How to Clean Suede Furniture and Apparel

Alright, I’m going to be honest, suede is not an easy thing to keep clean and nice. It is incredibly porous, which means anything liquid is going to soak in absurdly quickly and stain it.

Suede Shoe

Prevention is key. By the time your suede looks like this, it is too late.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the easiest way to care for suede is to keep it away from staining liquids. Unfortunately that isn’t always possible, especially if you have something like suede shoes. Shoes are going to be in messy places. It is their job. Once again, prevention is the answer. Anytime you have a new suede product, furniture, shoes, hat, anything, treat it with a suede protector. It is super cheap, and you can get it tons of places. This is different than leather conditioner! Don’t get them mixed up. You should apply suede protector to your suede at once every 6 months to 1 year, depending on how tough of circumstances you put it in. Your suede shoes probably need it more often than your suede ottoman.

As with regular leather, when you spill something on suede, you need to clean it up ASAP. Use a dry cloth and blot it away, taking care not to use a lot of pressure or making any wiping motions. Doing so will press the stain into the leather and after that there is not much you can do. If a stain has set in, you can use a damp, and only slightly damp, cloth to dab at it and get it a little wet, then use a dry cloth to blot up the moisture. Doing so probably won’t eliminate the stain, but it will give you a chance at making it lighter and less noticeable. Your only hope for completely eliminating the stain is to take it to a professional, but there are no promises there. It depends on the stain and on the professional.