Can Suede Get Wet?
Can suede get wet? Generally speaking, yes, suede will not ruin if it gets wet. The same applies to nubuck, which is a similar type of leather. You don’t have to put back your suede shoes because it is raining or snowing outside. In fact, when washing suede (or nubuck), you should dampen the whole shoe to clean it, so suede can definitely get wet. But there are some limitations to that statement. Keep reading to find out more.
If you want to learn how to clean suede (or nubuck), check out my other post, where I explain in detail how I have revived my 4 years old faded black shoes.
Can You Damage Suede or Nubuck Shoes With Water?
As I said earlier, generally, suede will not ruin if it gets wet. But there is a limitation that you should be mindful of. If you soak suede or nubuck for a long period of time, there are 3 things (that I know of) that might happen. I am speaking here from my own experience. I was wearing my suede boots in deep snow for an extended period of time. And on top of that, I didn’t have any protective spray on them. Here are three things that happened:
1. Suede Dye Coming Off
The suede dye started to come off, which resulted in a faded color. The good news is that you can recolor suede/nubuck to its original color. For the tutorial in my other blog post, click here. Here are two products that you can use for black shoes (you can select there also a different color option):
- Nubuck/Suede Renovator – Option 1 – TARRAGO Nubuck Suede Renovator (in black) | Amazons Choice
- Nubuck/Suede Renovator – Option 2 – Moneysworth & Best Suede Renew (in black)
2. Suede Fibers Gone Crazy
The suede fibers lost their original shape. However, a simple suede brush can revive them. If you would like to purchase a suede brush, here is an Amazon link.
3. Out of Shape Suede
Worst of all, the shoe lost some of its original shape. My shoes started to look like an old pair of slippers. After I have followed an easy restoration process from my other blog post, the shoe stopped looking like this. Success 😁!
How to Fix Water Stains on Suede
If part of your suede shoe gets wet, you might end up with water stains or a tidemark on the suede after drying. The good news is that you can easily fix such water-damaged suede following five easy steps.
How to fix water stains on suede in 4 easy steps
- Clean the shoes from loose dirt with a brush (with soft [Amazon link] or brass bristles [Amazon link] – I prefer the soft ones). Make sure that your shoes are dry. Here is the time to take out lases, if you have any.
- Dampen the whole shoe with water using a brush or a sponge. This evens out the color of the suede.
- Remove any excess water with a towel (I recommend using an old towel since wet suede might release some dye) or a sponge.
- Put a shoe tree or some white paper inside the shoe to keep the shoes’ shape and let them air dry in a breezy spot in the shade. (If your shoes are very wet, a newspaper is not recommended since it might color your shoes.)
- When dry, brush your shoes with a suede brush [Amazon link] to make the suede soft again.
Here is a short video of a shoemaker dealing with this issue.
BEFORE YOU START
If water stains are not the only concern, If you also want to clean other stains or fix faded suede color, you might want to check my other post, where I explained how I restored my suede and nubuck shoes.
How to Restore Suede Shoes Damaged by Rain or Snow
As I mentioned earlier, after spending too much time in deep snow in my winter suede boots, they became pale, lost a bit of the original shape, and the suede structure got damaged. For a long time, I thought that that’s it, I won’t be able to wear them anymore. I was so wrong! It turns out that it is super easy to fix wet suede.
To restore my suede shoes, I used a step by step process from my other blog post, where I have explained how to restore an old pair of nubuck shoes. It turns out that the same process restores water damaged suede as well. Click here for the post. Here you can see the before and after photo. I am so happy with the result! I hope you will try it and enjoy your revived shoes for a long time.