How to Clean Vegetable Oil Off Suede Shoes

Corey M. Mackenzie

Vegetable oil dripped or spilled onto suede shoes leaves a dark stain. Quick action from you can take care of this, however. The longer you wait to treat oil on suede, the more difficult it may be to remove the oil--so act fast.

You won’t need much to clean it; you may in fact have the necessary ingredients in your kitchen. If you don’t, you’ll be able to find the right product easily enough at your grocery store.


Stylephyle.com suggests talcum powder as an alternative to using cornstarch. Just leave it on overnight and brush it off in the morning. If any discoloration from the oil persists, use a commercial suede cleaner on the shoes.

  1. Place the oil-stained suede shoes on paper towels. The towels will protect other surfaces from the product you will use. Or you can just do this outdoors if the weather is nice.

  2. Cover the vegetable oil stain completely, and as soon as possible, with cornstarch. Press the cornstarch lightly into the suede, as suggested by MrsCleanUSA.com. Cornstarch is an excellent material for absorbing oils.

  3. Allow the cornstarch plenty of time to absorb as much oil as possible. MrsCleanUSA.com recommends letting it sit for at least an hour. If you choose, you can also leave it on overnight.

  4. Tap the shoe against a hard surface to shake off the cornstarch. Use dry paper towels to wipe off more of the cornstarch and then finish by brushing the suede with a suede brush. If any discoloration remains, some oil may be left. Re-apply cornstarch and let it sit for another hour or ovenight before brushing it off.