For the third instalment of our Jason Markk ‘Cleaning Series’ guides, we’ll be showing you how to clean suede shoes and trainers, using our premium selection of Jason Markk’s cleaning products and kits to ensure a perfect finish. We’ll be focussing on an adidas Originals Gazelle, but the same techniques can be replicated for all suede styles.
Prepping is essential, throughout this guide we’ll be using:
Starting things off, remove the laces and use the horsehair suede brush from the Jason Markk Suede Cleaning Kit to brush down any excess dirt and debris from your trainer. You can be quite vigorous with the suede brush as the dense bristles are not as course as the other brushes available and help to get a deep clean.
The dry dirt on your shoes is often what causes the discolouration, and just by dry brushing, you can start to see your shoes coming back to life already.
Next up it’s the Crep rubber eraser. Made from the same material as the sole of a Clark’s Originals Wallabee or Desert Trek, the crep rubber’s sticky construct is designed to grip the dirt away from your shoes and allows you to see how much dirt you can remove without having to use water.
After this, repeat the dry brushing step once more to ensure every bit of dry dirt has been eliminated.
Now comes the part that most people worry about, using water to clean suede. One thing that’s majorly important when it comes to cleaning suede is not to over wet your shoe or trainer. With suede being a pigment dyed material colourless is bound to happen, but by controlling how much liquid goes onto it you can help to control this loss.
As mentioned in previous guides, making sure you thoroughly shake off your brush will be essential for suede products as it will make sure you don’t damage or over wet the material.
Start out by cleaning the sole of your shoe using the Standard brush. Dip the brush into a bowl of room temperature water, shake off, and prepare it by adding four to five drops of the Premium Cleaner along the bristles, dip back into the water and shake off once again. Now you’re good to begin cleaning.
Scrub in a firm motion along the midsole to remove all dirt trapped within the grainy texture. The sturdy acrylic bristles on the Standard brush make it the best tool to eliminate dirt from rubber midsoles and outsoles and using the microfiber cloth will help remove excess water.
Now for the uppers. Take the Premium brush, dip it in the water, shake off, dip again and add the solution onto the brush.
You can tell if the brush has been shaken off enough by holding it over your hand; If no drips fall onto you then it’s good to go. The brush should be damp but not overly saturated.
Begin scrubbing in circular motions and work the solution into the shoe section by section.
Make sure to stop after each and soak up the solution with the microfiber towel, to stop it setting in the delicate material. Darker areas may need to be worked over with a bit more force, but again use the microfiber towel.
The microfiber towel helps absorb the water away from the shoe and draws the dirt off them in the process.
If you feel the brush has dried out, dip it back into the water and shake off. There shouldn’t be any need to add any more solution as it should still be held within the bristles.
After a solid clean and dry off with the towel, allow the shoe to rest for at least 5 hours, but preferably 24 if you can to ensure they’re completely dried out.
Once fully dry the suede may feel a little bit hard. By using the Suede Kit and alternating between the brush and rubber, you can help bring the nap (small suede fibres) back and restore the fluffy texture.
Add the laces back in and you’re good to go!
Don’t forget to keep updated the rest of the videos in our fortnightly-updated Cleaning Series.