Butter on nubeck leather (suede-like) shoe
September 27, 2005 6:56 PM   Subscribe

Any ideas on how to remove melted butter stain on brand new pair of "nubeck leather" shoes? (Nubeck leather looks a lot like suede, and looks a lot like crap with the butter.) Today was my first day with the shoes and I managed to step in dog dew with one (easy, albeit unpleasant, clean-up) and spill about a square inch worth of butter on the other.... Thanks for any help.
posted by rabbus to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Dunno if you were googling, but you might have better luck with the correct spelling, "nubuck."
For example, Cleaning Nubuck Shoes.
posted by librarina at 8:10 PM on September 27, 2005

I can't help, but I do believe it's dog 'doo'
posted by cbecker333 at 8:28 PM on September 27, 2005

Try sprinkling some baby powder or cornstarch on the spot, working it in a bit with a clean toothbrush, then letting it sit while the powder/cornstarch soaks up the butter. Brush off and repeat if necessary.

Good luck.
posted by CMichaelCook at 8:33 PM on September 27, 2005

Oddly enough, for both butter and for olive oil, soaking the spot in shampoo and then cleaning the whole thing as normal has worked on many shirts for me that I've given up as lost.

It was explained to me that shampoo is designed to break down oil in hair, ergo it can handle the oils of butter and olive oil. Dunno if that was someone's guess or not, but it has worked on cloth!
posted by ugf at 9:53 PM on September 27, 2005

I also vote for dry cleaner/shoe repair shop. It's going to take a special kind of solvent to get that out and not ruin the shoe. While you're there, find out if they can spray them with something that will eliminate these problems in the future (I used to use Scotchgard but I hear it's now illegal).
posted by cali at 11:25 PM on September 27, 2005

It was explained to me that shampoo is designed to break down oil in hair, ergo it can handle the oils of butter and olive oil.

I've always used dish detergent, since it's built to break down animal fats and vegtable fats. It does a good job on cleaning glasses, for the same reason. Techincally, if you're lenses are coated, you shouldn't, but most dish detergents are so mild that they won't hurt the coatings. YGMV.

As to nubuck. The only ones I have are my New Balance Country Walkers, which are one of my hiking shoes. After two years, they were spotted badly. Water, Doc Bronners and a brush cleaned them up nicely -- but since these were hiking shoes, I didn't really care what they would look like afterwards, so I really can't suggest them for anything you'd like to look nice afterwards. They worked for me.

Drying the shoes -- stuff with newspaper. Works great.
posted by eriko at 5:30 AM on September 28, 2005

Sponge out with a cloth dipped in club soda or vinegar; restore the nap with a suede brush.
posted by KRS at 1:31 PM on September 28, 2005

Response by poster: So far I've tried a dry cleaners ("We don't do leather") and the vinegar (which, while doing no harm, did not work, maybe because I didn't get to doing it for a couple of days. I'm going to try the shampoo, and then a shoe repair store if that doesn't work.) Thanks all.
posted by rabbus at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2005

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