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How to Fix Scuffed or Stained Suede Shoes

How to fix Scuffed or Stained Suede Shoes and Boots

It’s boots and booties season!  Hooray!

But its also bad weather, hot coffee and sugary cocktails season which can spell disaster for those suede boots you saved up for.  Boo!

Suede is one of those fabrics that shows every last imperfection.  Dirt, dark patches, grime and other stains show up on suede in a super magnified way so taking care of these little blemishes quickly will keep your suede shoes and boots looking #ShoeoftheDay perfect.

The first thing you should do BEFORE you wear suede shoes is protect them with a sealant.  Either take them to a shoe professional to have done or DIY it.  You can pick up a suede sealant at most drugstores or on amazon.  A thin application will last several months and help repel dirt, water and other stains. Make sure to reapply after brushing.

Now on to my tricks for fixing scuffed or stained suede shoes and maintaining that luxe suede look.

How to fix Scuffed or Stained Suede Shoes and Boots

Brusha Brusha Brusha!  Brush Your Suede after every wear.  This is the secret to keeping the suede fluffy and shiny-spot free.  You can do this with a suede brush or with a dry/clean soft nylon toothbrush. If you’ve got a shiny, worn spot, use the brush/toothbrush to lift the tamped-down fabric with short, gentle strokes.  It will also remove any loose dirt, lint or pet hair.

How to Fix Scuffed or Stained Suede Shoes

Suede Eraser

I don’t know about you but my suede booties get scuff marks like crazy!  To remove these marks gently rub an eraser back and forth over a scuff or stain until it lifts, then brush off any eraser shavings with your suede brush. You can do this with a suede eraser or in a pinch a pencil eraser will do.  I swear it’s magic- see above before and after!

For black suede pieces you can also touch up faded or scuffed spots lightly with a black crayon, then rub the color into the suede with your finger. Repeat until the spot blends with the surrounding suede

If tragedy strikes.. aka liquid spills on your suede shoes use talcum powder or cornmeal to treat them. Start by patting (NOT RUBBING) the area with a clean cloth or towel and then apply a layer of cornmeal or talcum powder. Let it sit overnight, and then brush the suede the following day to remove the dried powder.

Stylist Tip: These tips are meant for small accidents and imperfection.  Don’t attempt to restore severely damaged or severely stained suede at home. Take it to a drycleaning professional who specializes in the care of suede and leather.

Click Below to SHOP some of My favorite Suede Tools:

How to Remove Makeup Stains from Clothing

It has happened to all of us.  Slipping that favorite top or dress on overhead, pulling it down only to find makeup all over it.

As a stylist I have this problem ALL the dang time especially on mens dress shirt collars (thanks over eager makeup artists).

Makeup can be tricky to remove especially if it’s oil based, the key is knowing what type of stain you are dealing with and having a lightening fast response time. If makeup stains are handled quickly, then the fabric won’t have enough time to fully absorb the stains.  The longer the stain remains the tougher it will be to remove so these pre-treatments are key!

Two of the biggest makeup offenders to clothing are Foundation and Lipstick.

Removing Foundation from Clothing

This one is actually pretty simple.

Check the label and determine whether your foundation is oil-free or oil-based.

If it’s oil-free, lather on a thick layer of shaving cream, yep shaving cream (it MUST be shaving CREAM not shaving GEL) and let it sit for about 15 minutes before wiping off the suds. If the foundation is oil-based, complete the same process using dish detergent instead of shaving cream. Toss it in the washer and BAM!  Foundation is gone!  Both pre-treatments will remove makeup residue, leaving the fabric way easier to clean.

(This is for washable clothing- If your clothing is Dry-Clean Only skip to the Dry Clean Only Method)

Removing Lipstick Stains from Clothing

Here’s the biggest problem with lipstick stains, unlike most other kinds of stains, which tend to fall neatly into “stain type” categories like ‘protein’ (sweat, blood, dairy) or ‘tannin’ (tea, coffee, red wine), lipstick is a combination stain. Today’s lipsticks are made from colors and chemicals that are made to last LONGER which is great for your lips but really bad for accidents on clothing!  They are waxy, oily AND brightly colored, making them tough to clean and almost impossible to hide. (Remember to check your clothing label, if your clothing is Dry-Clean Only skip to the Dry Clean Only Method).

Start by taking a piece of tape and adhering it to the stain then pull it off.  This will grab any excess build up that is sitting on the surface- do this a couple times.

Because lipstick stains are oily, you need to use cleaners that fight grease. A grease fighting liquid soap like Dawn dish soap will work wonders.  Spritz the stain with clean water, but don’t soak the fabric. Drop a small amount of dish soap onto the area then gently blot it into the stain. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to apply to BOTH sides of the stain.  Finish by dabbing the section of fabric clean with a dry towel, and if the stain isn’t completely removed, repeat the process as necessary then launder as normal.

Rubbing alcohol is another great way to remove lipstick but be VERY Careful on which types of fabric you use it on!  They need to be rugged cottons or denim, nothing delicate!  Dab the rubbing alcohol on the stain using a white rag or cotton ball, repeating as necessary until the stain is gone entirely then launder as normal.

Makeup and Dry Clean Only Pieces

For Dry Clean Only clothing try pre-treating the stain with Dryel On The Go Stain Remover.  It safely remove the mess from dry clean only clothing WITHOUT leaving a ring.  I have found that other brands of stain removing pens leave a really bad ring on delicate clothing.

Dryel On the Go is perfect for when you can’t make it to the dry cleaners right away, this instant stain remover works great on wools, silks, rayons, linens, cottons, and dry clean-only clothes, delicates, and hand washables. The soft touch applicator is gentle – and the scrubber works like an eraser to eliminate your stains.

Coffee to Dye Black Jeans

Coffee to Refresh Black jeans

There is nothing more perfect than a pair of great fitting black jeans. Dark, moody, slimming and oh so chic.

Although they are totally awesome, black jeans do require a special kind of love and attention to maintain their inky, saturated color.

There are a few preventative measures you can take to help maintain that midnight black shade:

  • Never wash black denim in warm or hot water, ALWAYS wash in COLD!
  • Instead of using regular detergent, use one designed for dark clothing (I like Woolite Darks).
  • Turn the jeans inside out when washing.  When clothes rub against each other in the wash in can cause fading.
  • ALWAYS wash them on the gentle cycle and then hang them to dry. NEVER put them in the DRYER!

But, even with all this extra love those “perfect” black jeans can and will start to fade.

Over the years I have searched everywhere and tried EVERYTHING to regain my black jeans’ former glory, from dying them with RIT dye to soaking them in vinegar and laundering them in the freezer.  None of them with the best results.  I even had a retail clerk tell me NOT to wash my jeans EVER so that they won’t fade.  Come on that’s ridiculous.  Who isn’t going to ever wash their jeans.

The dying method hasn’t ever worked for me.  The color is too uniform and flat, the shade of black just isn’t “right” and it looks too contrived, but I have a secret for getting natural looking results while restoring your dark denim back to it’s chic inky self, Coffee!

Yep that’s right coffee can dye black jeans!  Once again this caffeinated wonder steps in to save the denim day!

Coffee and Jeans Please

You will need a bucket, some STRONG dark brew coffee (the darker the brew the darker it will dye your clothing), rubber gloves and a washing machine.

  1. Brew up some caffeinated goodness.  For one pair of jeans a pot of coffee is plenty.
  2. Put the jeans in the bucket and pour the coffee over them.  I have the haunting problem of my black jeans “wearing” on the inner thigh, because well friction lol,  which results in that area becoming lighter than the rest of the jeans (its becomes a giant weird white spot down there) and this is the ONLY thing I have found that will fix it! I make sure to get that area extra extra soaked.  The mixture will be hot so use a glove or a paint stick to move the jeans around gently until they are soaked.  Let it sit overnight.
  3. The next morning run them through the gentle cycle with NO detergent and hang to dry!

Repeat this as many times as necessary.  It will gradually darken your jeans 2-3 shades each time you do this process.

Stylist’s Tip: Coffee can also be used to darken other black clothing that has started to fade.  Just add 2 cups of coffee to your rinse cycle on cold and voila!  Great for yoga pants, t-shirts, and other cottons.

Coffee to Dye Black Jeans

 Coffee to Dye Black Jeans

How to Remove Clothing Odors with Vodka

How to remove clothing odors with vodka

Sometimes clothing can smell, not too fresh.  Dry Clean only pieces, vintage clothing and silk especially tend to hold on to those not so pleasant scents.

Sometimes even dry cleaning or laundering can’t eliminate odor.  It stays behind lingering, hiding deep in the fibers waiting for you to put the garment on again then rising like a Phoenix back to it’s full stank.

Whether it’s mustiness, cigarette smoke or if your favorite vintage piece smells like cumin that has been baking in the sun there is one sure fire way to ditch that stank, Vodka.

I learned this nifty trick of removing clothing odors with Vodka back in my Theater days, we used it all the time on costumes to get that “been around for decades, worn all night and sweated in by the entire cast” smell out. The alcohol works in pretty much the same way as sanitizing hand gels, killing odor-causing bacteria. Since vodka kills bacteria and dries odorless, when it evaporates so does the stink.

When selecting Vodka for this purpose you probably don’t want to use the expensive stuff just to freshen up your clothes.  I opt for something less than top-shelf but you can go with whatever you have on hand in a pinch.

There are two methods you can use Vodka to kill that smell: in a steamer cocktail or straight up with a spray bottle.

Vodka to Remove clothing odors

Vodka Cocktail Steaming Method

This method gives that stinky bacteria a double slap.  Not only does the Vodka kill bacteria, so does the heat from the steam.  Fill your steamer with a half-and-half solution of vodka and water, and steam away. The pungent scent will totally subside  – and no, you won’t smell like you’ve been on a drinking binge, the vodka smell with evaporate as well.

Vodka Straight Up Spray Deodorizer

You want to make sure you have a bottle of high proof Vodka.  It’s the high alcohol content that gets this job done.  Pour the vodka into an empty spray bottle for easy application. Make sure to use vodka only, as water will dilute the alcohol’s odor-removing power. Then spritz away.  I recommend using a spritzer that produces a fine diffused spritz (like a cosmetics type) rather than a strong directional one.  This will smell strong at first but both the clothing stank and the vodka smell will subside as it dries.

Vodka Removes Clothing Odors

DIY Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub

DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub

Do you love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte’s so much that you wish you could bathe in them? Well, thanks to The Epsom Salt Council you can!

Epsom Salt has a HUGE range of uses and benefits and there are TONS of at home uses for it but in beauty circles it is revered for it’s exfoliating capabilities to brighten and soften the skin.

Epsom Salt is actually not a “salt” at all. It’s a pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate – both of which are readily absorbed through the skin. This gives Epsom Salt a huge variety of health and beauty benefits, including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, preventing hardening of arteries, improving the absorption of nutrients and flushing out toxins!

One of the most cost effective beauty enhancers you can find (a typical carton of epsom salt is only around $6), Epsom Salt is the ultimate pocket friendly natural solution for exfoliating and softening dead skin.

If you have caught the October Pumpkin Fever or just want to get in the Fall mood try this delish and oh so fall-tastic DIY Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub recipe from The Epsom Salt Council,  it will satisfy that “everything Pumpkin” craving with none of the calories!

Epsom Salt Pumpkin Scrub

 Moisturizing Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub


  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice


  1. Mix the Epsom salt and pumpkin puree into a bowl until completely combined.
  2. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice until blended.
  3. If the scrub looks a little loose or runny, add more Epsom salt into the mixture until it has a thick, paste-like consistency.
  4. Apply the scrub in circular motions and let the mixture stand for one minute before rinsing with warm water.

*Note if you have some left over store it in a jar in the refrigerator until next use.

Epsom Salt Pumpkin Scrub Step 1

Epsom Salt Pumpkin Scrub Step 2

Epsom Salt Pumpkin Scrub Step 3

Epsom Salt Pumpkin Scrub Step 4

Epsom Salt Pumpkin Scrub DIY