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How to Properly Clean Your Suede?

suede cleaning

Every year the arrival of autumn signals the beginning of the suede season. Suede jackets, trousers, handbags, shoes, and other accessories are extremely stylish and beautiful, but get soiled and stained easily. This kind of material is not washable and you can’t just rub it with a wet sponge. Cleaning suede requires patience and a certain level of expertise.

stain removal

Follow these general cleaning and spot removal tips, which will help your suede stay clean, soft and supple. White household vinegar is a universal remedy when it comes to removing spots from suede fabric. However, be sure to test first in a small, hidden area because it may cause some damage or discoloration.

-    Wet suede – If the stain is wet use a paper towel to absorb the moisture first or let dry at room temperature and then use a soft brush to remove any water marks.

-    Grimed suede – Try this old time recipe and rub a piece of stale bread onto the suede surface to remove dirt and grime.

old bread

-    Worn-out suede - Rubbing suede with a dry piece of terry towel will make it look new again. 

-    Faded suede – Steaming can help brighten and restore its color. Just pass your piece through the steam, but do it quickly to avoid water marks.

-    Scuffed suede – Steam can be helpful in this case too. Place your suede piece over boiling water, then use a suede brush to complete the process of raising the nap. You could also try using sandpaper. Light sanding work will buff out scuff marks.

steam cleaning

-    Greased suede – Use cornmeal or corn flour. Both are ideal surface cleaners and will effectively absorb grease. Simply sprinkle over the affected area, leave for about 10 minutes, then brush. Another way to remove grease marks is to rub the affected area with a rag dipped in glycerin.

-    Rain spots – You can quickly and effectively deal with them if you rub them with an emery board (nail file).

-    Mud stains – Allow the mud to dry first, and then use a brush, toothbrush, or textured cloth to gently brush off.

-    Dry stains – Dry stains can be removed using a new pencil eraser. Use only colorless erasers to avoid transferring dye onto the suede surface.


For those of you who are ready to go the extra mile, and always keep their suede items in perfect condition, here are some special tips.

  • After each time you wear a suede piece, use an old toothbrush or a soft bristle brush to remove any surface dirt and prevent grime buildup.

  • You can also use a special stain protection applied to your suede pieces. Suede protector spray is a product designed to repel stains and prevent spotting from rain showers. It is good to apply such professional cleaners at least once a year to keep the fabric in top condition.

  • To reduce the amount of cleaning needed, wear your suede properly. Opt for other fabrics in rainy or snowy weather. Hot and humid weather may also damage your items.

  • As you can see, suede is a stain magnet and cleaning it is not an easy job. However, you always have the option to have your suede professionally cleaned. Please note that if you’re going to use cleaning service, don’t use any stain remover prior to it, as it may interfere with the cleaning process.

cleaning services

One final bit of advice! Don’t put off cleaning a stained or heavily soiled suede fabric. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that the stains will become permanent and extremely difficult to clean.

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