How to clean and condition nubuck and suede

Warm, velvety and natural, suede and nubuck leathers are widely considered some of the most valuable and beautiful. They are also some of the most vulnerable to damage. Regular care and maintenance with the right leather cleaner and conditioner helps to prolong both the health and beauty of these leathers. With regular servicing, the appearance of marks and stains can be softened and minimised.

From day 1

To get the best from your nubuck and suede leather, it’s important to commence and maintain a regular regime of cleaning and conditioning from the day your new lounge or coat is delivered. Unlike coated leathers, these 'unfinished' ones have no physical barrier to prevent spills from penetrating into the structure of the leather. Regular care builds a subtle level of protection from spills. Similarly, a leather protector, if suitable for your leather, can also create an invisible shield that helps to prevent stains and repels soiling.

The products

1) Nubuck, Suede & Aniline Cleanse (No.10)

2) Nubuck, Suede & Aniline Nourish (No.11)

3) Protect (No.3) - if compatible with your leather. Test first

4) Brush

5) Cloths

Also available in kits.

2 - 4 steps

1) Pour generously onto a cloth then wipe vigorously or spray onto the leather then scrub with a brush. Repeat as needed

3) Pour conditioner onto a just damp cloth then wipe over all areas

4) After testing for compatibility, pour protector onto a damp cloth and wipe over all areas

5) For suede, use a brush to lift the nap (fluffy texture) of the leather.

Gentle cleaning

The ideal cleaner gently lifts dirt and is mild enough to avoid damage. In fact, leather cleaning must balance short term results against long term effects.

Leather Hero’s Nubuck, Suede and Aniline Cleanse (No.10) is a professional-grade general cleaner that is ideal for everyday maintenance. It’s formulated specifically for unprotected leathers, is water-based, non-sudsing, non-greasy, non-abrasive, non-toxic and easy to use.

Light conditioning

For nubuck and suede leather that feels beautiful to touch and is nourished throughout, a light, penetrating conditioner is best. Products containing the wrong types of waxes and oils can be too ‘rich’ for these leathers. They may clog the pores, look greasy, add unwanted shine, or permanently darken the leather.

Nubuck, Suede & Aniline Nourish (No.11) is a lotion consistency. It typically leaves a beautiful feel without changing the colour or appearance of unprotected leathers.


Most suedes can be brushed quite vigvigorously. Brush during cleaning and then again after conditioning and/or protecting. For low nap suede, a soft bristle brush is ideal. For a generous nap, a stronger bristle brush can be beneficial.


The last step towards beautiful nubuck and suede leather is an invisible, anti-soiling, breathable shield that helps keep your leather clean for longer. Helping to protect the leather from the uptake of spills, grease, transferred dye and stains, it’s a smart inclusion if you want to make light work of maintaining your upholstery. .

Permanent stains

When it comes to unprotected leathers, you won’t see stains magically disappear with cleaning. Most often, soiling, spills and marks have penetrated, set-in and are permanent. However, with regular cleaning, marks tend to soften in appearance, blending in a more aesthetically pleasing way over time.

Besides improving the appearance of leather, regular cleaning helps to minimise the harmful impact of body oil, hair oil and perspiration on leather. With long term exposure, these leathers absorb such contaminants and are progressively degraded at the structural level. They may become dry from perspiration or rot and tear when soaked in oil.