Nubuck is a leather that has undergone a special treatment with an abrasive material to give it a velvety appearance, approaching suede. And although it can be as durable as ordinary leather, nubuck remains more fragile and requires special care.
Curiosity Insight, therefore, offers you a few tips to maintain and clean nubuck shoes. Tips that will help you keep the nubuck in good condition for longer.
1. Prevent stains by waterproofing nubuck shoes
Nubuck leather shoes need to be waterproofed regularly, using a product specifically designed for this purpose. Not only will the waterproofing allow them to be liquid-tight, but it will also limit the appearance of stains on the leather.
There is a whole range of waterproofing products, aerosol or cream, that will protect your shoes while reviving the color of nubuck and other textiles.
2. A brush cleaning and maintaining the nubuck
Since nubuck leather is porous, it is normal for dirt and dust to become more easily embedded. You will need a special brush for this type of leather. Brushes for nubuck, suede, or suede effectively remove dirt while being soft enough not to damage your shoes. These nubuck brushes are available in most shoe stores and shoemakers.
3. Natural products to clean your nubuck shoes
There are natural products designed to clean stains, even greasy ones, on nubuck leather, as well as turned leather. Powders, including Sommières earth, allow you to dry clean stains without leaving traces without altering your shoes’ color.
4. Sandpaper and abrasive block for stubborn stains
If, despite all your efforts, there are still stains that refuse to leave, you can use sandpaper or an abrasive block and vigorously rub the stains on your shoes. This will also invigorate the appearance of the nubuck, giving it an air of youth.
After that, you can use a brush specially designed for nubuck or even your vacuum cleaner’s soft brush to remove the dust produced by this tip.
5. Clean your nubuck shoes with a toothbrush
If you don’t have an exclusive nubuck and suede brush on hand or cleaning products, you can use a toothbrush and a little soapy water to remove stains from your shoes.
You will then need to rinse using a slightly damp brush and allow it to dry thoroughly before applying a protective product on the nubuck leather.
6. Baking soda to clean your nubuck shoes
In case of an oily stain, and if you do not have at your disposal a cleaning product specifically designed for this use, know that the baking soda can be used without problem. It is simply a matter of sprinkling a little on the stain, then rubbing with a soft cloth.
Baking soda is just as useful for removing calcium stains from your nubuck boots or shoes. Here’s how to do it:
- Wet the stain a little with warm water using a cloth
- Sprinkle a little baking soda on the cloth and rub.
- Rinse with a clean, damp cloth to finish cleaning
You will then need to use a brush or vacuum to remove the residue to finish cleaning the shoes in either case.
7. Remove stains from nubuck leather with an eraser
To remove dry spots on nubuck leather, you can use a white eraser. Gently rub the stain until it disappears.
Be careful never to use a colored eraser because this eraser’s dye could be transferred to your nubuck shoes.
Remember to brush your shoes thoroughly to remove eraser residue and stains at the very end of cleaning.
8. Vinegar to clean spots on nubuck
Vinegar can be used to remove stains from calcium, coffee or tea, and many others.
- Dilute the vinegar in water, respecting a ratio of one part of vinegar to two parts of water
- Apply the solution with a damp cloth and gently dab the area to be cleaned
- Rinse with water and allow to dry to finish
As vinegar can have a drying effect, do not use this method too often, and be sure to apply a conditioning product when your shoes are completely dry.
9. Entrust your nubuck shoes to a professional
Have you tried all the possible tricks to clean your nubuck shoes but can’t seem to get the stains off? It may be better to entrust the maintenance to a professional.
A shoemaker will have on hand the products and tools necessary to clean and maintain your shoes or other turned-up leather accessories.
It will be more expensive, but the investment will be worth it to keep your nubuck leather shoes longer.
10. Store your nubuck leather shoes well
Since nubuck leather is a natural material, care must be taken to store it properly to prolong its useful life. At the end of the season, take the trouble to thoroughly clean your nubuck shoes or boots, allow them to dry thoroughly, and then coat them with a conditioner followed by a protective product.
To help your nubuck shoes or boots keep their shape, it is advisable to insert a shoe tree. Although there is plastic, it is instead recommended to choose a natural cedar model which offers the advantages of absorbing moisture and keeping insects away.
Avoid storing your nubuck accessories in a plastic bag because the plastic will prevent your shoes from breathing properly and could damage them.