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Cleaning & Maintaining a Suede Couch

A suede couch adds luxury to any room, but cleaning it can be such a hassle. Made from the underside of animal skin, suede couches are the second best thing to leather. Although more durable than other fabrics, suede is also a very delicate material to care for. Like all non-synthetic materials, a suede couch requires a different cleaning approach than other furniture. 

The fabric requires regular maintenance to retain the suede sofa’s softness and shine. There is no proclaimed “best way to clean suede couch,” but this article will offer a few ideas that might help you out. If you want to keep your suede couch looking as good as the day you bought it, continue reading this detailed guide! 

Here’s all the detailed but crucial info you need to know how to clean suede couch – the correct way! 

Suede Features

There are two types of suede material, natural and synthetic. Natural suede is very tender but porous since it’s made from the underside of animal skin, meaning the material is easily stained and very hard to clean up. Depending on whether you have faux suede or natural, different stain removal ingredients need to be used for both fabrics.

The most often used appliances that can help clean up stains from your suede sofa include a few household appliances like vinegar, liquid dish detergent, and baking soda. The most important thing about properly cleaning suede is to treat it immediately after it’s stained. If left untreated, suede can absorb moisture and require special maintenance to get cleaned. To prevent further damage or future stains, cover your suede couch with suede protectant. 

How Often Do You Need to Clean Suede Furniture?

Suede furniture requires more frequent cleaning than other types of material. The general rule is to clean your suede couch with a vacuum at least once a month, but this can be done weekly if you have pets. A thorough professional-style cleanup should be done every six months to keep the couch’s softness and shine. You already know that there are two types of suede furniture material, but other materials are often confused with suede. 

Materials like velvet, leather, and velour often get confused with suede, but they actually differ greatly. To know how to clean a suede couch you need to be able to differentiate between the fabrics, and here’s how. 

Suede vs Velvet 

Similarly to suede, velvet is very soft to the touch and feels amazing against the skin. However, unlike suede, velvet is much more comfortable and allows you the freedom to relax on any type of furniture without being very cautious. 

Suede, on the other hand, cannot handle rough treatment very much, and any accidents will be more evident than on other materials. The material is fast-absorbing, so any spillage is immediately visible. Compared to velvet, stains on suede materials are harder to clean. 

Velvet is made from different fibers, which means it’s much more durable if an accident occurs. Velvet is also easier and faster to clean, but suede beats it when it comes to overall looks. Crushed velvet sofas are recommended if you have kids or pets. 

Suede vs Leather 

Unlike suede, that’s made from the underlayer of animal skin, leather is the outer layer which means it’s much higher in quality. Although faux versions are available of both leather and suede, they differ mostly in price, with suede being more expensive. 

Unlike leather, suede is much softer, smoother, and suppler, but it’s also prone to shrinkage, while leather is not. When it comes to cleaning the material, suede is much more susceptible to dirt and moisture, making it high maintenance. Contrary to that, leather is much easier to properly look after if you use the correct leather-cleaning products. 

Suede is much more susceptible to tears and accidents, while leather has a high tensile strength, making it rip-resistant! While suede is not stain-proof, leather is an amazing insulator that is more resistant to water and fire damage. 

Suede vs Velour 

Suede and velour often get confused as the same material, but they are quite different. Velour is a type of plushy, knitted fabric that has a raised pile. Both suede and velour feel like velvet, but velour is much more durable. Similarly to suede, velour too is hard to clean. However, the process is much more straightforward with regular vacuuming and applying a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice. 

How to Clean Suede Couch: Detailed Instructions

If you’re wondering how to clean suede sofa, the best way is by using ingredients like cornstarch, vinegar, and baking soda. If you notice a spill or stain on your suede sofa, the best thing to do is act promptly. If you spill something oily, use cornstarch to absorb it. If the stain is from something sticky, commercial glue removers can do the trick. 

Wet spills should be dabbed and left to dry slowly, while a suede brush will help restore the shiny finish after the stain removal. If your suede couch is natural, using natural home remedies will remove old stains. Things like mixing vinegar and warm water can remove a stubborn stain, while baking soda removes stains without damaging or damping the material. 

So, the remaining burning question is how do you clean a suede couch in just a few easy steps? The following is our guide. 

Step 1: Use a Vacuum 

The first step towards cleaning your suede couch is to vacuum it. This involves removing visible dirt, large pieces of debris, hair, dust, and any kind of residue. To ensure you are not making any mistakes while vacuuming your couch try using the vacuum’s soft brush attachment. Make sure to vacuum your suede couch in the crevices, sides, and underneath the pillows. 

Step 2: Use a Damp Cloth on the Couch

The second step towards cleaning your suede sofa involves wiping the entire thing with a wet cloth. This means using a microfiber cloth or any other similar kind of slightly damp fabric to clean the sofa’s surface. Before using the washcloth, squeeze it, removing as much water as possible. 

Step 3: Wipe and Remove any Stains 

A stain is the easiest to remove when it’s fresh, so acting immediately will guarantee it won’t stick. However, cleaning methods for stains depend on their source, so using a dedicated suede stain remover is the best choice. A suede stain remover won’t damage the material, and you need to use a damp cloth to clean it. 

If you want to remove the stains using ingredients you can find at home, try mixing distilled white vinegar with water. Proceed with the same process as with a stain remover, and make sure to clean it afterward. If you are unsure about your mixture, test the liquid on a non-visible area to avoid ruining the suede. 

If you have an oil stain, try blotting with a dry cloth or a paper towel, then cover the area with baking soda. After a few hours, remove the baking soda with a suede brush. Surprisingly, an ink or crayon stain can easily be cleaned by gently rubbing a white rubber eraser. 

Step 4: Let it Dry 

The last step of cleaning your suede couch is playing the waiting game. Whether your stains were oily or a result of ink spillage, waiting for your suede couch to dry is crucial in cleaning it up. To help dry the material, you can use the suede brush again or a blow dryer to speed up the process. 

Closing Remarks on Cleaning a Suede Couch

Although it’s difficult, cleaning a suede couch is possible. We hope this article gave you some insight into how to clean suede couches using household appliances and how to approach the cleanup. Always start with vacuuming, and get one of those suede brushes to keep your couch looking fresh and new! 

But you can always rely on professionals if you don’t think you’re up to cleaning your suede couch. The best cleaning service is just a call away with Certified Clean Care! Reach out to Georgia’s Certified Clean Care to restore your home to tip-top condition! We offer everything from upholstery cleaning to rug maintenance to furniture refinishing and air duct replacement! Contact Certified Clean Care for a spotless home!


What ruins suede?

Don’t use water to clean suede as it can stiffen the fibers, which makes them brittle. 

How do you dry suede after cleaning?

Leaving the suede to air-dry, using a suede brush or a hair drier will accelerate the drying period. 

How do you get suede color back?

Using a suede brush weekly can decrease the chances of diminished color. You can use a color renovator or recoloring spray if the color is very faded. 

How do professionals clean suede?

Professionals clean suede with suede cleaning blocks, erasers, and professional kinds of suede cleaners.