Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector

Last updated date: September 29, 2020

DWYM Score

9.5

Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector

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We looked at the top Nubuck Cleaners and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nubuck Cleaner you should buy.

Editor's Note September 29, 2020:
Checkout The Best Nubuck Cleaner for a detailed review of all the top nubuck cleaners.

Overall 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.


In our analysis of 23 expert reviews, the Scotchgard Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector placed 1st when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Protect your suede and nubuck leather items with the excellent weather resistance of Scotch Gard Suede and Nubuck Protector. Designed to block out rain, sleet and snow, Scotch Gard Suede and Nubuck Protector helps keep you dry while extending the life of your favorite shoes, boots, handbags and clothing. Plus, it helps minimize outfit-ruining salt stains. So keep your investment pieces looking newer, longer with the incredible protection of Scotch Gard Suede and Nubuck Protector.

Expert Reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
3,174 user reviews

What 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 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

An Overview On Nubuck Cleaners

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.

The Nubuck Cleaner Buying Guide

  • 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.