Homemade Suede Cleaners
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Homemade Suede Cleaners That Work Wonders

Suede Brings Warm
Suede brings a warm and luxurious look to your house.

Homemade suede cleaners are essential if you are allergic to chemical ingredients while having tons of suede items in your house, for example, couches, shoes, boots, purses, chairs, and more.

Besides cleansing power, they can keep your wallet happy in the long term because some ingredients seem to cost next to nothing, while some cleaning tools can be used for the rest of your life if you take good care of them properly.

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong when choosing DIY remedies for your favorite suede items. Wait no more, let’s start the cleaning journey right now!

What Is Suede?

Suede is made from the underside of animal skins (1), including goats, lambs, cows, deer, pigs, and other animals.

Suede is often compared to leather because of the same origin, but if you are familiar with these two materials, you will see that they are entirely different.

Suede features a soft and velvety texture, while leather owns a tough and smooth appearance. The former comes in many colors and seems more affordable than the latter.

I have summarized the pros and cons of suede below so that you can follow them easily:


Suede might appear thin, but it has a lot of advantages:

  • When it comes to durability, suede falls into the category between cotton and leather.
  • It looks luxurious and appealing.
  • This pliable material can be used to make almost anything, from shoes, jackets, dresses, to couches.


No matter how you like it, here are some disadvantages of suede:

  • It’s pretty vulnerable to water as well as moisture.
  • It can stain and get dirty quickly.
  • It might require special care as well as time and effort to maintain.
Suede Brown Clothing
Suede can be used to make shoes, bags, jackets, couches, and more.

General Cleaning For Suede At Home

Suede can last long on condition that you know how to take care of it properly. If you’re new to this type of delicate material, keep scrolling down to get more valuable information about it.

Suede Brush/Bath Towel/Manicure Brush/Emory Board

These simple tools are for general suede cleaning. You might find at least 3 types of suede brush in the supermarket: natural bristle brush, combination brush, and crepe brush. It’s up to you to choose the right one for your needs.

Suede Brush
A suede brush is handy when removing dirt from the suede.

I think a suede brush is a significant investment that you should have as soon as possible if you’re serious about protecting suede items. It can be suitable for both cleaning and re-fluffing purposes once a week.

To my surprise, a bath towel is also suitable for lifting stains from suede. Moreover, both manicure brush and emory board can also be utilized to scrape away what sticks on the surface of your items. Let’s follow the step-by-step instructions:

What You’ll Need

  • A suede brush/bath towel/Manicure brush/Emory board

Step 1: Check The Item

Make sure your shoes or any suede items you’re going to clean are completely dry.

Step 2: Start Cleaning With The Brush/Bath Towel

For a suede brush, bath towel, manicure brush, you can slowly brush or wipe away grimes, dirt, dust on the surface in a small and downward motion, avoiding moving back and forth. Follow the direction of suede fibers. Keep doing it for a few minutes.

If you can’t find any suede brush, you can opt for any old toothbrush or soft-bristled brush.

For an emory board, move it the same way as you file your nails. It seems more abrasive than all of the above options, so be gentle when using it on your suede items.

Are you curious about cleaning suede with only two simple tools? Check it out!

Watch this video: How To Clean Suede In Five Minutes With Two Simple Tools

Suede Eraser/Pencil Eraser/Magic Eraser

If you want deeper cleaning for suede at home, you can try this, especially when the suede brush doesn’t work as you expected. In my opinion, it performs well with minor scuffs. Moreover, a pencil eraser can be a great option in an emergency.

Suede Eraser
Suede erasers can lift baked dirt from your suede belongings.

What You’ll Need

  • A suede eraser/pencil eraser/Magic Eraser
  • A sheet of white paper
  • A suede brush

Step 1: Dry The Items

Like suede brush, it works best on the dry surface, so it is a must that you should air-dry your items to get them ready for the next step if needed.

Step 2: Rub With The Eraser

Before cleaning, rub the eraser on a sheet of white paper to eliminate any remaining dirt from the previous use. Gently rub the impacted area to help get rid of any stains, grimes, or debris.

For the ultimate result, rub in one direction to avoid working the dirt further into the suede’s nap. Like a pencil eraser, it will produce a lot of crumbs because it sheds itself as it removes ground-in debris.

If you use a Magic Eraser, dampen the Magic Eraser and use it to rub the affected area gently.

Step 3: Brush The Suede

Refresh your suede accessories by gently brushing them with a suede brush. Move your hand back and forth to dust off the surface.

Discover how to use a suede eraser to clean your items easily right now!

Watch this video: How To Use Our Suede Eraser - The Sneaker Laundry

White Vinegar Or Rubbing Alcohol

Due to the fact that suede absorbs water, it’s impossible for you to use a water-based solution to treat stains on this type of material. Therefore, vinegar and rubbing alcohol which can evaporate quickly, are more suitable in this case.

Vinegar Chemical
Vinegar is a chemical-free cleaning agent you can use around your house.

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A washcloth
  • A suede brush

Step 1: Rub The Affected Area

Pour a bit of rubbing alcohol or a mixture of 2 parts of water and 1 part of white vinegar on a washcloth, then rub on the stained spot. It’s advised that you should be as gentle as possible so that vinegar lifts stains but doesn’t penetrate the suede.

Step 2: Reapply If Needed

Let the treated area dry completely and reapply the solution to lift the entire stain.

Step 3: Re-fluff Your Items

When the affected spot becomes invisible, brush the suede with a brush to restore its original state.

Cleaning suede with white vinegar at home sounds interesting. Here’s how.

Watch this video: How To Clean Your Leather Suede Shoes With White Vinegar

Baking Soda

This powder has long been known as a deodorizer and cleaner that is convenient and affordable. The paste of baking soda and water can swiftly lift dried coffee marks on your garments. However, in this case, baking soda only can do the job. Let’s see.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • A dry cloth
  • An old toothbrush

Step 1: Apply Baking Soda

Dust a fair amount of baking soda on the need-to-treat area and allow it to stand at least 10 to 15 minutes or overnight if possible.

Step 2: Brush The Suede

Grab a dry cloth and brush off the baking soda and gently brush the suede with an old toothbrush to restore its best condition.

Baking Soda Substance
Baking soda is a great cleaning substance.

DIY Methods To Deep Cleaning Your Suede Items

If your suede shoes or furniture are seriously stained, feel free to proceed with the following steps to bring a deep clean to your favorite things:

Preparation For The Suede Cleaning Process

Before cleaning, let’s do some essential steps to prepare your suede furniture and accessories for the next cleaning phase.

You can use an absorbent cloth to soak up excess water. Gently blot the fabric and don’t rub vigorously. Air-dry them until they become dry ultimately.

With shoes and boots, you should crumple some old newspapers and put them inside your suede shoes to avoid losing their shape when cleaning.

With couches, you should first check the care tag on the product:

  • Code W: W means water so that you can clean your items with a water-based solution.
  • Code S: S is for solvent. That means your furniture can be cleaned with upholstery, dry cleaning, or water-free solvent. Cleaning with water can leave streaks or cause discoloration. For safety, this should happen outdoors or in a well-ventilated space without any open flames.
  • Code W-S: Either water or solvent can be used.
  • Code X: You should avoid any cleaning agents – the only vacuum is allowed.

To clean all over the surface of your suede couch, vacuum with an upholstery attachment. This way, you can suck up as much dirt as you can from all crevices.

This step can make the cleaning process quicker. For crevices and creases, don’t hesitate to use high-powered attachments, while for the microfiber suede surface, use a soft brush one is far enough.

Water Stains

You might usually encounter water stains on your shoes, especially on rainy days. They might leave darker streaks or spots on the surface and make your shoes look less attractive. Here’s how you can remove them on suede footwear.

What You’ll Need

  • Paper towels
  • A spray bottle

Step 1: Stuff Your Shoes With Paper Towels

Put paper towels into both of your shoes to absorb excess water and keep them in shape, as I have mentioned earlier.

Step 2: Spray And Brush

Spray water all over the surface of your shoes. Avoid wetting them with too much water. Next, brush the shoes to slowly work the mist into the suede fabric using a suede brush or toothbrush. Blot the shoes to remove excess water and let them dry.

Oil And Grease Stains

There are 2 methods to tackle oil and grease stains on suede. They’re both straightforward and quick. Let’s explore.

Option 1: Cornstarch Or Baby Powder

Oil and grease stains on suede can be tricky to tackle. If laundry detergent can eradicate cooking and vegetable oil splash from the garment, cornstarch or baby powder is the best choice as a homemade suede cleaner.

What You’ll Need

  • A handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Cornstarch or baby powder

Step 1: Add Cornstarch Or Baby Powder

Sprinkle plentiful cornstarch or baby powder on the dirty spot. Don’t leave any area unmasked. Let it stay for several hours.

Step 2: Vacuum It Away

Instead of scrubbing the cornstarch or baby powder with a suede brush which tends to put the grime deeper into the suede, you should vacuum the stained area so that you can obliterate it.

Corn Flour
Cornstarch is a non-abrasive cleaner that can absorb moisture and dirt.

Option 2: Dish Soap

Dish soap has been long known for its ability to cut through oil and greasy stains on many surfaces, including suede material.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap

Step 1: Add Liquid Dish Soap

Squirt a few drops of dish soap on the need-to-treat spots. Leave it to stay for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Remove The Soap

Dab water on the stain to wash away any remaining soap on your shoes. Repeat if necessary. If you’re afraid of wetting them, use a bit of water and microfiber cloth.

Step 3: Brush The Shoe

After your shoes are dry, brush them with a suede brush.

Gum And Wax

Gum and wax cause unsightly and sticky marks, which you might have to struggle a lot to eliminate from suede. As far as I know, there’s a proven tip for this type of stain, which is extremely simple: Use a freezer.

Of course, it will also work well to effectively remove sap from clothes. Remember to wait until the gum, wax, or sap is completely frozen. Let’s do it.

Option 1: A Freezer

What You’ll Need

  • A fridge with a freezer compartment
  • A freezer-safe plastic bag

Step 1: Prepare The Suede

Put your suede items in a freezer-safe plastic bag and close it tightly.

Step 2: Put Into The Freezer

Place the bag into the freezer and wait for 2 hours. After that, scrape off wax and gum stains.

Option 2: Art Gum Erasers

You can find them in the art stores. Artists often use them to correct their art pieces. These erasers are made from soft, coarse rubber and are super effective when removing graphite, wax, and gum.

Option 3: Extra-Fine Sandpaper

Press them gently on the stain to remove wax and gum. Don’t do it too vigorously because this might damage the suede.

Wax Stains
Wax stains are not difficult to remove as you might think.

Blood Stains

Blood stains can come from minor accidents in your house, and no one can tolerate these red marks on items, even on clothes, carpet, or suede accessories.

Option 1: Hydrogen peroxide

Don’t worry; you can get rid of this unsightly blood streak with 1 ingredient named hydrogen peroxide. It’s known to react effectively with blood as a bleaching agent. (2)

What You’ll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • A paper towel or cotton ball
  • A suede brush

Step 1: Dab Hydrogen Peroxide On The Stain

Rub a bit of hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball or paper towel. Gently press the affected spot and slowly remove the blood from the suede.

Step 2: Refresh The Suede

Allow your items to dry totally before combing them with a suede brush in one direction.

Option 2: Dish Soap

Dish soap or any mild soap product can do an excellent job lifting blood stains on suede.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap/Mild Soap
  • A bucket of lukewarm water
  • A sponge
  • A clean, soft cloth

Step 1: Wipe Sud On The Stain

Add a bit of dish soap or mild soap to a bucket of lukewarm water. Whisk vigorously to create a lot of soap suds. Dab sud on the stain and scrub gently with a sponge.

Step 2: Wipe Clean

Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe the treated area. Wipe carefully so that you can remove the soap on the suede altogether. Allow them to air-dry.

Ink Stains

Rubbing alcohol works miracles when it comes to removing ink stains from suede items. I also suggest this solution as a fast way to remove food streaks on garments. Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly and leaves no troubled streaks.

What You’ll Need

  • An absorbent cloth
  • A suede eraser
  • Rubbing alcohol

Step 1: Remove Excess Ink

If you tackle the ink stain right after the spill, you can use an absorbent cloth to soak up excess ink on the suede.

Step 2: Dab With Rubbing Alcohol

For old stains, pour a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the stain. Let the treated area dry and use a suede eraser to eliminate the ink.

Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is good at removing ink stains.

Mud Stains

In the rain season, it’s no doubt that mud stains can quickly happen to you, especially your suede shoes and boots. Don’t worry; there’s a straightforward solution you can utilize right now.

What You’ll Need

  • A suede brush
  • Paper towels

Step 1: Allow The Mud To Dry

If you want to remove mud effectively, be patient and wait until it becomes totally dry. Don’t miss this step unless you are ready to deal with more enlarged stained areas than initially.

Step 2: Brush Off Dried Mud

It’s time to use a suede brush to scrub off dirty soil sticking on the surface of your items. If the dirt stain is stubborn, use a steamer, blot the affected area with a paper towel. Let the treated spots dry.

Remember that you shouldn’t use too much heat; otherwise, you can harm the suede surface.

Muddy Shoes
Let muddy shoes dry before any further cleaning.

Post-Cleaning Steps To Future-Proof Suede

To make sure your suede belongings stay new for a long time as well as save time and effort to clean after each use, I highly recommend that you follow the following steps:

Brush Your Suede Items

The last step is to brush the shoe with a suede brush one more time to refresh the nap of your suede shoe and make it look new again.

Treat With Protective Spray

Spray your clean shoes with a protective spray product to protect them from any spills in the future. This substance layer can help prevent stains from becoming permanent and buy you enough time to tackle them before too late.

How To Make Microfiber Suede Couch Look New

Microfiber suede is a man-made polyester fabric that brings a similar look and feel to natural suede. It’s said to be more resistant to stains and wear than genuine suede and more affordable. Both of them are popular in making upholstery, clothing, and footwear.

Microfiber Suede
Microfiber suede can be used instead of natural suede in case you want to save some bucks.

Dishwashing Liquid

Dishwashing liquid appears exceptionally versatile, which can perform well in cleaning microfiber suede couches. Consult my following instructions to know exactly how to use this powerful cleaning agent.

What You’ll Need

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • 2 buckets
  • Water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A soft-bristled brush
  • A microfiber cloth

Step 1: Check The Cleaning Code

To properly clean the microfiber suede couch, you should first check the care tag on the product. Refer to the above section to get more information about this.

Step 2: Vacuum Loose Dirt

To clean all over the surface of your suede couch, vacuum with an upholstery attachment. This way, you can suck up as much dirt as you can from all crevices.

This step can make the cleaning process quicker. For crevices and creases, don’t hesitate to use high-powered attachments, while for the microfiber suede surface, using a soft brush is far enough.

Step 3: Prepare A Soapy Mixture

Fill a bucket with 4 cups of warm water and ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid. Whisk well to create plenty of suds. Prepare another bucket full of water.

Step 4: Clean With Soapy Suds

Use a soft brush to dab a lot of suds to the couch. You should vigorously scrub the top, back, and arm position of the couch first, then move to the rest of your couch. Now and then, dip the brush in a bucket of clean water to remove soapy dirt, dry the brush, and continue to scrub.

It’s highly recommended that you tackle a small area at a time.

Step 5: Rinse Away the Suds

Once the treated area has been cleaned thoroughly, wipe it with a damp cloth to remove the suds. Move to the next and repeat the whole process.

Step 6: Air-Dry And Vacuum

Allow the fabric to air-dry completely. Use a vacuum upholstery brush to fluff the fibers.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol Disinfectant
Besides cleaning, rubbing alcohol can also works as a disinfectant.

The good news is that you can clean your microfiber suede couch with rubbing alcohol – a popular household item. It’s a great stain removal substance that can eliminate stains on various fabric types.

What You’ll Need

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A sponge
  • A bucket of cool water

Step 1: Prepare The Solution

Before cleaning, vacuum the couch to eliminate the buildup of dust and soil. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol.

Step 2: Spray Onto The Couch

Apply the alcohol on the fabric and scrub with a sponge. Because alcohol evaporates quickly, you should treat it from one place to another. It’s advised that you soak the sponge in clean water and wring it out to remove excess liquid before scrubbing again.

Step 3: Vacuum Again

Wait until the couch dries totally, vacuum it to make it look like new again.

Let’s clean a microfiber couch with me now!

Watch this video: Clean With Me - How To Clean A Microfiber Couch

Essential Tips For Maintaining Suede At Home

Pay attention to these powerful tips so that you can keep suede stay like-new for a long time.

  • Keep your suede furniture away from the sun because sunlight can easily discolor them. It’s highly recommended that you take care of suede clothes by covering them with a dust cloth and hanging them in a dark closet.
  • For suede boots and shoes, wrap them in tissue papers, and place them in the shoe boxes or bags.
  • Clean your suede furniture regularly with a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust.
  • To keep them lasting long, don’t leave your suede items soaked in water, and don’t clean them with water. If they’re wet due to the rain, dry them as soon as possible so that they can be safe.
  • Leather creams, oils, lotions, polishes, or waxes can stain your suede products.
  • Heat should be avoided when sanitizing suede.
Suede Shoe Boxes
Suede shoes should be stored in shoe boxes after use.


Suede items look luxurious and fashionable; however, they’re pretty delicate and require special care. Below are some questions related to suede cleaning, which you might also have in mind.

Can You Use Baby Oil On Suede?

No, you can’t. Baby oil can quickly stain your suede due to its complicated chemical components. Once it spills on your couch or accessories, find a way to remove it as soon as possible.

Is It Normal If Vinegar Changes The Color Of My Suede Shoes?

The color of suede shoes can be altered a little bit when they’re wet, but once vinegar evaporates completely, their color remains the same.

Can I Use A Leather Degreaser For Cleaning Suede?

A leather degreaser might be great for several suede shoe stains only if you choose a product designed for suede.

How Long Do Suede Items Need To Dry?

After being blotted with an absorbent towel, it might take a day for suede items to get totally dry.

Does Suede Get Dirty Easily?

Yes, suede’s quite vulnerable and seems to get dirty quickly. More importantly, it’s not good with moisture so treat it with a waterproof protective spray before the first use, especially for suede shoes.

Is It Possible To Clean Suede With Soap And Water?

Well, soap and water are more suitable for microfiber suede than natural suede. For natural suede, you can consult some of the above methods to clean your suede products.

Does Windex Clean Suede?

As far as I know, Windex can successfully remove fresh stains, especially ink stains from microfiber suede furniture.

Can I Use Woolite On Suede?

There is a wide range of Woolite products, and not all of them are suitable for cleaning suede, so you should check the product description to get more information before buying.

Can You Dry Clean Suede?

Suede items would be happy if you could take them to a dry cleaner regularly. However, you can still handle them at home if you follow my listed methods. It’s recommended that you bring them to the professional service at least 1 time a year, mainly before storing them in the closet at the end of the season.

Well-Kept Suede Won’t Let You Down

Thanks to their modern, soft, and fuzzy characteristics, it’s a safe bet that many of you are a fan of suede items.

I hope you have been well aware that keeping suede items fresh, like the first day you brought them home from the furniture store, takes effort and time. Regular cleaning is a must.

However, well-kept suede definitely won’t let you down. It makes your house look more attractive and luxurious while making you more stylish and confident. That is to say, all the hard work is worth it.

What’s your favorite suede product? How do you take care of every one of them? What’s your experience with this type of material? Share with me your thoughts so that you and I can discuss them further.

Homemade Suede Cleaners


  1. En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Suede – Wikipedia.
  2. En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Hydrogen peroxide – Wikipedia.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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