How To Clean Nubuck Shoes?

Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers

To clean nubuck shoes, gently brush the surface to remove dirt and stains, then use a specialized nubuck cleaner for deeper cleaning. Nubuck shoes require regular maintenance to maintain their quality and appearance.

By following these steps, you can keep your nubuck shoes looking clean and fresh. Proper cleaning techniques will help extend the lifespan of your shoes and ensure they continue to look their best. With a little care and attention, you can keep your nubuck shoes in great condition for years to come.

Nubuck Shoes

Nubuck shoes require special care for cleaning. Learn how to maintain and clean nubuck shoes to preserve their quality and appearance.

Nubuck leather shoes are not only stylish but also require proper care to maintain their appearance and longevity. Understanding the characteristics and benefits of nubuck shoes is essential in knowing how to clean and care for them effectively. In this section, we will explore what nubuck leather is, discuss its unique features and advantages, and highlight common problems that may occur with nubuck shoes.

What Is Nubuck Leather?

Nubuck leather is a high-quality material made from the top-grain of hide, which is sanded or buffed to create a velvety texture. This process gives nubuck a soft, luxurious feel similar to suede. However, unlike suede, nubuck is made from the outer layer of the hide, making it more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Its unique texture and appearance set it apart from other types of leather, making it a popular choice for footwear.


Characteristics And Benefits Of Nubuck Shoes:

  • Soft and velvety texture: Nubuck shoes have a beautiful, plush texture that adds a touch of elegance to any outfit. The smooth surface gives them a luxurious appeal.
  • Durability: Despite its softness, nubuck leather is known for its durability. The outer layer of the hide provides strength, making nubuck shoes resistant to scratches and abrasions.
  • Breathability: Nubuck shoes allow air to circulate, ensuring proper ventilation for your feet. This feature helps prevent sweat build-up and keeps your feet cool and comfortable.
  • Water resistance: Unlike suede, nubuck has natural water-repellent properties. While it is not completely waterproof, nubuck shoes can withstand mild water exposure without significant damage.
  • Versatility: Nubuck shoes are versatile and can be dressed up or down for various occasions. They complement both casual and formal attire, making them a versatile option for any wardrobe.

Common Problems With Nubuck Shoes:

  • Staining: Nubuck shoes are susceptible to stains, particularly from oils, liquids, and dirt. These stains can be challenging to remove and may require specialized cleaning techniques.
  • Scuffing: Nubuck shoes are prone to scuffs and marks, especially in high-friction areas. These blemishes can be unsightly and may require attention to restore the shoe’s appearance.
  • Fading: Prolonged exposure to sunlight or harsh cleaning agents can cause nubuck shoes to fade over time. This fading can affect the color and overall look of the shoes.
  • Maintenance: Nubuck shoes demand regular care to retain their appearance and prevent deterioration. Without proper maintenance, the leather can become dry, crack, or lose its softness.

By understanding nubuck shoes’ unique qualities, benefits, and potential problems, you are better equipped to care for and clean them effectively. In the following sections, we will explore step-by-step methods to clean and maintain your nubuck shoes, ensuring they continue to look their best.

Essential Tools For Cleaning Nubuck Shoes

To clean nubuck shoes effectively, you’ll need a few essential tools. Start with a soft brush, a suede eraser, and a nubuck cleaner. Take your time and gently remove any dirt or stains for a refreshed look.

Nubuck shoes require special care and attention when it comes to cleaning. To effectively clean your nubuck shoes, you will need a few essential tools. These tools will help you remove dirt, stains, and other debris without damaging the delicate nubuck material.

Here are the essential tools you’ll need:

  • Soft brush or suede brush: A soft brush or suede brush is a must-have tool for cleaning nubuck shoes. It helps remove surface dirt and revitalizes the texture of the nubuck. Gently brush the shoes in a back-and-forth motion to restore their original appearance.
  • Nubuck cleaner or mild soap: A nubuck cleaner specifically formulated for this type of leather is the best choice for deep cleaning. If you don’t have a nubuck cleaner, you can use a mild soap mixed with water. Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to gently scrub the shoes, removing any stains or dirt buildup.
  • Nubuck eraser or pencil eraser: Nubuck erasers or pencil erasers are handy tools for removing scuff marks and stubborn stains on nubuck shoes. Rub the eraser gently on the affected area in a circular motion until the mark disappears. Be cautious not to erase the nubuck material itself.
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol: White vinegar or rubbing alcohol can be used to remove more stubborn stains on nubuck shoes. Dilute the vinegar or rubbing alcohol with water and apply it to a clean cloth. Blot the stained area gently until the stain lifts. Make sure to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.
  • Microfiber cloth: A microfiber cloth is essential for drying and buffing nubuck shoes after cleaning. It helps remove excess moisture and restores the sheen of the leather. Gently wipe the shoes in a circular motion with the microfiber cloth to achieve a clean and polished look.

Cleaning nubuck shoes requires the right tools to ensure proper care and maintenance. By using a soft brush, nubuck cleaner or mild soap, nubuck eraser or pencil eraser, white vinegar or rubbing alcohol, and a microfiber cloth, you’ll be equipped to keep your nubuck shoes looking clean and pristine.

Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Nubuck Shoes

Learn how to clean nubuck shoes with this comprehensive step-by-step guide. Follow these easy instructions to keep your shoes looking brand new and maintain their quality for longer.

How To Clean Nubuck Shoes?

Nubuck shoes are known for their luxurious and velvety texture, but they can quickly become dirty and lose their allure without proper care. Cleaning nubuck shoes may seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, you can restore their original beauty.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning nubuck shoes, from preparing them for cleaning to proper drying and maintenance. Follow these simple steps to keep your nubuck shoes looking their best.


Preparing The Shoes For Cleaning

  • Remove shoelaces and insoles: Take off the shoelaces and insoles to ensure that you can thoroughly clean every part of the shoes.
  • Brush off any loose dirt or debris: Gently brush the shoes with a soft brush to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris before deep cleaning.

Cleaning The Nubuck Shoes

  • Brush the entire surface with a soft brush: Using a soft brush, such as a suede brush, gently brush the entire surface of the shoes in a circular motion. This helps to lift the nap and remove any surface dirt.
  • Remove stains with a nubuck cleaner or mild soap: For stains, lightly dampen a soft cloth or sponge with a nubuck cleaner or mild soap solution. Gently rub the stained area in a circular motion until the stain is lifted.
  • Use a nubuck eraser or pencil eraser for stubborn stains: If stubborn stains remain, try using a nubuck eraser or a clean pencil eraser. Rub the eraser over the stained area with light pressure, being careful not to damage the nubuck surface.
  • Treat scuff marks with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol: For scuff marks, lightly dip a cloth in white vinegar or rubbing alcohol and gently rub the affected area. Be sure to test this method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage the shoes.
  • Buff the shoes with a microfiber cloth to restore the nap: After cleaning, use a dry microfiber cloth to gently buff the shoes in a circular motion. This helps to restore the nap and maintain their velvety texture.

Proper Drying And Maintenance

  • Air dry the shoes away from direct heat or sunlight: After cleaning, allow the shoes to air dry naturally. Avoid placing them near direct heat or sunlight, as this can cause the nubuck to crack or fade.
  • Apply a nubuck conditioner or waterproof spray: Once the shoes are completely dry, apply a nubuck conditioner or waterproof spray to protect them from stains and water damage. Follow the product instructions for best results.
  • Brush regularly to maintain the nap and appearance: To prolong the life and appearance of your nubuck shoes, make it a habit to regularly brush them with a soft brush. This helps to maintain the nap and keep them looking fresh and clean.

With these simple steps, you can effectively clean your nubuck shoes and maintain their luxurious look and feel for years to come. Remember to always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer and test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area before using them on your shoes.

Enjoy your clean and stylish nubuck shoes!

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Nubuck Shoes?

What Household Items Can You Use To Clean Nubuck Shoes?

You can use a soft cloth, white vinegar, or a pencil eraser to clean nubuck shoes.

Can I Clean Nubuck With Soap And Water?

Yes, you can clean nubuck with soap and water.

Is It Ok To Get Nubuck Wet?

Yes, it is generally not recommended to get nubuck wet.

How Do You Clean Nubuck At Home?

To clean nubuck at home, gently brush the surface with a soft bristle brush, use a nubuck cleaner, and blot any stains with a clean cloth.



To effectively clean your nubuck shoes and keep them looking pristine, it is important to follow the right steps and use the appropriate tools. Regular maintenance such as brushing away dirt and stains, using a specialized eraser, and applying a protective spray can go a long way in maintaining the quality and appearance of your shoes.

Additionally, avoiding exposure to water and excessive heat is crucial for preserving the material. Remember to always test any cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire shoe. By taking these precautions and investing a little time and effort into caring for your nubuck shoes, you can prolong their lifespan and ensure they remain a stylish and essential part of your wardrobe.

So next time your nubuck shoes need cleaning, don’t fret – armed with the right information and techniques, you can confidently get them back to looking their best in no time.

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