brand new. In this post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of how to clean Birkenstock suede shoes, so you can keep them looking fresh and stylish for years to come.

Understanding the Material: The Special Care of Birkenstock Suede

how to clean birkenstock suede

When it comes to caring for your Birkenstock suede shoes, understanding the unique properties of this material is essential! Suede is a type of leather that has a soft and velvety texture, making it both luxurious and delicate.

This soft texture is nice to wear, but it does come with tricky care requirements. It’s important to handle and clean your Birkenstock suede shoes with care to maintain their quality and appearance.

One of the first things to keep in mind is that suede is more prone to staining and water damage compared to other materials. To prevent permanent damage, it is crucial to be cautious when wearing suede shoes in wet or muddy conditions.

If your Birkenstock suede shoes do get wet, it’s best to let them dry naturally and avoid exposing them to direct heat, such as a hairdryer or radiator. Direct heat can cause the suede to shrink or become discolored.

Regular maintenance is also crucial for suede shoes. A suede brush or a soft brush can be used to remove dirt and restore the texture of the suede. It’s important to brush your Birkenstock suede shoes gently in a circular motion to prevent any damage.

For more thorough cleaning, a suede eraser can be used to remove stubborn stains or marks. If necessary, you can also use a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth with a small amount of mild soap or white vinegar to clean the surface of your Birkenstock suede shoes.

However, be cautious not to use too much water or soak the shoes, as excess water can damage the suede and affect the shape of the shoe.

It’s also recommended to apply a stain repellent or suede protector to your Birkenstock suede shoes to provide a protective barrier against future stains and damage. This will help to prolong the life and appearance of your shoes. Keep in mind, however, that some stain repellents can discolor your shoes, so it’s important to test a small patch first.

By following these care tips, you can keep your shoes in good condition! Ready to give the cleaning a go?

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies: What You Will Need

To effectively clean your Birkenstock suede shoes, you’ll need a few key cleaning supplies. These items will help you tackle any stains, dirt, or scuffs on your beloved shoes, and restore them to their original beauty.

  • First, grab a clean cloth or an old toothbrush. These will come in handy for brushing away any surface dirt or debris on the suede.
  • Next, you’ll want to have a suede cleaner on hand. This specialized cleaner is designed specifically for suede and will help lift any stubborn stains or marks. If you have any nubuck leather areas on your Birkenstock suede shoes, you may also want to have a nubuck eraser or cleaner available. This will help restore the texture and appearance of the nubuck leather.
  • Lastly, consider having a cork sealer on hand if your Birkenstock suede shoes have a cork footbed. This will help protect and maintain the cork, keeping it looking fresh and preventing any discoloration or damage.

Step-by-step Guide: How to Clean Your Birkenstock Suede Shoes

Now that you have gathered your cleaning supplies, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step guide on how to clean your Birkenstock suede shoes. Follow these simple steps and your shoes will be looking as good as new in no time!

1. Start by using a clean, soft cloth or an old toothbrush to gently brush away any surface dirt or debris on the suede. Remember to brush in a circular motion to avoid damaging the suede. Also, gently brushing the suede in a circular motion can help to remove any loose particles. Some people have found success in using the humble pencil eraser for simple scuffs before using a suede brush.

2. If you have any stubborn, persistent stains or marks on your Birkenstock suede shoes, apply a small amount of suede cleaner onto a clean cloth. Gently rub the cleaner onto the affected area, following the instructions on the cleaner bottle. Always test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first to ensure it doesn’t damage the suede.

3. For nubuck leather areas, use a nubuck eraser or cleaner to restore the texture and appearance of the leather. Gently rub the eraser or apply the cleaner as instructed on the packaging.

4. Once you have cleaned the suede and leather areas, use a dry cloth to absorb any excess moisture. Avoid exposing your shoes to direct sunlight or using direct heat, as this can cause the suede to shrink or become discolored.

5. Finally, let your Birkenstock suede shoes air dry in a cool, well-ventilated area. Avoid wearing them until they are completely dry to prevent any further damage.

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Aftercare Tips: Keeping Your Birkenstocks in Like New Condition

Now that you have successfully cleaned your Birkenstock suede shoes, it’s important to know how to properly care for them to ensure they stay in like-new condition. Here are some aftercare tips to help you maintain the beauty and longevity of your beloved Birkenstocks.

First and foremost, always store your Birkenstock suede shoes in a cool and dry place. Avoid keeping them in a humid or damp environment, as this can lead to the growth of mold or mildew. If you live in a particularly humid area, consider using moisture-absorbing packets or silica gel packets to keep the moisture levels in check.

As you know by now, it’s a good idea to invest in a good quality suede brush and use it regularly to keep the nap of the suede looking fresh and plush. Gently brush your Birkenstock suede shoes in a circular motion to lift any flattened or dirt-embedded fibers.

Another important tip is to avoid wearing your Birkenstock suede shoes in inclement weather or in areas with excessive moisture. Water and suede do not mix well, and prolonged exposure to water can permanently damage the material.

If you do happen to get caught in the rain or your shoes get wet, allow them to air dry naturally and away from direct heat sources.

Furthermore, consider applying a suede protector or water-repellent spray to your Birkenstock suede shoes. These products create a protective barrier that helps prevent stains and water damage, making them easier to clean in the future.

Don’t forget about the different materials on your shoes too! To keep your shoes looking and feeling fresh, it’s important to care for all aspects of your shoe – such as the entire footbed. Suede materials need different care than cork or smooth leather, so keep in mind that one cleaning solution may not be a one-size-fits-all.

Lastly, regular maintenance is key! Set a schedule for cleaning and caring for your Birkenstock suede shoes to ensure they always look their best. You especially don’t want to put them away for the season without giving them a good cleaning.

This includes removing any loose dirt or debris with a soft-bristled brush, addressing the stained area promptly, and applying a fresh coat of suede protector when necessary.

What Not to Do: Common Mistakes While Cleaning Birkenstock Suede

We’ve covered what you should do, but it can be just as helpful to cover the no-nos. After all, cleaning suede shoes can be a delicate process, and it’s important to know what not to do to avoid damaging your beloved Birkenstock suede shoes. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when cleaning suede.

First, do not use excessive water when cleaning your Birkenstock suede shoes. Suede is sensitive to water, and too much moisture can ruin the material and affect the shape of the shoe. Instead, opt for a damp cloth or microfiber cloth with a small amount of mild soap or white vinegar.

Another mistake to avoid is using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your suede shoes. These can strip the natural oils from the suede and cause it to become dry and brittle.

Stick to specialized suede cleaners and erasers that are specifically designed for use on suede. This goes for baking soda too. Though it’s a natural product, it’s too abrasive and can harm your suede. (I know this from experience.)

Additionally, do not rub vigorously or scrub at stains on your Birkenstock suede shoes. This can lead to discoloration and damage the texture of the suede. Instead, gently blot the stain with a clean cloth or use a suede brush to remove dirt or debris.

Lastly, avoid exposing your suede shoes to direct heat sources such as hairdryers or radiators. This can cause the suede to shrink or become discolored. Allow your shoes to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area at room temperature.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following these easy steps, you can ensure that your Birkenstock suede shoes stay in optimal condition and continue to add a touch of style to your outfits for years to come!

Looking for other ways to keep your wardrobe in the best condition? Here’s How To Take Care of Your Clothes Like an Expert


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys, her biggest fashion critics.