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Cleaning Suede

Category Leather
Suede looks great and feels so soft, until it gets something spilled on it. Cleaning suede, without damaging it, can be a real challenge. This is a guide about cleaning suede.
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May 5, 20040 found this helpful

Suede footwear is expensive and difficult to care for. Suede is one of the few materials which cannot be cleaned successfully with water. In fact, weather can transform the smooth, velvety surface into one that is harsh and uneven.

These simple ideas will help to extend the life of suede boots. Never wear them in the rain or snow. A light application of silicon spray before wearing them for the first time will help prevent water from doing too much damage. After spraying, dry the boots away from direct heat, which may stiffen and crack the suede. After they are completely dry, restore the nap by gently rubbing with fine sandpaper or an emery board.

The silicon spray will also help protect against soil build up and rock salt stains. Loose dirt should be removed after every wearing by brushing the boots with a dry sponge, towel, gum eraser or suede brush. Fresh rock salt stains should also be removed before they have a chance to set. Dab the stain with a little clear water.

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Grease stains can be removed by applying a bit of dry cleaning solvent mixed with an absorbent such as fuller's earth or sawdust. Never use a dry cleaning solvent alone, for it will leave rings and spots that cannot be removed. And even when used with an absorbent, dry cleaning solvent, should be used very cautiously. Solvents may remove color from suede, for the color is only on the surface. Always test the solvent mixture first on a tiny inconspicuous area of the shoe.

It may be best to have suede boots professionally cleaned by a reputable suede cleaning establishment. Resist the temptation to wear new footwear until you have polished them first with a stain-repellent product or plain shoe polish.

To remove salt stains from leather shoes and winter boots, wipe them with a solution of 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vinegar.

To cover ugly scuff marks on leather, use a matching color in acrylic paint, indelible felt marker, or crayon.

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Remove light scuff marks with an art-gum eraser.

For a speedy clean and shine on patent leather, rub a minute amount of petroleum jelly over your shoes and buff or use a spray glass cleaner.

Leather footwear should be aired out after every wearing, and periodically sprayed inside with a disinfectant or clothes deodorizer. Store them in soft cloth or tissue paper, never in plastic bags. Cornell Cooperative Extension Yates Association

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By 3 found this helpful
May 3, 2016

To remove stains from things like your Ugg boots, coat, jacket, gloves, and anything made from real suede, use an eraser. Even a eraser on a pencil will work, but it must be absolutely clean. Just rub over the stain and it will disappear completely. After I do this, I use a small brush to get new looking results.

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July 23, 20102 found this helpful

I have a brown suede skirt that I LOVE but when I took it to have it dry-cleaned, they wanted $50! I don't love it enough to spend a couple hundred dollars a year to clean it. I thanked the woman behind the counter but said, "No Thanks." She told me to wash the skirt as usual with detergent then add three or four times the normal amount of fabric softener. Let it hang to dry. It worked beautifully! A quick brush with a suede brush and it was just like new.

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Caution: the dry cleaner told me this trick doesn't always work and can ruin some suede, especially if they're brightly dyed. But if it's chuck it or try it - TRY IT.

By Dene from Vancouver, BC

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By 1 found this helpful
November 25, 2011

To get sticky adhesive off suede items, gently run with a pink eraser then wash the suede in the laundry as usual on the gently cycle.

By Monica from Cortez, CO

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February 11, 20050 found this helpful

I use (very inexpensive) granules for grease/oil on shop floor. I use coffee bean grinder to make fine powder (comes in 1/4 inch granules) and rub into oil stain on suede shoes. Voila! It works! Let it sit for a few hours to let powder absorb oil.

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By dunamis77

Editor's Note: This sounds like it would work. Make sure to invest in a good suede brush and brush out the granules. Also, buy a grinder at a garage sale for this use.

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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

To save on cleaning bills and headaches, don't buy anything in suede! It seems that every issue of Daily Thrifty Tip has a request on how to get a stain out of suede. Suede must be accident-prone or something. LOL! :-)

By Lynne

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

Because of its nap, suede requires some special care when trying to remove stains. This is a guide about removing a butter stain on suede.

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

Candle wax is a challenging cleaning job, especially when you are also working with a surface such as suede. This is a guide about cleaning candle wax on suede.

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September 27, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning blood from suede. Cleaning stains on suede clothing or other items can be a bit tricky. You need to take care not to damage the nap while cleaning.

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning a suede jacket. Because of its nap, suede jackets should be cleaned following the best process for this type of leather.

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning a suede purse. Suede is a very attractive leather product, but it can be difficult to clean, in part because of it is highly absorbent.

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning suede shoes. Just like smooth leather shoes you will need to routinely clean your suede shoes.

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March 3, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning a suede couch. Suede upholstery has its own cleaning requirements to keep your couch looking nice.

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May 22, 20140 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning suede boots. The nap on suede boots and shoes can make cleaning them more difficult than shoes with a smooth leather finish.

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February 22, 2012

I have a lovely dark brown leather wallet with suede sides. Somehow it got light make up stains on it! I have taken spots out with white powder before, the powder absorbs grease.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 5, 20050 found this helpful

I have a request on how to get stains out of a tan colored suede vest. I took to the dry cleaners but they wanted 35 bucks to do it. Any way I can do it myself?

Dave

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

I used to work at Danier leather and have found that they offer a stone and a suede cleaning brush seem to work fairly well. They are cheap, so it might be worth a try. Even takle the vest in to them and they may have better ideas. They are usually pretty good about giving cleaning and care advice.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 4, 20060 found this helpful

I have a washable suede jacket that is too big so it would be nice to shrink it. What would happen if I put it in the front loading washing machine?? How do they make washable suede washable?

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 10, 20060 found this helpful

I read somewhere to try a fine-medium grit sandpaper. Well, I did just that today. Excellent results removing dirt, stains, and it rejuvenated the nap of the suede. Best part was, no chemicals or dollars$$$$

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By 0 found this helpful
October 10, 2015

My suede jacket was washed in a washing machine, then dried in the dryer. My jacket is now too small because it has shrunk. Is there anything I can do to "stretch it"?

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October 10, 20150 found this helpful

Leather is animal skin. Most leather clothing is usually neither washer nor dryer washable. Your suede jacket is most probably permanently shrunk.

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October 12, 20150 found this helpful

No likely. Leather is not washable nor dry-able. I do not know of any way to get it back.

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November 8, 2009

Does anyone have an easy solution for cleaning suede?

By Sabrina

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November 8, 20090 found this helpful

I once used psst (a spray on dry shampoo for the hair) and a suede brush on a jacket with good results. Try on an inside seam or a spot that is not obvious first for any discolorations. because suede is finicky a lot of cleaners refuse to accept them. Good luck, carla

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November 8, 20090 found this helpful

If the suede is light colored (tan) a sprinkling of corn meal rubbed in will clean it.. An Nunley10 says, the dye process is questionable; so 'travel at your own risk'. Oddly enough the best Cleaners in Memphis were named Nunnelly :) (three 'N's) and they did clean all leathers.

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December 15, 20040 found this helpful

I have an ink line or permanent marker in red on my new suede jacket on the back. I need to found out how I can get it clean.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
Teresa

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

Walmart sells a suede cleaning kit (pretty cheap) that looks like an eraser. I've had luck in removing all kinds of marks (including grease) from suede shoes. You might give it a try. In that there are no chemicals involved it certainly couldn't "hurt" your jacket.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 23, 20050 found this helpful

try Oreck's carpet cleaner. it takes perm marker out of carpet.

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January 20, 20140 found this helpful

Any tips for cleaning suede pocketbook?

By Tonella E.

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