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Video:How to Clean Suede

with Jacob Taxis

Suede is a great-looking fabric that can be really difficult to clean. This About.com video will offer some tips on cleaning stains you get on your suede clothing.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Clean Suede

Hi, I'm Jacob Taxis for About.com. In this video, you will learn how to clean suede.

Cleaning Dirt and Mud Off of Suede

For dirt, mud, and scuff marks, use a suede brush. First, let the mud dry. Next, gently brush the dirty surface to knock off any large chunks of dried mud. Lastly, rub off the rest of the dirt with your suede brush. To do so, brush in one, consistent direction using short strokes. This will restore that unique suede texture.

A suede cleaning block will also work quite well for dirt stains and scuff marks. The cleaning block works like an eraser. With the block, brush the stained area gently in the same direction. Then, just as you would with any eraser, brush away the remaining residue. If you don't have a suede block, you can use any standard pencil eraser for small dirt stains and scuff marks. Simply wipe away any eraser residue that's left over.

For intense, dark scuff marks, try using a small amount of white vinegar. It's usually best, when applying any substance to suede, to test its effect. To do so, add a drop of vinegar to a part of suede that is not easily seen. After a successful test, add the vinegar to the damaged area with a towel.

Getting Water Stains Out of Suede

Salt and water stains are tough, but they can be dealt with in a very successful and efficient manner. First, try a suede brush on the stain to see if you can work up the nap enough so as to make the stain invisible.

If this doesn't work – and you happen to be dealing with suede shoes – wipe down both shoes with water. To do so, use a sponge or towel. To properly maintain the form, stuff each shoe with white paper and allow the shoes to air dry. Do not use newspaper, as the ink can actually leach into the shoe and damage the color. When the shoes dry, they will be a darker shade of their original color and the stains will be gone.

Removing Difficult Suede Stains

Permanent marker, wine, and oil stains are quite difficult to deal with. In most cases, your only hope is to take your suede to a professional cleaner. If you do get a small oil stain on your suede, dab at the stain with paper towel to remove excess moisture. After the stain has dried, try brushing it away with a suede brush. You might also want to try a suede degreasing product.

It's best to avoid suede dyes and products that include intense chemicals like dry cleaning solvents. These products usually end up damaging suede even more. 

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