I have a pair of (very comfortable) tan suede boots. I never waterproofed them and the, of course, I splashed dirty rain puddle water on them. This has left a light stain. How do I clean these? Are there things around the average household I can use becuase I really don’t want to go buy any expensive cleaners from a shoestore?
You should get a Nubuck Block. It is good for getting most of the dirt off of suede and even helps restore the texture to a degree. It won’t remove stains like if something oily got on the shoes it won’t clear up the discolouration.
Generally, you clean suede shoes by brushing them with a stiff-bristled brush. You can buy a special “suede brush” but it is nothing more than an inexpensive wire brush. Brushing will remove surface dirt, but stains are basically a forever kind of thing. Even if you had “waterproofed” them, the damage might well have happened anyway. Suede footgear and wet conditions are never a good mix.
Use this advice at your own risk. Cold water applied to a nail brush, then lightly used to wet and clean clean the suede surface has worked for me in the past. Wetting the entire surface of the leather also tends to make any darkening uniform. Using a solvent like “Goo Gone” or lighter fluid applied to the entire surface will also make the leather one of two shades darker (permanently) than water alone, and will tend to hide water staining. Do this outdoors and away from flames.