How to Clean a Suede Couch: A Guide for Homeowners

suede couch

When you want to add timeless elegance to your home, a suede couch is always a welcome installation. They’re comfy and fuzzy. At the same time, they’re nice to look at. They can be pretty pricey though, which is why seeing some stains on the surface can be upsetting.

Many homeowners are easily discouraged when they find a difficult stain on their suede couch. Immediately, they’re Googling “how to clean a suede couch,” all the while worrying if they can remove that stain or they’ll have to buy another couch (which isn’t an option, especially if you’re on a budget).

Fortunately, cleaning your suede couch isn’t an impossible chore. So, grab your trusty suede couch cleaner and this article will teach you how to clean a suede couch (minus the headache).

How to Clean Your Suede Couch

Before You Start

If you’re uncertain as to whether your couch is made from microfiber suede or natural animal hide, it’s important to determine first before you clean.

How will you know if your couch is made from microsuede or if it’s the real thing?

For starters, natural suede is made from animal leather that has a fuzzy or napped finish. It is a thin undyed or porous dyed leather. You can see their differences in the hide grain. On the other hand, microfiber suede is created from nylon and polyester fibers that are cut and woven to mimic the soft feel of natural suede. These tightly woven fibers make this synthetic suede more resistant to dirt, stains and dust.

If you’re uncertain with the type of suede you have, look for the attached care tag, which is a requirement for all furniture sold in the US. Look for the tag to see how you can clean your suede according to the suede code.

  • Code X. When you see the “X” mark on the tag, avoid using any cleaning agent. Using a cleaning product for your suede couch can cause shrinking and staining. These couches can only be cleaned by vacuuming or by a professional.
  • Code W-S. This couch can be cleaned with either solvent-based or water-based products.
  • Code S. With this code, you have to clean your suede couch with water-free or dry-cleaning solvent to remove soils and stains. If you will use these cleaning agents, use them in a well-ventilated room free from open flames like candles or fireplaces.
  • Code W. This means the fabric can be cleaned with water-based cleaning solvents.

The Tools You Need

In terms of equipment/tools, you’ll need the following:

  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Whisk
  • Scrub brush
  • Suede brush
  • Bucket
  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment

In terms of materials, you’ll need:

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Commercial glue remover
  • Cornstarch or baby powder
suede couch
Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash

How to Clean Your Suede Couch: The Instructions

Natural Suede

To clean your natural suede couch, start by vacuuming away loose soil. A weekly vacuuming job removes the soil and dust that damage suede. Use the crevice tool and upholstery brush attachment to reach all surfaces.

Next, treat the stains and spills immediately. If you’re dealing with damp spills, blot them out and let them dry. As for sticky residue, use commercial glue removers. Also, cornstarch is an excellent oil absorber. Restore the finish of your suede couch by using a suede brush.

Finish the job off by calling a professional.

Microfiber Suede

With the synthetic suede, get rid of the loose soil first. Use a vacuum to remove any loose debris on the surface of the couch.

Next, mix up the cleaning solutions by adding four cups of warm water in a large bowl or bucket. Add one-fourth of the dishwashing liquid and mix it with a handheld mixer to create a lot of suds. Fill another bucket with plain water.

Dip your brush into the soap suds and start brushing the top of the cushion or the back of the couch to prevent dripping dirty suds onto the clean areas. Spread the suds evenly and scrub well. Also, make sure that you’re working on only one area at a time.

The third step is to rinse away all the suds. Once you’ve cleaned the area, dampen it with a cleaning cloth with plain water and wipe away the suds.

Finally, dry out the fabric. Let it air-dry completely and use the vacuum upholstery to brush off the fibers.

Tips on Cleaning Your Suede Sofa

  1. Don’t forget the wet stains. The faster you clean spilled food or beverage on your suede couch, the better. Suede is very sensitive to moisture and liquid can quickly damage your luxurious couch. All you have to do is blot out the stains. If there is any residue left, continue blotting with a damp cloth.
  2. Freshen up suede upholstery. If your sofa looks too scruffy for wear, just wipe the surface with a damp cloth. Refrain from splashing water directly unto the suede. Instead, use a cleaning product.
  3. Deal with old stains. If you’re dealing with a stubborn old stain, rub the area with a pencil eraser. Once you’ve erased the stain, brush off the spot again to remove excess dirt.
  4. Brush your suede sofa regularly. To keep the sofa’s gorgeous look, always brush it after cleaning. The best way to brush a suede sofa is by brushing it in gentle circular motions. Apply some pressure on the area until you’ve completely removed the stains.

Your suede sofa is a prized possession. Take good care of it by regularly cleaning it.

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