What Cleans Suede? Ultimate Guide for Impeccable Results in 2023

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what cleans suede

1. The Best Method to Clean Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are a stylish and versatile choice, but they can be a bit tricky to clean. The best method for cleaning suede shoes involves using a soft brush and specialized suede cleaner. Start by removing any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the shoe with the brush. Then, apply a small amount of suede cleaner to a clean cloth and gently rub it onto the stained areas in circular motions. Avoid using too much liquid, as it can damage the suede. Once you’ve cleaned the entire shoe, use a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture and restore the nap of the suede.

To maintain your suede shoes and prevent future stains, it’s important to protect them with a suede protector spray. This will create a barrier that repels liquids and helps prevent stains from setting in. Additionally, make sure to store your suede shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid fading or discoloration.

Key points:

  • Use a soft brush and specialized suede cleaner
  • Remove loose dirt or debris before cleaning
  • Avoid using too much liquid
  • Protect with a suede protector spray
  • Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight


  • If you don’t have access to specialized suede cleaner, you can try using white vinegar mixed with water as an alternative cleaning solution.
  • Always test any cleaning products or solutions on an inconspicuous area of your shoe first to ensure they don’t cause any damage or discoloration.

2. Specific Products Designed for Cleaning Suede

When it comes to cleaning suede, using specialized products designed specifically for this delicate material is highly recommended. These products are formulated to effectively remove stains and dirt from suede without causing damage or discoloration. Some popular options include suede cleaner sprays, erasers, and brushes.

Suede cleaner sprays are easy to use and can be sprayed directly onto the stained area of the suede. They typically contain gentle cleaning agents that help break down stains and lift them from the surface of the suede. After spraying the cleaner, you can use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub away the stain.

Key points:

  • Use specialized products designed for cleaning suede
  • Suede cleaner sprays are effective for removing stains
  • Gentle brushes and erasers can help lift dirt and debris


  • Read the instructions on the product packaging carefully before using any suede cleaning products.
  • Store your suede cleaning products in a cool, dry place to maintain their effectiveness.

3. How Often Should You Clean Suede Items?

Regular Cleaning Schedule

It is recommended to clean suede items on a regular basis to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan. The frequency of cleaning depends on the level of use and exposure to dirt or stains. For lightly used suede items, such as shoes or handbags, cleaning every 2-3 months should be sufficient. However, heavily used items like jackets or furniture may require more frequent cleaning, around once a month.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Suede

  • Brushing: Regularly brush your suede items with a specialized suede brush to remove surface dirt and restore the nap.
  • Protection: Apply a suede protector spray to create a barrier against stains and water damage.
  • Avoidance: Keep suede items away from direct sunlight and moisture, as these can cause fading or discoloration.

4. Using Water to Clean Suede: Is it Safe?

Cleaning suede with water can be risky, as it can cause water stains or damage the material if not done correctly. However, in some cases, using water is necessary for removing stubborn stains or refreshing the suede’s appearance.

Safe Water Cleaning Method

To safely clean suede with water:

  1. Dampen a clean cloth with lukewarm water.
  2. Gently blot the stained area, avoiding excessive rubbing.
  3. Allow the suede to air dry naturally away from direct heat sources.
  4. Once dry, brush the suede with a specialized brush to restore its texture.

Note: It’s crucial to test this method on a small, inconspicuous area of the suede item first to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse effects.

5. The Importance of a Specialized Brush for Cleaning Suede

Suede is a delicate material that requires special care when it comes to cleaning. One essential tool for cleaning suede is a specialized brush. These brushes are designed with soft bristles that gently remove dirt and stains without damaging the fabric. Using a regular brush or any abrasive material can cause the suede to become rough and lose its luxurious texture.

When using a specialized suede brush, it is important to follow the proper technique. Start by brushing the suede in one direction, following the natural grain of the fabric. This helps to lift any dirt or debris from the surface. Then, use short strokes in different directions to restore the nap and maintain its softness.

Benefits of Using a Specialized Suede Brush:

  • Gentle on suede fabric
  • Effectively removes dirt and stains
  • Preserves the texture and appearance of suede
  • Easy to use and maintain

Tips for Choosing a Suitable Suede Brush:

  1. Look for brushes with soft bristles made specifically for suede.
  2. Avoid brushes with hard bristles or metal components that can damage the fabric.
  3. Consider purchasing a brush with an ergonomic handle for comfortable grip during cleaning.
  4. If possible, choose a brush with multiple bristle lengths for more effective cleaning.

6. Home Remedies for Removing Stains from Suede

Suede is notorious for being prone to stains, but there are several home remedies you can try before seeking professional help. One popular method is using white vinegar mixed with water. Simply dampen a clean cloth with the vinegar solution and gently blot the stained area. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can spread the stain further.

Another effective home remedy is using cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb oil-based stains. Sprinkle a generous amount of either powder onto the stained area and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Then, use a suede brush to remove the powder and hopefully, the stain along with it.

Home Remedies for Removing Stains from Suede:

  • Mix white vinegar with water for general stain removal.
  • Use cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb oil-based stains.
  • Gently blot stains instead of rubbing to prevent spreading.
  • Test any home remedy on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the suede.

7. Common Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Suede

Cleaning suede can be tricky, and many people make common mistakes that can lead to irreversible damage. One common mistake is using water directly on suede. Water can cause discoloration and leave behind watermarks on suede items. Instead, opt for dry cleaning methods or use specialized suede cleaning products.

Another mistake is using harsh chemicals or cleaners not specifically designed for suede. These products can strip away the natural oils in suede, leaving it dry and brittle. Always check labels and choose cleaners that are safe for use on suede materials.

Common Mistakes When Cleaning Suede:

  • Using water directly on suede
  • Using harsh chemicals or cleaners not meant for suede
  • Rubbing or scrubbing stains vigorously
  • Not following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and care

8. Can You Machine Wash Suede Clothing or Accessories?

Machine washing suede clothing or accessories is generally not recommended. The agitation and water exposure in a washing machine can cause irreversible damage to suede items. The fabric can become misshapen, lose its softness, or even shrink.

If your suede item is labeled as machine washable, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. However, it is always safer to opt for professional cleaning services or handwashing methods specifically designed for suede.

Tips for Cleaning Suede Clothing or Accessories:

  • Avoid machine washing suede whenever possible.
  • If machine washing is necessary, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Consider using professional cleaning services for delicate or heavily soiled suede items.
  • Handwash with mild detergent and cold water if appropriate for the item.

9. Preventing Future Stains on Your Suede Items

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your suede items looking their best. One effective way to prevent future stains is by applying a protective spray specifically designed for suede. These sprays create a barrier that repels liquids and helps prevent stains from setting into the fabric.

In addition to using protective sprays, it is essential to store your suede items properly. Keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture, as these can cause fading and mold growth. Use breathable storage bags or boxes to protect them from dust and dirt when not in use.

Tips for Preventing Stains on Suede Items:

  • Apply a protective spray designed for suede.
  • Avoid exposing suede items to direct sunlight and moisture.
  • Store suede items in breathable bags or boxes to protect them from dust and dirt.
  • Regularly brush suede items to remove surface dirt and maintain their appearance.

10. Professional Services for Cleaning Heavily Soiled Suede

If your suede items are heavily soiled or have stubborn stains that home remedies cannot remove, it may be time to seek professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized equipment to safely clean and restore suede items without causing damage.

When choosing a professional cleaner, look for one with experience in handling suede materials. They should use gentle cleaning methods and avoid harsh chemicals that can harm the fabric. Additionally, ask about their process for stain removal and any guarantees they offer to ensure your satisfaction with the results.

Tips for Choosing Professional Suede Cleaning Services:

  • Select a cleaner with experience in handling suede materials.
  • Inquire about their cleaning methods and the products they use.
  • Ask about their stain removal process and any guarantees offered.
  • Read reviews or seek recommendations from others who have used their services before making a decision.

In conclusion, there are several effective methods for cleaning suede, including using a suede brush, white vinegar, or specialized suede cleaner.

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