The stuff used in the Nubuck shoes is very much like suede, particularly in its appearance and even texture to some extent. Nubuck leather is derived primarily from cowhide and just like suede, the Nubuck is sanded for the sake of creating touch and feel that is comfy and lasting.
The major difference between the two is that the suede is made from the inside of cowhide, while the Nubuck is made from the outside. This makes Nubuck much durable and stronger than others. Nubuck is highly vulnerable to staining and soiling and requires special attention with specific tools and techniques. This understanding will help us in identifying the best approach for cleaning Nubuck shoes, which is our prime agenda here.
Before we jump on to the actual methods for cleaning, you should be completely aware of your costly investment. Remember, that it is not possible to ideally fix or polish all kinds of Nubuck shoes. The stains like those of beer, blood, and paint are hard to treat.
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Saltwater stains, if soaked deep inside the Nubuck stuff are treatable. If you are consistently using your Nubuck shoes in rain, then make sure to have them protected using a Nubuck spray once every three months. Prevention as always is the best approach than to have your shoes treated.
Items Required For Cleaning Nubuck Shoes
For cleaning Nubuck shoes you may require a few important things which are necessary for cleaning the shoes properly. Definitely, the first thing that you have to consider is that the essentials you will use for cleaning may not be harmful to the surface of the shoes in any way.
Always use high-quality accessories and materials to clean your shoes to avoid any kind of damages. Here are a few things that will help you get things cleaned up without harming the shoes and its surface components at all:
- Nubuck sponge
- Suede brush (Plastic bristled)
- Cotton cloth/ soft tissues/ soft towel
- Blow dryer
- Pumice stone
Steps to Clean Nubuck Shoes
1. Wiping Top Surface
You need to first wipe the shoe surface using a Nubuck sponge. The selection of sponge here matters a lot and ideally, it shouldn’t be too hard. Else, you may damage the Nubuck stuff with scratches over it. You may also look to cover the sponge with a soft cloth if you feel the need. Just make gentle strokes and you may increase the pressure as you go on. This step will allow you to remove a good amount of top surface dirt from the shoes.
2. Using Vinegar With Water
Take some clean water in a mug and add a few drops of vinegar in it. Make sure that you are not using the brown malt vinegar or it could result in discoloring your Nubuck shoe stuff. In this step, you need to soak a j-cloth in the vinegar-water solution and then softly dab it over the stained spots over the shoes. Make sure that you use a very soft hand here. Then, use a suede brush in order to get rid of any oil or dirt, which might have soaked into the 2md or 3rd layer of the Nubuck shoe surface.
3. Drying The Shoe Surface
Dry the shoes well in time, before the stains could settle down. You can use cotton cloth, soft tissue or a soft towel in order to wipe out any extra moisture coming from the vinegar cleaning solution. A blow dryer afterward should be used for completely drying the shoes. Make sure that a quick response is required in drying after step 2 above. Else, the stains after 6 hours could permanently settle over the Nubuck stuff.
4. Using Pumice Stone
Pumice stone is your last resort if you are still not able to clean the stains after following the above 3 steps. Once you have the pumice stone in hand then identify its smooth surface first. Use the smooth surface of the stone by gently rubbing it over the stained area. This will help you a great deal in treating the toughest of the stains and oil spots from the Nubuck shoes.
- Nubuck shoes under no circumstances should be washed. You should never look to wash it in a washing machine or even washing it by hand with any gentle stop is not permissible.
- The chemical cleaners for Nubuck shoes have been tried and tested to conclude that they ruin the Nubuck material. There might be a few effective cleaners, but it is always best to avoid taking any such risks.
- Shoes shouldn’t ever be left wet for post-cleaning. It is important to notice because when you leave your shoes wet for a longer [period of time or soak it for too long, this will affect its shape, stitching, and colored components. That is why you may not elav your shoes into any sort of wet substance, water or mixture of solutions to avoid damages.
- It is highly advised not to wear subject footwear in muddy weather conditions.
As discussed above, Nubuck shoes call for heavy investment and preventing shoe damage is the best approach to maintain its shape and color and all other features for a comfy experience. It is better to keep in mind that when you re going to use the shoe on a daily basis or frequently, it will get dirt on it and to make sure it stays in shape and retains it overall features, you need to take care of it in a proper way without harming its texture and shape.
However, regular cleaning after every 3 months is warranted in order to enhance the life of your shoes and make them presentable, as always. So, make sure to follow the right instructions in the right way to get the results you always expect after cleaning shoes.
The above cleaning method is tried and tested and promises to give you the desired results in best cleaning your Nubuck shoes.