How To Clean Suede
We all love suede, but when it comes to maintaining suede items we know that it can be quite challenging. I am sure many of us have fallen for a pair of favorite suede boots or upholstery but ended up not buying it after thinking about the maintenance bit. Agreed, suede gets dirtier faster and is more difficult to clean. However, with the right cleaning approach, this delicate material can be kept shining like new for a very long time Wondering how to clean suede? Well, keeping your suede clean is certainly not as difficult as it appears to be. Let’s take a look.
Suede, the leather, or suede, the fabric? Before you even start cleaning suede, your first step should be to determine if its suede, the leather, or it is suede, the fabric. Suede fabric merely resembles the rough nappy finish of suede leather. Suede fabric is considerably easy to clean and maintain as compared to suede leather. In most cases, garments or anything made of suede fabric can be dry cleaned or cleaned easily at home following the instructions on the garment label. It is suede leather that needs special cleaning care. Therefore, the first thing is to determine the type of suede and then proceed with its cleaning.
Next, and the most important – Keep suede away from water. Suede gets stained even with water! Yes, you read it right! Water is something that is most often the best cleaning material but not in this case. Water can cause ugly stains on suede that can become very difficult to get rid of. We often tend to clean any dirty or stained surface with water. But for suede, do not ever clean it with water. Water can damage the color and weaken this supple material making it look even more scruffy.
What Should You Do If Your Suede Item Gets Wet?
- Use paper or cloth towels to blot as much water as possible. Cleaning the surface with a clean bath towel should revive the suede item.
- Next, let it dry at room temperature.
- Do not blow dry or apply heat to speed up the drying process. Heat can damage suede and cause small cracks on the surface.
- You may use steam to clean suede. However, make sure it’s only for a few seconds and the surface is immediately brushed to keep the fibers intact. Under no circumstance should water penetrate the item.
- Ensure the suede item is completely dry before storing it away. Moisture can cause mildew which can be even more difficult to remove.
What Should You Do If Suede Gets Stained?
There are various ways of removing stains from your suede item and you will be surprised to know that some of these are using simple household items. You can get rid of some of the most stubborn stains on suede using:
White vinegar is very effective in cleaning and removing stains from suede. Dampen a soft cloth, cotton or ear bud with white vinegar and gently rub it on the stain in a circular motion. Let the surface dry completely before brushing it gently using a suede brush. The suede item may smell strongly of vinegar for a while, but the smell will soon fade. White vinegar may work better on fresh stains than old stains.
Fresh or stale, bread is considered an effective stain remover for suede. Many people actually swear by it!
Suede eraser or crepe rubber:
Suede eraser is great to remove stains and is cheap to buy. Gently rub the surface using a suede eraser. You will see the stains lift off from the surface on to the rubber after a few rubs. Once done, brush the surface using a suede brush or a clean towel to restore the material.
Talcum powder or cornmeal:
Talcum powder or cornmeal is great for liquid spills on your suede item. So, next time you spill some juice or tea on your suede sofa, don’t worry. Just sprinkle the surface with a thin layer of cornmeal or talcum powder. Leave it overnight and then brush the powder off using a suede brush.
If there is any wax on your suede item, it can be easily removed by putting the item in a freezer. Remove the item in 20 minutes, scrape off the wax and brush the suede item using a suede brush surface to restore its lost glory.
Window or glass cleaner:
Glass cleaners work wonders when used to remove ink stains from suede items.
Degreaser leather cleaner:
You can also buy degreaser leather cleaners that are specifically made to remove oil or grease stains from suede.
These are just some of the many ways of cleaning your suede items. As a rule of thumb, any stain on suede, small or big, wet or dry, should be first blotted up using a paper towel and once the suede item is cleaned, it should be brushed well to separate out the little fibers.
To ensure your suede looks lovely forever :
1 Use a protective sealant. A protective sealant is a must for waterproofing and stain-proofing your suede item. Once you buy a suede item, the first thing that you should do is remember to use a protective sealant on it because stains, once set, are impossible to remove. You can get a protective sealant for suede easily at your local drugstore, specialty leather goods store or a shoe repair shop. A thin application of this sealant should last a good 3 to 6 months and keep the suede surface dirt and stain-free.
Tip: Brush the suede with a special suede brush before and after you apply the sealant. A variety of suede brushes are available in the market. Both nylon ones and the wire suede brushes work well
2. Never store suede in plastic. Instead, use a cloth to wrap your suede item. Pillow cases are perfect for storing suede shoes, handbags or other small suede items.
3. Keep your suede items away from hair sprays and perfumes as these can damage the texture and color of the item.
Now that you know how to clean suede easily and keep it in good shape for years, fear no more! These tips should give you complete peace of mind when buying a suede item.