Can You Use Water To Clean Suede Leather?

Can You Use Water To Clean Suede Leather

Cleaning your suede can be a difficult task and can be extremely nerve-wracking because you do not what to ruin them. In this article, I will give you some insight into whether or not you can clean suede leather.

So can you use water to clean suede leather? Water is pH neutral and a chemical-free solvent you can use to safely clean suede. All you do is dampen a piece of cloth or paper towel with water and then wipe the stain or dirt off your suede item.

It is important to note that there is an upside and a downside to using something as innocent as water to clean your suede items due to the porous nature of suede leather.

So in the rest of this article, I will go over the pros and cons of using water to clean your suede leather and the right way on how to use water to clean your suede goods.

The Pros Of Using Water To Clean Suede

1. Water Alone Can Clean Dirt And Stains From Suede

If you have small bits of dirt or mud on your suede shoes or bags, then water alone can clean them up.

You should not use any cleaners with water because they can damage your suede.

Due to the porous nature of suede, you can use water together with a suede brush to clean your suede clean from any particles that can be seen.

You can even do a much better job on tough stains by using lukewarm water when cleaning suede leather.

The warm water can quickly agitate the dirt or stains and make their removal a walk in the park.

2. Water Wil Not Leave Any Chemical Footprints On Your Suede

Another advantage of using only water to clean your suede leather goods is that it will not involve any chemical that will react with your suede or your skin if you have sensitive skin.

Water alone has the magic touch that will not only clean your items but also leave them as good as new or even better.

You will not have to deal with any chemical residue on your suede or inside it that can be harmful for you.

Water is a natural ingredient that many people have at their homes and you do not need any chemicals to clean your suede.

Most people tend to be very sensitive to even the slightest chemicals that are applied to their suede.

This is why you should avoid using any chemical cleaners when cleaning your suede because they can be harmful to you.

So if you’re someone who has problems when it comes to chemicals, then you should just stick to water when cleaning your suede.

Or if you’re simply unsure of all the chemical-based cleaners that are marketed to do wonders for suede, simply stick to plain clean water.

3. Water Will Not Dull Your Suede

One of the worst things that can happen to your suede is when you use a cleaner on it that causes the suede to fade or the nap distorts.

When you use to water the right way to clean your suede goods, you can rest assured that the color of your suede will not fade or change for the worse.

Water can help you keep your suede good-looking because it does not contain any chemicals that will damage the color or affect the look of your suede item.

Ofcourse if you use too much water or do it too frequently, then it will definitely affect the color of your suede.

But then again, no matter how much you clean your suede with water, it will still not do more damage like a chemical-based cleaner will.

4. You Can Use Water On Both Natural And Synthetic Suede

Water is pH neutral so there is not going to be any harm done when you use water to clean either natural or synthetic suede.

There are some cleaners that can cause problems when being used on the wrong type of suede, but water is universal and will not harm either natural or synthetic suede.

This is yet another major advantage in using water when cleaning your suede items because you do not have to worry about whether or not water will harm your suede.

Water is completely safe for all types of suede and you can safely use it to clean your favorite suede items without having any worries in mind.

5. Water Is Environmentally Friendly

One of the most important benefits that you will get from using water to clean your suede is that it does not have any negative impact on the environment.

Using water to clean your suede items is the best way for you to keep yourself and your environment safe from any harmful effects of chemicals.

You do not have to worry about any chemical residue that will be left after cleaning your suede with water because it is completely safe for you and the environment.

Water is a natural solvent that does not have any harmful effects on your health or on our planet, so you don’t have to worry about any problems that are caused by using water.

6.Water Is Cheap And Easy To Find

Unless you live in the desert, you will not have any trouble finding water to use when cleaning your suede.

Water is a cheap and easy-to-find ingredient that you can use to clean your suede without having to worry about spending a lot of money or going out and finding some special cleaner.

A lot of people think that the best way to clean your suede items is with a chemical-based cleaner because it will get the job done and will leave your suede looking good.

But you have to keep in mind that these chemical cleaners can be expensive and they can sometimes be harmful to you, whereas water is affordable and very safe for your health.

Water may not get the job done as quickly or as easily as a chemical-based cleaner, but it will be worth it in the end when you see how much more damage is done by using chemicals to clean your suede items.

The Cons Of Using Water To Clean Suede

Now that we have discussed the pros of using water to clean suede, let us now take a look at the cons.

Not everyone thinks that water is the best way of cleaning suede, so we need to take a look at some of the cons associated with water.

1. Water Cannot Clean All Stubborn Stains

Water is definitely not as effective when it comes to cleaning suede as some commercial cleaners are, but it still does a good enough job that you will not have to worry about your suede items looking bad.

For example, if you have some spirit-based stains or oil-based stains like ink, then water will not be able to remove these types of stains.

However, if you have some dirt or dust on your suede item that is not too difficult to remove, then you will get the best results when using water.

2. If You Clean Suede Too Often, The Fibers Or Nap Will Be Compromised

The roots of all the evil water can bring to your suede items are when water is used too excessively or too frequently.

Although you can clean your suede items with water, it is not a good idea to do so too frequently nor do you have to get your suede soaking wet in the process.

For example, if you get your suede soaking wet when you clean them with water, then the fibers or naps will start to lose their shape and they can become damaged, warped, or discolored.

There is also the danger of water stains on your suede if water is not properly used to clean your suede items.

If you are planning on cleaning your suede items with water, then it is a good idea to use this method once every month or two months and while you’re at it, make sure you do not get your suede soaking wet.

How To Clean Suede With Water

Cleaning suede with water is pretty simple and does not require a whole lot of time and effort. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to clean suede with water.

Things Needed:

  • Clean Water
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Suede Brush


Step 1:

  • Use the suede brush to remove as much of the dirt and dust as you can from your suede item.
  • Move the brush in one direction and be as gentle as possible.
  • This will help to make the process of cleaning your suede easier, faster, and more effective.

Step 2:

  • If you want to use water to clean your suede, then make sure it is lukewarm.
  • Use the microfiber cloth and put some lukewarm water on it and then wring the excess liquid from the cloth.

Step 3:

  • Wipe down your suede item and make sure you do not get the suede soaking wet.
  • Be gentle when wiping down your suede since water can damage it if it is used too excessively or if it is not properly removed.

Step 4:

  • Blot away excess water from your suede with a microfiber cloth.

Step 5:

  • Allow your suede to air dry before you wear it again.

Important Tips To Remember When Cleaning Suede With Water

  • Do not get your suede leather soaking wet during the cleaning process.
  • Never use hot water for cleaning suede leather.
  • Do not clean your suede too frequently with water.
  • Allow your suede to air dry for a couple of hours before you wear it again.
  • Do not dry your freshly cleaned suede items with any heat source.
  • Do not use water on suede items that have ink or oil-based stains since this will only make the stains worse.
  • Do not allow your suede to dry on its own, always blot away excess water with a microfiber cloth.
  • Use water to clean your suede leather goods only once or twice a month. Do not do it on a daily basis.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have seen that water is a good cleaner for suede, but it cannot clean all types of stains and dirt. We also saw some tips and tricks on how to clean suede with water and avoid damaging it.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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