How To Clean Suede

Suede is a luxurious material commonly used for clothing such as vests, jackets and shoes. Suede is also widely used for furniture like couches. Suede is a type of leather made out of the soft underside of animal hide. When compared with traditional leather, suede isn’t as durable and tends to stain more easily. People often avoid suede due to the confusion about how it should be cleaned, but with the right cleaning tips and tools, cleaning suede can be a breeze. Regular cleaning of your suede items is the best way to protect the material. Follow these steps to keep your suede looking its best and restore it to its former glory.

You Will Need:

  • A suede brush
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol
  • A suede eraser
  • A microfiber cloth
  • Water-repellent spray

4 Ways To Clean Suede

For general cleaning, a clean suede brush may be all you need. They usually comprise an array of soft and hard bristles that are specifically designed to brush off dirt and freshen up the suede. 

  • Try to brush downward – you should be brushing your shoe or whatever item in the direction away from you. After brushing for a few minutes, you should notice your suede accessory starting to look textured and refreshed. 

For deeper cleaning, use a suede eraser. These usually come paired with a suede brush. A suede eraser is closely linked to a common pencil eraser as it also sheds particles that lift dried, backed-in dirt from the material.

  • If the suede brush isn’t helping, try using the eraser in the same single direction as with a brush. It will crumble and take the debris with it.

Never use water or water-based cleaning products to clean suede. White vinegar and alcohol are the best substitutes.

  • Pour some white vinegar or rubbing alcohol onto a microfiber cloth, then gently rub the stained area. Allow the area to dry completely. If the stain has been completely removed you can use a suede brush to retexture the area. 

Once you’ve cleaned your suede item, you can do some futureproofing. Use a special suede water-repellent spray to help prevent water from staining the suede before it happens.

  • Spray your suede couch or clothes from every angle to reach the entire surface, including the smallest crevices. Leave clothing items to dry for a couple of hours before you wear them again. The water repellent coating will help to prevent water stains but won’t turn your items water resistant, so keep that in mind.

Tips For Cleaning Suede

  • For water stains, try to dry up as much as possible by dabbing the area with a clean towel. If the stain has sunken in, then dab with vinegar on a clean cloth.
  • If there are mud stains on your suede shoes, the most important thing to do is to leave the dirt to dry. You should be able to brush the mud off with a suede brush once dried. 
  • When cleaning oil and grease stains, sprinkle cornstarch over the entire stain and make sure it’s completely covered. Let it sit on the suede for a couple of hours, then remove the cornstarch by dusting or vacuuming it off. For these stains, keep in mind that a suede brush may set the stains in further. 
  • If you accidentally drip candle wax or step in gum with your suede shoes, place them in the freezer. The cold temperature will harden the gum or candle wax. Leave it in the freezer for 2 hours. When you take them out of the freezer, the wax will be hardened and you can scrape it off your shoes easily.
  • For blood stains that appear on your suede clothing or couch, apply some hydrogen peroxide to a cotton ball or clean towel. Dab the stain until it’s removed. Allow the area to dry and then retexture with a suede brush.
  • Lastly, let’s talk about ink stains. For fresh ink stains, try to absorb as much of the ink as possible with a dry cloth or towel. If the ink is set in then dab it with rubbing alcohol, let it dry, then use a suede eraser to remove the rest of the set in ink. 

You don’t have to avoid suede completely just because you’re worried about cleaning it. You can still fit it into your lifestyle and enjoy the look and feel of suede clothing and furniture. Accidents and spills are inevitable, but with the right tools and techniques, you can remove stains and restore your suede items to their original luxury. Remember, water is the worst thing you could use to clean suede with. To prevent water stains, use a suede water repellent. Although it won’t make suede water resistant, it can help a lot to prevent water from being absorbed by the suede. 

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