Suede fabric’s soft feel and attractive look make it a […]
Suede fabric’s soft feel and attractive look make it a popular material for jackets, shoes, purses, and even furniture. Unfortunately, it's one of the most difficult fabrics to maintain and does not react well to stain removal. Cleaning suede fabric can be a tedious chore, but depending on the level of cleaning required, steps can be followed with some degree of success.
If at all possible, suede fabric should be sent to a professional dry cleaner. However, since this is not always an option, there are a few ways to approach a home cleaning instead. First, determine whether the item is actually suede or just a faux suede fabric. Suede clothing articles are often just an imitation fabric and a quick peek at the tag can spare a lot of headaches. Many faux suede articles can be laundered in the normal fashion at home, though some will still say to dry clean only.
Real suede fabric should never be put in the washer, as water can also stain suede permanently. If suede fabric does come into contact with water, absorbent towels should be pressed into the wet spots to soak up as much of the dampness as possible. Once this is done, the garment should then be left to dry on its own.
Cleaning suede stains at home begins with the nap. A clean towel should be rubbed against the suede fabric until the nap has all been "fluffed" up. Bringing up the nap, exposing more of the surface and loosening any dirt particles embedded in the nap. Next, use a pencil eraser to rub out any visible stains.
Stain removers should never be used when cleaning suede fabric, but if stains remain after the eraser attempt, a slightly damp towel can be used to rub against the stain. White vinegar can also be mixed with the water used to dampen the towel, but be very careful not to soak the towel. Just a bit of water and vinegar should be applied. When this is done, wait for the suede fabric to dry and determine the progress.
A special brush made for cleaning suede fabric can be used to dislodge any dirt left once the suede has dried. The brush should be used lightly. In fact, all contact with the suede fabric should be gentle, because more damage can be done to the delicate suede surface while cleaning it. If stains are still visible at this point, the only alternative is to take it to a professional dry cleaner.