Before you begin cleaning suede, it is important that you understand the difference between suede leather and suede fabric. Suede fabric is used for clothes and upholstery, while suede leather is used for shoes and upholstery. Suede fabric is thinner and more malleable, while suede leather is thicker and tougher. Most products will specify what kind of suede they're made with. So if you have suede furniture, you have to know which type you're dealing with. Below are the tips to keep in mind when cleaning suede leather.
Suede stains easily, and these stains can be either wet or dry. When cleaning suede, you need to attend to the stains first. Address dry stains by gently rubbing a pencil eraser on the area. If this doesn't work, you can try gently brushing the area with an emery board, which is quite good at removing bits of dirt or dried mud. Wet stains or water, which occur when the material gets wet or spilled on should be addressed right away by blotting the spot with a paper towel to absorb the wetness. If this hasn't been done, and the stain is starting to set, you may have to resort to dry cleaning. Oil stains should be treated with a de-greaser, specialized for suede.
- Overall Cleaning
Once stains have been removed, gently run the suede with a clean bath towel, which should bring up the nap. If this doesn't work, use a suede brush or a wire suede brush. Be sure to brush the suede in a circular motion to get a natural finish.
After cleaning, use a suede protector, either the type you rub on or the spray-on kind. These will help keep your suede clean from dirt and from water, which can darken and weaken the material.
If after overall cleaning, your suede furniture still looks a bit dirty, you can apply a small amount of white vinegar to a damp bath towel and see if this will help restore it's original look.
Even if you care for your suede and clean it often, you will still need to get it professionally cleaned every two years. Usually this will mean dry cleaning the product. Just as important is pre-treating the suede before you even move it into your home. Pre-treating it will make cleaning suede leather much easier, and it will also protect it from the various things that can ruin it.