Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cleaning the sauce from suede shoes - An Epic

(click to zoom for damage shot)

A while back, Foster Huntington and I set out to document Rugby tie designer Sean Crowley’s apartment and The Jazz Age Lawn Party for our respective weblogs. In a day filled with amazing photos, Fort Greene barbeque, and St. Germain cocktails, the only casualties were my favorite suede cap toes, mortally wounded by a massive glob of bbq sauce from Foster's sandwich. With no more than a chuckle and a shoulder shrug, the Restless Transplant transplanted himself to the bar with the greatest facility and left me to find my own solution. So how do I clean them? I’d been attempting, to no avail, to answer that question ever since. I tried everything. A friend recommended rubbing the stain with salt and then brushing it out but that didn't work. Jim’s Shoe Repair said that they couldn’t do anything for me but advised to put baby powder on the stain for a week and then give it a brush...nope, try again. An extensive google search yielded unhelpful results. Was there really no solution? Just as I was about to concede defeat and bury my captoes in the back of the closet I hit pay dirt. Yesterday, I found an old suede cleaning spray that included instructions suggesting the use of an emery board.


After three months of failure involving the harebrained use of kitchen and bathroom products, all it took was five minutes with my wife's toiletry and my shoe looked like new. So there you have it, a long-winded, roundabout answer to a simple question. An emery board does wonders to combat any sort of damage a shaggy-haired, beer-guzzling, shoe-throwing, west coaster at a northeastern liberal arts college blogger/photographer could inflict on a pair of suede shoes.

back in working order...

11 comments:

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

I always appreciate the witty verging on snide (hell that's why I like Waugh). I think the proper thing to do whenever you ruin anything of anyone's (clothing, a rug, a CD) is to offer to pay for its repair or repay its value. I like the persistence and thrift though.

Jose said...

That’s it? Did you use the cleaning spray followed by the emery board? Or just the emery board? And you just rubbed it away? I’m going to try these on my suede Belgians that I foolishly wore on an overcast day which slowly turned into a rainy day. My shoe repair guy laughed at me. I thought there was no hope. Fingers crossed. Much appreciated.

Enzo AGC said...

Dale - I just call it like I see it...

Jose - The cleaning spray did nothing but stink up my apartment. All it look was an emery board. Go get yourself one and good luck!

Jose said...

It worked! My Belgians look almost new. Thanks for the tip. Much appreciated.

Enzo AGC said...

Jose - That's great! I'm glad I could help.

Foster Huntington said...

Bro,
I am so pleased that the BBQ sauce came out, greAt post and hope your house hunt/move is going well,
foster

Enzo AGC said...

Foster - glad I could please you broseph...how is school going?

Foster Huntington said...

school is going well, i havent spotted winterbottom yet. still looking for a to a chat with her hahah,
Foster

Enzo AGC said...

Haha..She's abroad in London until Dec. so it will have to wait until then

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Can you go more into detail on cleaning Suede shoes. I live in Milan and had your same problem.This was bad because the shoes cost a mint (Rossetti) and I still can't get the stains out=Olive Oil.But please contact me on this.By the way anyone who wants dirt cheap but really decent Suede brogues hand made should check out Samuel windsor shoes on Google and check out the 30 pound a pair offer.I bought suedes from them and they look the business. I bought four pairs. American Tassel loafers in Ox-blood, Semi Brogues, Gibsons,Suede brogues. They are also sold under Richmond

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

By the way these shoes got bad press on the MOD STYLE site but i've worn them and they are much better than the same style shoes made by Rossetti or most of the Italians at 600 bucks or more.the only negative point is they come up a bit large=not for those with really narrow feet. And they are only in english classic style.I don't buy Italian anymore but buy from Loake or Charles Tywitt in London when I'm back home. I recently got the Bogart brogues from Loake at a 100 pounds circa. Now I'm getting their Steve MacQueen shoe