How to Clean Dirty Suede

Cleaning Suede

You love your suede jacket but you rarely wear it. Why? Because, like so many other suede lovers, you are afraid of getting it dirty.

1. You know that once you get it dirty you’ll never be able to wear it again. 2. Suede has the reputation of being both difficult and expensive to clean.

While it is true that dry cleaning a suede jacket could cost over $100, it is also true that you can do it yourself.

Because so many people think that they can’t clean their suede themselves, far too many suede owners are hiding their favorite garments away in the closet until they get around to (or can afford to) take it to the dry cleaners.

Despite popular belief, suede can be safely cleaned at home. Here’s how:

Read the Manufactures Directions:

Not all suede materials are the same quality; thus not all suede can be treated the same way – or with the same cleaning supplies. Be sure to read any manufacturers directions that comes with your suede shoes, handbag, furniture or clothes before attempting to clean them. Otherwise you could damage them and make it impossible for a professional cleaner to take over the job.

Brush the Nap:

Nap it up a bit. A good nap on your suede will help make it look fresher and cleaner. A suede brush is the best way to make the nap on your suede item more fuzzy. A bath towel can also be rubbed vigorously on your item to get the same effect.

Removing Stains and Dirt:

Remove some of the marks and stains on your suede with these simple tips:

  • Dry stains and marks can usually be removed from suede garments by rubbing them with a clean pencil eraser or a specially designed suede eraser.
  • Lay a paper towel on top of wet stains to absorb the liquid; never use any cleaners or stain removers on suede.
  • Suede shoes can often be cleaned by wiping a small amount of white vinegar on them using a clean cloth.
  • Re-wetting spotted or stained shoes and letting them re-dry can help to hide some permanent stains and marks.
  • Harder to get out stains can sometimes be shed using sand paper.
  • Rub stale or fresh bread on any markings – some say it works better than a suede eraser.
  • Remove ink from suede furniture by spraying it with Windex.
  • Wax is best removed from suede by freezing the garment and then peeling it off.

Dry Cleaning:

For tough stains you can not get off yourself, seek professional help. But remember, not all professionals can get stains out of suede and, like already discussed, it is a very expensive process.

Protecting your Suede:

Protect your suede items by spraying them with a suede spray before they have a chance to get soiled and stained. Preventing future soiling is the best and easiest way to keep those suede items looking great. In many cases it is best to have suede cleaned professionally.

However, if the cost of a professional cleaning is too high, trying some of the cleaning tips above may help to prolong the life of your favorite piece of suede clothing.

Similar Articles

Laundry 101: Part 6 – Using Fabric Softeners

How to Naturally Soften Clothing. Everything Your Mom Didn't Tell You about Fabric Softeners Fabric softener is a combination of chemicals that are used to make clothing softer and reduce static electricity. I have long loved the "fresh from the...
Read More

Laundry 101: Part 5 – Using Laundry Detergent

Getting the Most Out of the Laundry Detergent you Use. Everything Your Mom Didn't Tell You about Laundry Detergents When choosing a laundry detergent, check the appliance manufacturer manual for the best type of detergent to use in your washing...
Read More

Laundry 101: Part 4 – Laundry Boosters and Water Softeners

How to Get Clean Clothes Despite Having Hard Water. Everything Your Mom Didn't Tell You about Laundry Boosters and Water Softeners Laundry boosters or water softeners are additives that soften and condition the water to help make detergent work more...
Read More

Laundry 101: Part 3 – Brightening Whites

How to Brighten White Laundry Items. Everything Your Mom Didn't Tell You about Getting Your Clothes White Brightening white clothing is a little more than dumping a bunch of bleach in the wash. Bleach works well to brighten whites, and...
Read More

Laundry 101: Part 2 – Removing Stains – Different Stains, Different Cleaning Solution

What Mom Didn't Tell You about Removing Stains After many years of cleaning, we've learned some important things about the cleaners we use, and this impacts how we clean laundry and remove stains. There's nothing really complex or earth-shattering about...
Read More