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The Best Nubuck Cleaner

Last updated on September 16, 2020

We looked at the top 5 Nubuck Cleaners and dug through the reviews from 23 of the most popular review sites including Footwear News, Who What Wear, New York Mag, Home Cleaning For You, Savvy About Shoes, Shoe Advisor and more. The result is a ranking of the best Nubuck Cleaners.

Best Nubuck Cleaner

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Our Picks For The Top Nubuck Cleaners

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector

Scotchgard

Suede & Nubuck Protector

Overall Take

One Coat OnlyMany nubuck protectors require multiple coats, but this one only requires one.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Who What Wear, New York Mag, Business Insider, A Best Pro, Footwear News, Shoe Hero and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" In addition to repelling water, it’s also designed to repel oil-based stains, which makes it a necessity for boots that see a lot of wear."
Cons
"Nozzle can be tough to use"

Pink Miracle Leather & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

Pink Miracle

Leather & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

Overall Take

Versatile CleanerThis cleaner's benefits go well beyond nubuck to include rugs, couches and a wide range of shoe types.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Shoe Advisor, Footwear News, The Spruce, Spy, Highsnobiety, Trustorereview and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" A top shoe cleaner that will take care of any shoe material from canvas, leather, and vinyl to plastic."
Cons
"Some users may find this solution can stain certain knit sneakers."
  The Best Value

KIWI Suede & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

KIWI

Suede & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

Overall Take

Portable KitThis kit includes everything you need to clean and protect your suede or nubuck shoes, along with a zippered case that makes it easy to take with you.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Footwear News. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" It comes in a zippered case to keep everything together, making it easy to travel with."

Bickmore Suede & Nubuck Cleaner

Bickmore

Suede & Nubuck Cleaner

Overall Take

Strong but SafeThis formula is both strong and safe, tackling tough stains like beer and oil with ease.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Who What Wear, New York Mag, Footwear News, Home Cleaning For You, Savvy About Shoes. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This spray is also a great fix for other accessories like bags."
Cons
"It has a strong odor."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
12

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the nubuck cleaners available to purchase.
5

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

23

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Footwear News, Who What Wear, New York Mag, Home Cleaning For You, Savvy About Shoes.

15,946

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 5 Nubuck Cleaners and also dug through the reviews from 23 of the most popular review sites including Footwear News, Who What Wear, New York Mag, Home Cleaning For You, Savvy About Shoes, Shoe Advisor and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Nubuck Cleaners.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector

Our Expert Score
0.0
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
3,174 user reviews
Our Take

This protector repels water as well as oil-based stains to keep your boots clean even during everyday wear. It's safe to use both on suede and unfinished leathers like nubuck. One of the best things about this protector, though, is that it only needs one coat to be effective.

What other experts liked
In addition to repelling water, it’s also designed to repel oil-based stains, which makes it a necessity for boots that see a lot of wear.
- Who What Wear
Isobel Schofield, founder of Bryr Clogs, confirms that this product works really well, protecting against water- and oil-based stains.
- New York Mag
Works on suede and nubuck, spray-on
- Business Insider
It has active ingredients that resist salt stains and without odors.
- A Best Pro
Safe to use on suede and unfinished leathers, this spray helps repel water and tough oil stains.
- Footwear News
You don’t need to apply multiple coats to get outstanding protection.
- Shoe Hero
Rather than layers of coverage, you just need one coat of this before you let it dry.
- Trip Savvy
What other experts didn't like
Nozzle can be tough to use
- Business Insider
However, it isn’t meant for smooth finishes.
- A Best Pro
Make sure not to use it on smooth leather by mistake.
- Shoe Hero
You’ll need to reapply the spray every six months (or as the repellency wears off).
- Trip Savvy

The Best Bang For Your Buck

KIWI Suede & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

Our Expert Score
0.0
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
532 user reviews
Our Take

This cleaner is an entire kit that comes in a zippered case that makes it easy to take on the go. You'll get a suede cleaner, suede protector, a handled cleaning brush, a cleaning cloth and a stain-eraser block. The cleaner removes tough stains, shiny marks and water spots for a thorough clean.

What other experts liked
It comes in a zippered case to keep everything together, making it easy to travel with.
- Footwear News
What other experts didn't like
The product may have a pungent odor so it may be best used outdoors.
- Footwear News

Overall Product Rankings

Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector

1. Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 10

Pink Miracle Leather & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

2. Pink Miracle Leather & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 10

KIWI Suede & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

3. KIWI Suede & Nubuck Shoe Cleaner Kit

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 3

Bickmore Suede & Nubuck Cleaner

4. Bickmore Suede & Nubuck Cleaner

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 7

Our Nubuck Cleaner Buying Guide

If you’ve ever shopped for a leather coat, handbag or pair of shoes, you know there are many different varieties of leather. One of those types, nubuck, is frequently confused with suede due to its extremely soft texture.

Nubuck is made from the top layer of calfskin or cowhide, which is a tougher and more resilient material than the layer beneath that’s used for suede. Manufacturers buff and sand nubuck to give it a consistent look, which softens it to a velvety texture, giving it that suede-like look and feel.

But even though nubuck is tougher than suede, its rough surface does tend to absorb oils and dirt more than other types of leather. That means if you have nubuck leather, you’ll definitely need to keep a cleaning solvent of some type on hand.

To clean nubuck leather, first use a dry brush to remove any surface dirt. A suede eraser can be a great second step in eliminating soil from the outermost layer. This two-step process will help keep you from grinding that dirt into the material when you start applying cleanser to it. At that point, you’re ready to start applying cleanser. Follow the directions on the solution. If it calls for a cloth to apply it, make sure you use one that is lint-free. Once you’ve treated the area, use a lint-free, dry towel to blot away as much moisture as you can before allowing the material to air dry.

No matter which solvent you choose to clean your nubuck, it’s always best to test it on a small, less-visible area before applying it to the stain. You may find that cleaning it changes the texture of the nubuck. To return it to its original softness, run a suede eraser or dry brush over the area.

DWYM Fun Fact

Wallpaper may not be as widely in use as it once was, but at one time, wall coverings were a symbol of wealth. What better way to flaunt your financial status than by outfitting your home’s walls with leather? This began as something called Cuir de Cordoue, which was typically made from lambskin and embossed and gilded before being hung on the wall.

Cuir de Cordoue was introduced in eighth-century Spain, gradually growing in popularity and spreading to Europe by the 11th century. Today, you can cover your walls in faux suedes and leathers, and genuine embossed leather wallpaper can mostly only be found in history books.

The Nubuck Cleaner Tips and Advice

  • Although you can find nubuck cleaner, there are plenty of solutions that will work with a wide range of leathers and other materials. Just make sure the cleanser is safe to use on nubuck before you get started. Suede cleaners are typically a safe option.
  • With boots of any type of leather, you’ll want to remove the insoles after you’ve worn them. They will have difficulty drying inside the boot and eventually begin to develop an unpleasant odor.
  • If your nubuck is exposed to water, either through rain or another source, try to let it dry for at least 24 hours before wearing.
  • Cleansers will open the pores of your nubuck, leaving them more vulnerable to dirt and debris. It’s best to follow up cleanser with some type of leather or suede protectant.
  • If the inside of your boot gets wet, absorbing the moisture with newspaper for a half an hour or so can help wick some of that away.
  • Never set leather near a heat source to dry. Leather is vulnerable to hotter temperatures. It’s best to let them dry at room temperature.
  • You can save time by buying a leather cleaner that also has protector built in. Instead of having to apply multiple coats, you can do everything in one step.
  • You may find that a multipurpose cleaner gives you more bang for your buck. Some leather cleansers also clean canvas, vinyl and other shoe materials, as well as household items like sofas and rugs.
  • If you buy a kit, make sure you have somewhere to store everything. Kits that come with a zippered bag or pouch make it easy to take everything on the road with you when you travel.
  • Some leather cleaners and protectors can leave a residue behind. You can often brush this residue off, but make sure you won’t end up with a tacky surface when you need to remove a stain and protect your leather.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.