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How to Clean Suede

Suede is a type of leather that has a soft and smooth, velvety surface.

Suede usually comes from a thinner hide, so it is less durable than normal leather. The velvety texture of suede, called the "nap", makes suede soft but also more susceptible to damage from stains and water spots.

Cleaning suede may seem like a daunting task. After all, suede is well known as a material that will pick up every piece of debris it comes in contact with and enough hair to cover a small animal! Suede has a unique feel to it too, which, in some cases, can be damaged easily if you clean it in the wrong manner.

Nevertheless, if you love suede, wear it! It does not have to be difficult to clean overall.

Professional Cleaning:

Although cleaning suede at home is possible, valuable garments should be professionally dry-cleaned if possible.

The material itself can be problematic and the wrong method of cleaning can leave your fabric damaged. If you do not want to risk that, use a professional dry-cleaning service.

Cleaning Suede At Home:

Cleaning suede can be somewhat difficult, but overall, the process is fast and simple as long as you know the proper process.

So you are brave enough to take steps to cleaning suede yourself? Great! Now, use the following tips to help you through that process.

Avoid using chemicals or stain removers on any type of suede.

Before starting, rub the suede surface with a clean bath towel to bring up the nap.


  • Use an absorbent towel to clean suede. Any moisture you put onto the material needs to be dried as soon as possible.
  • Try using a pencil eraser to clean small stains on the fabric. This often works to remove most stains on this material.
  • Do not use stain removers especially chemical based products, on your suede.
  • Rather than rub or scrub, brush the suede. This will remove most of the loose debris there and will allow you to easily cleanse the surface.
  • White vinegar is a safe, non toxic solution for cleaning suede. However, only apply a small dab of it to a cleansing cloth and then blot the material.
  • Allow the suede to dry completely after stain removal to determine if any of the stain remains.

Oil Stains:

Body oil or grease stains are tough. Remember what I said above about taking your garment to a professional cleaner?

If you're not going to take my advise and do that, you can try this:

  • Lay garment flat, with the oil stain facing up.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 tsp of corn starch directly on the stain.
  • Place plastic wrap or tin foil on top of the corn starch
  • Put a heavy item such as a book on top of the stained area

The corn starch is acting as a poultice to draw the greasy oil from the suede.

Keep the cornstarch pressed up against the stain for several hours. Check and see if the stain is reduced or removed. You can repeat this as many times as necessary.

Tough Stains:

If you do have tough stains or a very valuable garment, have it professionally dry-cleaned. You can follow these same methods for cleaning suede furniture, drapes or other materials, too. Now you have no reason not to wear those pieces!

Connect with Mrs Clean!

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Mrs Clean (Corina Wilson) is not only the owner of the company, but a very busy mother of 3 children.

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Mrs Clean realized long ago, that a clean home is a necessity, not a luxury when we are struggling to find the time in our day to cover the very basic levels of work and/or family obligations. The battle seems to never end... (but that's why we're here to help!)

When Mrs Clean is not busy managing her house cleaning company or running her kids back and forth to their events, she enjoys experimenting with natural and non-toxic cleaners and learning new techniques to remove stains.

She thoroughly enjoys sharing her valuable information with the readers of her blogs and various social media sites.

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