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Suede sofas add timeless elegance to homes. They are nice to look at, comfortable, and fuzzy. They are also quite a large investment, so it can be upsetting to watch a stain forming or find a dried food stain.
Many people assume that suede, and faux-suede, are challenging to clean due to their fuzziness, but this could not be further from the truth. In this article, we will show you how to protect your sofa and how to remove some common stains, but before that, it is good to understand what suede is.
What is Suede?
Suede is a soft, supple type of leather made from the underside of an animal and is mostly used for creating bags, shoes, clothing, and furniture. The warm and fuzzy texture of suede comes from all of the small, raised fibres (or nap) which cover the outside of the leather.
What is Suedette?
Suedette is a man-made alternative to natural suede. It is usually made from polyester, cotton or rayon, which has been given a suede finish. Due to the fact it’s made of synthetic materials, it’s more durable and will keep its good look for a longer period of time. Also, it’s not so sensitive to water, making cleaning easier.
Also known as faux suede, fake suede or vegan suede, suedette is an animal-friendly alternative mostly made from polyester or polyurethane. This material is a great option for those who want a suede look without using animal products or for those on a budget.
How to recognize real suede from faux suede fabric
First, look at the label. If there is no label to check, look closely at the surface. Suedette often has a synthetic, plastic feel and smell that real suede doesn’t have.
Fake suede is water-repellant, so you can try a simple water test and put a drop of water in a low visible area of the furniture. Faux suede will not absorb the water, whereas real suede will.
Natural suede improves its look through the years, while faux suede doesn’t change throughout its life.
Suedette is designed to copy the look and feel of the real suede. That’s why if you are not sure about the type is more likely to harm the surface trying to clean it. Consider calling a professional cleaner who will determine the right cleaning techniques to bring back the good look to your sofa.
How to clean a suede sofa
Before you start
- Use an upholstery cleaner specifically for suede;
- Always refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions before cleaning;
- Make sure that the room your suede sofa is in is well ventilated; open windows and turn on any fans;
- Use a painter’s face mask if it is difficult to air the room, or if you’re worried about the aerosol cleaner;
- If you have a new sofa or are trying out a new cleaning spray, always test the product in an unseen area to make sure that your chosen cleaner does not affect the suede.
Things you will need
- Furniture cleaner for suede;
- A suede napping brush (these can be found at most shoe shops);
- A suede rubbing cloth;
- A vacuum cleaner;
- Brown gum eraser or a suede eraser;
- A dry sponge;
- Optional – a waterproofing spray or stain repellent; although these are optional they can help protect your sofa for longer.
Cleaning a delicate fabric like suede may seem like a nightmare but, with a little bit of care and attention, you can keep your sofa-stain free and protect it from most of the wear and tear caused by daily life.
How to clean a suede sofa at home
- Remove the cushions to vacuum any trapped dust, hair, or crumbs.
- Vacuum the entire sofa as it could be permanently stained if any cleaning product is used over dirt.
- Spray your sofa with a suede-friendly stain repellent, working from section to section to ensure that the entire sofa is covered. This will help to protect your sofa from accidental spills and make cleaning much easier. Remember that some suede-protecting products require at least 2-3 coats to work properly.
- After vacuuming, wipe both sides of the cushions with your suede brush to remove any dust or dirt that was missed. If you have pets, this step is a must for keeping your sofa looking fresh. There are two brushing patterns you can choose from, which will show the best results – small circular motions and cross patterns. Each of these brushing methods ensures that the dirt and dust trapped in the nap are removed.
How to remove stain from suede couch
It doesn’t matter how careful or protective of the sofa we are. At some point, an accident will happen. Whether it is dropped food or a spilled drink the result is the same, a stain. Follow the steps below, or give them to the perpetrator, to get the stains out of your suede sofa.
Wet stains and spills
- Moisten a clean cloth with either a suede cleaner or white vinegar.
- Gently rub the affected area using small circular motions or in a cross pattern.
- Let the area dry and then polish with the suede cloth or brush with the napping brush.
- Clean spills as soon as possible to prevent further staining.
- Brush the stain with a suede brush gently to remove any loose dirt.
- Use a suede eraser or a brown gum eraser to completely remove the stain.
- If the stain is stubborn and can’t be removed with an eraser, you can use a small piece of sandpaper to rub it away. Gentleness is key here, so don’t scrub the stain as you will only damage the suede.
- When the stain is gone, use a suede napping brush to bring the fabric back to its former glory.
How to remove grease stains from suede sofa
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from a grease stain on your suede sofa, there is an easy removal method that doesn’t involve a trip to the dry cleaners’.
- Gently pat talcum powder or cornstarch into the grease stain and let it sit overnight.
- The powder you use will absorb the oils in the grease.
- Brush or vacuum the powder off on the next day.
- Use a brown gum eraser or suede eraser to remove any remaining traces of the stain.
- You might have to repeat this two or three times to completely remove the grease stain.
How to remove blood stains from suede sofa
- Blood can be a difficult stain to remove from most fabrics, but there is a surprisingly simple removal method for blood-stained suede.
- Mix warm water and soap. Be sure to make as many bubbles as possible.
- Using a clean sponge, gently rub the stain using only the foam. Use small rubbing motions to avoid spreading the stain.
- Wipe the area with a clean, soft cloth until it is dry.
How often to clean my suede sofa?
To keep your suede sofa in tip-top condition, we recommend vacuuming every week and thoroughly cleaning it every month. It would be best if you could clean any spills and stains right after the accident to minimize the damage. Cleaning a suede sofa can be a daunting task, especially if has not been cleaned in a while, but maintaining that beautiful couch can be made a lot easier if you include it in your weekly cleaning schedule.
Don’t have a cleaning schedule yet? Check out our article on “How to make a cleaning schedule and stick to it” to get started on yours.
So there we have it, your guide to removing stains from suede. These tips can be used on furniture, clothing, shoes, and any other suede products you own. The key to keeping your suede sofa happy is dedication and a speedy response to any stains. The tips in this article will allow you to remove almost any stain thrown at the sofa. But, if you have tried everything and the stain refuses to be removed, it is better to take the stained area to a professional cleaner, if possible.
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Did we miss anything? Do you have any stain removal tips for suede? Let us know in the comments below or give us a shout on social media!