How to Clean a Suede Couch

Find out how to clean a suede couch without ruining it, and what products you'll need.

how to clean suede couchSvet_Feo/Shutterstock

Real suede upholstery, made from the soft underside of animal skin, has a beautifully luxurious look and supple texture. Unfortunately, it’s also expensive and difficult to maintain. Many people opt for the more durable and cheaper alternative—microsuede or microfiber. Keep in mind, cleaning microsuede furniture requires a different process. Read about how to clean a microfiber couch here.

If you don’t want to settle for anything but the real deal, 100% suede is the way to go. Read on to find out how to clean a suede couch.

In the cleaning mood? Here are 13 quick cleaning tips for your whole house.

The Best Way to Clean a Suede Couch

The first thing to remember about suede is that it requires a gentle cleaner. In fact, the best cleaner to use is one that is specially formulated to clean suede, like this Bickmore Suede & Nubuck Cleaner ($10). It’s also wise to keep a suede brush on hand, like this Shacke Suede Leather Brush ($7) which can be used to brush away dust and dirt and gently get rid of scuff marks. Here’s what to do if there’s a spill on your suede sofa:

  1. Blot away any liquid with a cloth, being careful not to scrub the stain further into the leather.
  2. Spray a small amount of suede cleaner on the stain.
  3. Using a clean white cloth, blot the stain until the spot lifts. Then let the area dry.
  4. Gently brush the nap of the suede until it blends into the surrounding area of your sofa.

For particularly tough stains, like wine, you might need a suede eraser. A suede eraser does just what you’d think—it erases stains! Rub it on stains and watch them disappear, increasing pressure as needed.

Speaking of erasers, find out what makes the Magic Eraser so magical.

The Best Way to Clean a Suede Couch Naturally

If you prefer cleaning with natural ingredients, follow the directions above, but substitute white vinegar for the suede cleaner. Also, remember that maintaining your sofa regularly can prevent the need for cleaning products. Be sure to vacuum and brush the suede sofa on a weekly basis to keep dirt, dust, and crumbs from turning into stains.

It’s great for suede, but here are a few things you should NEVER clean with vinegar.

If you get an oil-based stain, such as salad dressing, on your suede couch, you can clean it naturally with cornstarch. Soak up as much of the stain as you can with a clean white cloth, then cover the stain with corn starch and let it set for 10 minutes. The corn starch will absorb the oil so it won’t ruin the suede. Next, wipe the stain clean with a vinegar-dampened cloth, then brush the area with your suede brush and vacuum up the corn starch. Next, learn how to clean a front load washer.

While you’re at it, here’s how to clean some of your other leather furniture with natural products.

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Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.