The sneaker cleaning guide

How to clean suede and nubuck sneakers

The special thing about sneakers is that they are rarely made of one single material.
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What you need to know when cleaning suede and nubuck sneakers

Suede comes from the inner side of the skin and nubuck from the outer side. Nubuck is recognizable by its short sanded bristles with a peachskin look and suede, by its less fine brushed bristles. Both require the same approach.
Before we start, let's break a common misconception: suede is neither fragile nor sensitive to water. It simply requires a different approach than other materials.

How to clean suede and nubuck sneakers in 6 easy steps

1. PREPARE
2. DUST OFF
3. CLEAN THE LACES
4. CLEAN THE SOLE
5. CLEAN THE SUEDE/NUBUCK
6. DRY

Prepare

1. Prepare the elements of the kit as well as a bowl of warm water and a towel if necessary. Shake the cleanser.

In addition to Bascket products and a bowl of lukewarm water, it is recommended to use a towel to protect the surface on which you are going to clean the shoes. Shake the bottle to mix the cleanser.

Dust off

2. Dry brush the shoes.

Remove excess dirt by brushing the shoe with the soft brush.
If your sneakers are covered in mud, remove as much as possible. This will prevent mud residues from being moistened and complicate the cleaning process.

Clean the laces

3. Remove the laces and wet them with water. Massage them between your hands with a mix of water and cleaning solution.

This step is not mandatory but it is highly recommended to remove the laces to clean them thoroughly and have access to the dirt that settles behind them on the tongue.

If they are lightly soiled, spray a generous amount of solution directly on the laces. Then, rub them as if you were washing your hands. Rinse, wring and dry the laces.

If they need more attention, unscrew the spray of the bottle and pour a small amount of solution on the laces. Rub them for a few seconds between your hands until the foam appears. Soak them for 10 minutes in hot water. Rub them with the cleaning solution and soak them again for a few minutes. Repeat the operation if necessary. Then, rinse, wring and dry the laces.

Cleaning tips for suede and nubuck sneakers

Dry brush the suede/nubuck

This step is highly recommended for all types of materials, but particularly for suede and nubuck. Due to its appearance, suede tends to pick up dust and dirt easily. This will also allow your suede/nubuck to keep its velvety appearance over time.

Use the suede eraser

For shallow stains, the suede eraser will tackle them easily. Gently rub the stain until it disappears.

Clean the sole

4. Spray the solution on the sole and let it work for a few seconds. Dip the hard brush into the bowl of water and scrub without pressing. Then, wipe.

Spray the solution from a distance of 5 cm on the sole and let it work for a few seconds. Dip the brush in the bowl of water and rub the sole in a straight motion. Do not press the movement, let the bristles of the brush do the work. Wipe with the microfiber or the towel.

If any stains remain, spray more solution and let it work longer. Scrub again with hot water. If necessary, wrap the microfiber cloth around your index finger, moisten it and apply a small amount of solution. Then, rub vigorously.

Clean the suede/nubuck

5. Spray the solution on the suede/nubuck and let it work for a few seconds. Dip the soft brush into the bowl of water and scrub without pressing. Then, wipe.

If the water in the bowl is dirty, change it.
Apply the product from a distance of 5 cm on the suede/nubuck and let it act for a few seconds. Dip the soft brush in the bowl of water, make sure to shake the brush to remove excess water and brush the suede in a circular motion. Do not press the movement, let the bristle of the brush do their job. Wipe with the microfiber or the towel.
If any stains remain, spray more solution and let it work longer. Brush again. If needed, gently use the hard brush. Be careful not to damage the suede/nubuck. Or wrap the microfiber around your index finger, moisten it and apply a small amount of solution. Then, rub vigorously.

Cleaning tips for suede and nubuck sneakers

Test the reaction of the suede

Check the reaction of the dye in contact with water. Dab the suede/nubuck using the microfiber and a small amount of water. If you notice that the dye is not fixed, you will have to use as little water as possible during the cleaning process.

Do not saturate suede/nubuck with water

Limiting the amount of water will make the suede/nubuck dry more easily and will avoid spreading the dye, if it is not fixed. After wetting the brush, shake it to remove as much water as you can.

Use the soft brush

Mainly recommended for nubuck. Use it in circular movement. For stubborn stains, use the hard brush in straight motion and in one direction only. Brush gently to avoid damaging the texture of the suede/nubuck.

Moisten both shoes

The suede/nubuck color varies slightly after being moistened. Even if it is a small stain on one shoe only, moisten both shoes with the microfiber cloth or the soft brush(do not saturate them with water) to avoid any color difference after drying.

Dry

6. Wipe clean with the microfiber or a towel. Leave to air dry.

Wipe clean. Place a cloth in the shoes, this will allow them to keep their shape while drying. Leave it to air dry. Avoid the dryer or heat sources like radiators. Relace the shoes once they are dry.

Cleaning tips for suede and nubuck sneakers

Place a cloth inside the shoes while they dry

This will keep the initial shape of the shoes, while facilitating the drying process.

Restore the suede/nubuck texture after drying

After drying, the suede/nubuck texture becomes rough. To restore its initial soft appearance, gently dry brush the suede/nubuck using the hard brush in one direction then the other.
For nubuck, because of its very short hair, you may need the microfiber cloth or a towel to avoid scratching it.
Small tip: to make it easier, start brushing when the suede/nubuck is still slightly damp. Repeat the operation when dry.

Need help?

Send an email to hello@shopbascket.com and I will come back to you as soon as possible.

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