11 Best Ways To Clean Your Suede Couch

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Couches are the center of a household. They are where family and friends come together for nearly any event, whether it be a birthday, game night, or just chatting with relatives. Couches hold a significant role in a household; therefore, it is very important to know how to maintain and keep your couch clean.

Couches range through a variety of styles and fabrics, each having its own unique set of cleaning instructions. Suede couches are a beautiful style of couch made from the soft underside of animal fur, according to Family Handyman. It has a silky texture and looks stunning in a living room setting. These types of couches, however, tend to be very expensive and have a reputation of being very difficult to clean. For that reason, many choose a cheaper and more durable alternative for their couch, like microfiber or micro-suede, but if you have your heart set on a real suede couch, House Digest is here to help. Here are eight of the best ways you can clean and maintain your suede couch.

1. Get to know the material

The best way to keep your suede couch looking its best is to be proactive and knowing your couch's material is a good way to start. Genuine suede couches are made from the soft underside of animal fur, which is a very delicate material. That being said, water and dirt can permanently change the look of the couch, making it look dark and greasy, according to Best Carpet Cleaner Review. This further shows the importance of properly maintaining your suede couch.

Above all, suede couches are very sensitive to liquids and moisture; therefore, if liquid spills occur on your couch, you must act fast to avoid damage. The Happy House Cleaning Services advised their readers never to use water to clean suede material, including shampooing and steam cleaning techniques. Using a moist cloth, however, does have the ability to clean the surface of the couch without getting it wet and damaging it.

2. Practice routine maintenance

As mentioned before, suede material can easily be damaged by water and dirt; therefore, routine maintenance is vital when you want your couch to look its very best. A vacuum can easily be used to clean up dust, hair, and other debris that may be inhabiting your couch. According to Kitchen Infinity, the vacuum should have good suction and be used with the detachable rotating brush nozzle that is used for vacuuming carpets for the best results.

A soft brush or a lukewarm damp sponge can also be routinely used to clean your couch. This technique gently rubs off any stubborn dirt from the surface of your couch, but never use any detergents, soaps, or other cleaners with this technique because it could cause damage to your couch's delicate material. Kitchen Infinity also advises using this technique very gently. Scrubbing too harshly with the brush or sponge can also ruin the delicate material.

3. Use cornstarch and vinegar

Grease stains are almost inevitable in a living room setting, especially when it's common to enjoy a meal on the couch. Although removing a grease stain from your suede couch's delicate material may seem like a risky task, it can be done with a technique similar to cleaning microfiber and other couch materials. Cornstarch is a natural oil absorbent, meaning it can easily remove the grease from your couch while also being safe for the delicate fabric.

The use of vinegar also happens to be an effective and safe way to clean suede material. Start by coating the surface of the stain in cornstarch and allow it to sit for ten minutes while it soaks up the grease. Then, simply wipe the area clean with a vinegar-dampened cloth or sponge. Finish off by gently brushing the area of the stain with a soft brush and vacuum the excess cornstarch from the couch, said Family Handyman.

4. Try baking soda

Baking soda can be used in a significant number of household cleaning hacks, and suede couches are no different. Not only is baking soda a dry cleaning method, which is perfect for a suede couch's delicate, moisture hating material, but it also has a variety of cleaning abilities, from eliminating odor to absorbing grease, according to Stain Removal 101.

For this technique, simply sprinkle baking soda over the surface of your couch. Keep in mind this technique works best when brushing and vacuuming the sofa before using the baking soda. Then, using a soft brush, gently rub the baking soda into your couch. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes before vacuuming and brushing the couch clean again. If you want to get rid of odors your couch has started to produce, Hunker recommends leaving the baking soda to sit overnight before vacuuming and brushing it clean the next day.

5. Use isopropyl alcohol/ rubbing alcohol

There's something in your medicine cabinet that can clean your suede couch. Isopropyl alcohol makes a great spot cleaner. Not only that, but Sunrise Industrial Cleaners writes that it is a microbe killer. This inexpensive, clear liquid gets rid of 99.99% of germs. Not a bad option when getting a dirty spot off your suede couch.

To make use of the isopropyl alcohol as a suede cleaner, grab an empty spray bottle and fill it with the IPA. Spray the stained or dirty areas, then wipe them with a damp sponge until you no longer see the spots. You can also put some of the IPA on a damp rag and scrub until the spots come clean. Isopropyl alcohol is fabulous for materials like suede because the alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving a dry area on the suede in a short amount of time. Once the sites are dry, step back and look at the couch. If you can still see some dirt, try again until it comes clean. Some stains are more challenging than others.

6. Gently use a Magic Eraser

You're missing out if you don't have a stack of Magic Erasers in a cabinet. They truly are incredible at removing dirt, grease, and other debris using just a little water. Still, most people don't realize their Magic Eraser does more than wipe away fingerprints and grease from walls and switch plates. Put yours to work on cleaning your suede couch.

According to ABC Action News, these magical white sponges are basically made of an abrasive melamine foam (hint — you can buy plain ol' melamine foam as well). The foam is just enough to soak up unwanted dirt. They are a great choice for your suede couch because no sprays or detergents are required. When it comes to suede, less is more.

Here's what you need to do. After standing back and determining which areas of your couch have seen better days, wet the Magic Eraser and squeeze out any excess water. First spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't harm the fabric. The erasers are abrasive, and they have the potential to damage the material if you brush too vigorously. If the suede is OK after a spot check, gently brush the dirty areas with the sponge, going in the direction of the fabric nap. What we love about the white foam is that it's easy to see the dirt being soaked into the sponge. You'll see the grime coming off the couch and collecting into the foamy eraser. You'll also notice that it starts to disintegrate as it's used. Once it gets too small to work with, grab another one and keep going until your suede couch is fresh and clean.

7. Use suede cleaners

Similar to all the other cleaning techniques for a suede couch, a suede cleaner must also be made from gentle ingredients specially made for suede materials. Family Handyman recommends using Bickmore Suede and Nubuck Cleaner. Along with cleaning your suede material, Bickmore's solution also condition and soften your suede, allowing it to look great and last longer. KIWI is another popular suede cleaner brand with a variety of cleaners for whatever suede product you may have. Like Bickmore's solution, KIWI also cleans, softens, and conditions your suede material.

It is not advised to use these products before vacuuming debris and other unwanted materials from your couch. Apply only a small amount of cleaner to your couch at a time and blot the area with a clean towel instead of rubbing or scrubbing. Always finish by using a gentle brush on the freshly cleaned area to restore the original texture of the material.

8. Use suede stain repellent

If you are looking for a way to protect your suede couch from further damage after a cleaning, look no further. Suede stain repellents are a great way to protect your sofa by giving you more time to clean a spill before it starts causing permanent damage to your couch, according to Best Carpet Cleaner Review.

The Strategist recommends using Scotchgard Fabric Protector to protect your suede couch from future stains. This repellent works great with sensitive upholstery material, like suede. When applying the repellent, spray onto the couch from approximately 6” away. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the sofa with an even layer of repellent. Spray quickly and evenly to avoid spots from becoming oversaturated with the solution. There are other brands of protectants out there, so you can check out reviews and specifications to find the one that works best for you and your price range.

9. How to remove water marks

Suede material is very sensitive to moisture; therefore, water can cause a great deal of damage to a suede couch. Dark water marks can quickly appear when water gets spilled on a suede couch. Although you may think this is the end of your beautiful suede couch, there are ways to get rid of water marks to make your sofa look spotless once again.

Porter's starts by advising never to attempt fixing water damage while the spot is still wet. You should wait at least 24 hours before starting the removal process. When the mark is dry, you can use a suede eraser to gently scrub the water stain away. A clean, damp sponge can also be used in the place of a suede eraser. Ensure that you scrub gently to avoid further damage to the material. Finish off by gently brushing the spot with a soft brush to restore the fabric and bring it back to its normal texture.

10. For removing stains

When there is a spill on your suede couch, whether it's wine or juice, it's important to act fast because the longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove. Go Cleaners London recommends absorbing as much of the spill as you can with a dry cloth but avoid rubbing during this process because you could rub the stain further into your couch. Then let it dry before using a suede-safe cleaner to gently remove the stain. Finish by brushing the cleaned area with a soft brush.

Sometimes old stains also haunt the surface of our couches. In that case, Go Cleaners London recommends using a suede eraser to gently rub over the spot. If that technique does not remove the stain, you can also try a vinegar-dampened cloth or sponge to remove the stain. Ensure you gently brush the area with a soft brush after both techniques to bring back the texture of the material.

11. Call in a pro

There are times to DIY, and then there are times to call in a professional. A pro knows what to do when it comes to your suede couch. For such a delicate fabric, a professional will give you peace of mind when it's time to clean your sofa.

A professional upholstery cleaner will likely use steam to clean your suede couch. First Class Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning explains that steam cleaning works well on all fabrics because the steam gently pulls out dirt and grime with minimal moisture. If too much water is applied to a material such as suede, it's easily ruined or damaged. The heat from the steam also helps loosen embedded dirt in the fibers, giving you a deeper clean than you would get with a cloth. After the cleaning is done, your professional cleaner will use a special tool to brush the suede back into its brand-new-looking state.