Whether it’s footwear or a luxury couch, most of the people have problems when they decide to clean suede. As beautiful as this leather fabric is, it’s not easy to care for. A single drop of water can change the color or the shape of any suede item. Many people avoid buying suede altogether because it’s too difficult to care for. Well, that’s a misconception. It’s not actually hard to care for suede items if you know what you’re doing.
5 ways to clean suede
1. Suede cleaning kit
A suede cleaning kit is a wise investment because it comes with the right set of tools to ensure the maximum life of your suede. Personally, it’s essential. But if you’re waiting on the kit in the mail or there’s some other reason you can’t get one, you can use the other methods to clean suede.
2. Suede brush
Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush to accomplish the same thing. A suede brush is designed to gently brush stains off fabric without damaging the grain. When you’re wiping the stain off, follow the grain of the fabric. Gently rub to remove light dirt or scuff marks. Use short strokes and gently blow on the surface to remove the dirt you’ve already lifted off.
3. Nail file or eraser
There are some stains that stick a little worse than others. For these stains, you may need a nail file. Now, you’ll want to be extremely careful when you’re using a nail file to clean suede. It’s easy to cause lasting damage to the fabric. Gently scrape at the stain, without applying too much pressure. Again, blow to remove the dirt that’s coming off. Alternatively, you can use a white pencil eraser (not pink) to gently scrape at the stain as well. This is a little safer than a nail file.
4. White vinegar
Although you don’t want to get suede wet, you can use a bit of white vinegar to remove clean suede. You’ll want to apply a small amount to a paper towel. Then, hold the paper towel to the stain for a few seconds. You don’t want the suede to soak in the vinegar, only the stained area.
5. Baking soda
This solution is ideal for thick liquids, like oil or grease. Apply the baking soda directly to the stain and let it blotch up. This makes it easier to remove without damaging the fabric. You may have to use an additional method, such as scraping off the stain.
Remember: When suede gets wet, it can become deformed. You want to blotch up and liquid immediately to avoid this happening. Dab a dry paper towel on the area. Do not wipe as this will only make the stain worse. If the stain is mud, always wait for it to dry before scrapping it off.
Tips to keep suede clean
Yes, having clean suede requires a bit more work than other materials, but it’s worthwhile. Of course, you can always practice keeping your suede clean so you don’t have to worry about the stains. That’s a little tricky though. You don’t want to buy suede shoes to leave them to sit in a closet and never wear them out!
Here are a few tips to keep clean suede:
- Avoid wearing suede in wet weather
- Avoid wearing suede in hot temperatures
- Avoid wearing suede directly over the skin
- Keep liquids away from suede furniture
- Keep pets off suede furniture
It’s useful to know that skin oils and sweat can actually damage your suede! Really, the best thing you can do for any suede, whether it’s footwear or furniture, is apply a suede protector. No, that’s not the plastic your grandmother used to have over the couch that crinkled whenever you moved. We’re talking about a spray-on sealant that goes over the fabric to protect it from stains and damage.
Best suede protectors
It’s not always easy to find the best suede protectors, but two brands really stand out among competitors:
Both companies have incredible lines of fabric protector to ensure you’re covered no matter what. You’ll want to ensure you closely follow the directions of the product you purchase! Many people have done their own thing and it didn’t turn out quite right. You’ll also want to reapply the product once a year to ensure lasting quality.
From camping outdoors to a luxury couch or pair of shoes, it’s a wise investment to ensure clean suede.