If you are anything like me and you’re in love with suede shoes and the way they look, then you probably have a pair or two lying in your closet. But, you probably have to deal with the fact that they can look very worn off from time to time. You can’t help but ask yourself how to fix bald spots on suede shoes.
Don’t stress about it! This is a common concern of many people who love these kinds of shoes.
Although taking care of them requires a little extra of your free time, at the end of the day, they’re definitely worth it. Because no matter if you have suede boots, shoes, flats, loafers, heels, or sneakers, suede leather makes any type of shoe ten times more interesting.
In order to ensure your suede shoes remain the focal point of your every outfit, you need to learn how to take care of them and fix all those annoying bold spots that regularly occur. If you want to learn how to achieve it, keep on reading this article.
What are bald spots, and how do they occur on suede shoes?
Bald spots on suede shoes are those annoying marks that give off the impression that something is missing from that area (hence the bald part). They can appear either due to excessive wearing and brushing against various objects or due to a stain that was never properly cleaned.
Either way, bald spots make your suede shoes look extremely worn off and weathered.
Suede as a material is very fragile and requires special care and attention since it’s much softer and more supple than leather.
There are several reasons behind the occurrence of bald spots on suede shoes. Some of them are:
- wearing suede shoes too often
- being too harsh and negligent with them
- not cleaning them properly
- getting them wet
- exposing them to direct sunlight for an extended period of time
- not storing them properly
- staining them with dyes or oils.
Can you even fix these bald spots?
Luckily for many avid suede lovers, bald spots on suede shoes can easily be fixed.
However, if your suede shoes are severely damaged, old, and worn for many years, maybe you can consider getting rid of them or repurposing them. There’s no point in fixing a bald spot on a shoe that generally looks like it’s been loved for too long or overutilized.
But, if your suede shoes are relatively new or look somewhat decent, with one or two bald spots on their surface, then those can be easily taken care of.
There are many products on the market specifically designed for treating suede leather and bald spots. But you can also use many of the things you already have in your home.
Check these 10 effective ways listed below and find the one(s) you’re most eager to try out!
How to fix bald spots on suede shoes?
1. Get rid of the bald spot using water
This first tip is perfect for bald spots that are not too severe. All you’ll have to do is dampen a clean cloth, get rid of the excess water, and rub the cloth over the bald spot. The water will help raise the fuzzy nap, ultimately getting rid of the bald spot.
Be careful with this one, though. Make sure that your cloth is not soaking wet since too much water can cause even more damage.
The suede material is very porous and exposure to water can only result in the appearance of more bald spots. That’s why it’s not recommended to wear suede shoes when it’s raining as the rain can cause the nap to break off.
So, if you’re afraid you might cause even more damage, just skip this step and opt for something else on this list.
2. Use rubbing alcohol on the bald spot
If you’re wondering how to fix bald spots on suede shoes, a great way to do it would be using rubbing alcohol.
Today, almost every household has a bottle of rubbing alcohol because it can be used for a wide variety of things. From disinfecting various surfaces, cleaning insect bites, and piercings, getting rid of bad odors, and in this case, treating bald spots on suede shoes.
This method is particularly good for bald spots caused by different stains. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and rub it on the stain. Repeat this if you need to, but do it in intervals. Never apply too much rubbing alcohol on your cleaning cloth.
Once you’re satisfied with the result, leave your suede shoes to air dry and later brush the area with a suede brush. And that’s about it!
If you don’t have a bottle of rubbing alcohol on hand, you can always use distilled white vinegar. It works just as well.
3. Put your suede shoes in the freezer
Another great solution for bald spots that aren’t too severe is none other than your freezer.
All you have to do with this one is to put your suede shoes in a plastic bag and then place them in the freezer for an hour or so. These extremely low temperatures will cause the fibers of the suede to contract, resulting in the raising of the nap and getting rid of the bald spot.
A little advice: before you put your shoes in the freezer, make sure they are properly cleaned and the plastic bag is well-sealed. This is important because of hygienic reasons as you probably don’t want to contaminate your frozen peas with the dirt from your shoes (or even dog poop. Yikes!)
4. Use the steam from your iron on your suede shoes
A quick disclaimer: you’ll have to be extra cautious with this one as it can result in severe burns if you’re not careful enough.
But, yes. Bald spots on suede shoes can ultimately be fixed with steam. You can use the steam from your iron, a steamer, or a kettle, or simply boil some water in a pot and use that steam. Just put the shoe above the steam, with the bald spot facing it directly, and be careful not to let your hands come too close.
Your goal is to let the steam penetrate the suede without causing it to get too wet. Once you notice your shoes are steamed enough, remove them, and by using a soft suede brush or a dry cloth, brush away the area to remove any marks or stains.
When you finish, let your shoes rest and air dry.
5. Use a hairdryer
One great alternative for the steam can be the hot air from the hairdryer. This method is generally good for suede shoes since it involves no water (therefore you’re not risking any damage), and the temperatures are not that high.
This is perfect for bald spots that are not that bad, too. Simply aim your hairdryer toward the bald spot for a couple of seconds after which you’re going to brush the spot with a suede brush. And that’s it!
6. Try using sandpaper
Who would have thought that a thing from your dad’s garage can help you with fixing the bald spot of your favorite suede shoes?
But it’s true. An easy way to get rid of the bald spot is by using sandpaper. However, you have to be careful with this one, too.
When using sandpaper on suede shoes, you have to start with a fine sandpaper grit and gently rub it over the spot in a circular motion. If that doesn’t do much, only then can you try with a stronger or medium grit.
And if you don’t have sandpaper at all, you can always try using your nail file. It should have a similar effect.
7. Use the suede revive stick
Another great option for fixing bald spots and generally reviving suede shoes is this specifically-made suede revive stick.
If you’re looking for a good brand, consider Sneaky as it makes great products and has many satisfied customers. It’s great for restoring both suede and nubuck, leaving them soft and supple. And it’s fairly affordable, too, as it costs up to $20.
8. Brush your suede shoes with a suede brush
If you have suede shoes, a good thing would be to have a suede brush, too. As you were able to see, a suede brush is used with many different cleaning methods, but it can also be used on its own.
There are many suede brushes on the market today, but the best and most effective ones are those which have both rubber and nylon bristle sides.
These brushes are also very affordable and easy to come by. So you shouldn’t have any problems getting your hands on one of them.
9. Use a suede eraser
Another thing specifically designed for suede shoes is a suede eraser. It is usually made out of natural rubber and is a great way to fix bald spots.
The suede eraser is also very easy to use. All you need to do is rub it over the dry suede, and it will effectively remove any dirt and raise the nap in the suede so that the bald spot disappears.
Crep Protect The Ultimate Scuff Eraser works wonders on scuff marks and it even removes discoloration from your favorite suede shoes. So, you’ll be able to solve two different issues with only one product.
10. Use suede protector to prevent bald spots from occurring
Finally, a little hack for those who wish to prevent (or at least postpone) bald spots from occurring is to get a suede protector.
Usually, suede protectors work on the principle of creating a barrier between suede shoes and other elements around them. They serve as a repellent for stains and moisture, as well.