What Can I Use to Clean a Grease Stain in a Suede Boot?

Clean suede stains carefully so the boots don't become damaged.

Photo: Harrison/Valueline/Getty Images

Those killer suede boots you scored didn't come cheap, so when you find a blob of grease on them, you're probably in a panic. Well, simmer down, because the grease doesn't have to become a permanent part of your boots. Whether the spot is engine grease or cooking grease, you can get it off and have your boots back to beautiful in no time.

What is Suede?

You know suede looks stylish, but what is it that makes it so special? Suede is a leather that's made of calfskin. The distinct texture of suede makes it unmistakable. Although it's leather, suede isn't quite as pricey as some of the other types, although it's still not something you'll find on the dollar rack. Suede can be tricky to take care of, and stain removal must be done carefully since suede isn't as durable as other leather.

Absorb Grease with Cornstarch

When you first spot the grease stain on your boot, grab some cornstarch and start sprinkling. Cover the grease spot with a generous layer of cornstarch and rub it in with your fingers. As tempting as it may be to brush off the cornstarch and start scrubbing the spot, don't do it. Instead, let the powder sit on the boot overnight. Shake it off the next day and clean the spot with a suede stain removal product. The cornstarch works by absorbing the oil from the suede.

Vinegar for Grease Stains

Grab your go-to cleaning and stain removal product --white vinegar---to remove grease from your suede boots. Dampen a clean rag with white vinegar. Brush over the grease spot lightly with the rag. Don't soak the suede with the vinegar. Continue rubbing lightly until the stain is gone. Let the booth dry completely, then restore the nap with a suede brush.

Erase the Grease

Instead of trying to scrub away a grease stain on suede, try erasing it instead. This works best with small stains. Rub over the grease spot lightly with a white art gum eraser until it disappears. Brush the boot with a suede brush to restore the nap. Don't use the pink erasers like you see on most pencil tips; they can leave more stains on the suede.

Tips and Warnings

Because suede is rather delicate, avoid using soap and water to try to remove grease. This will probably leave you with a bigger problem. Always blot as much of the grease from the suede with a soft cloth before trying to remove the stain. Remember, blot and don't rub or you'll spread the grease. If the stain is set in or old, removing the grease might be out of your hands. In this case, it's best to take the boots to a pro for stain removal.

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