How to Clean Suede Couch: Simple Steps for Effective Maintenance

Last updated on April 5, 2024

Learn the proper techniques to clean a suede couch and maintain its soft, luxurious texture.

Key takeaways:

  • Use the right equipment: suede brush, vacuum cleaner, cloth/sponge.
  • Use specialized materials: suede eraser, suede cleaner, white vinegar/rubbing alcohol, clean white cloth, suede protector spray.
  • Brush suede couch in the direction of the grain.
  • Spot clean stains with vinegar/rubbing alcohol solution or suede eraser.
  • Blot wet stains, do not rub, and air dry.

Table of Contents

What You’ll Need

Equipping yourself with the right tools and materials is the first step toward effectively cleaning your suede couch. You’ll want to gather:

  • **Equipment / Tools: **
  • A suede brush or a soft-bristled brush to loosen dirt
  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment for removing dust and small particles
  • A clean cloth or sponge for applying cleaning solutions
  • **Materials: **
  • A suede eraser to address dry stains
  • Suede cleaner specifically designed for suede fabric; avoid general upholstery cleaners that can damage suede
  • A white vinegar or rubbing alcohol solution for tougher stains
  • A specialized suede protector to apply after cleaning and help guard against future stains and damage

Having these items on hand prior to starting your cleaning routine will streamline the process, ensuring your suede couch is attended to with care and the appropriate methods.

Equipment / Tools

For a successful and gentle cleaning of your suede couch, having the right equipment is essential. Begin with a suede brush or a soft-bristled toothbrush; these are designed to lift dirt and fluff up the nap without causing damage. Also, consider a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove loose dirt and debris before any wet cleaning starts.

Keep a clean, white cloth or a sponge handy for applying cleaners and dabbing at stains; white ensures no color transfer occurs during the process. A pencil eraser can be surprisingly effective for tackling dry stains and scuff marks. Lastly, for more persistent spots, a special suede eraser or a fine-grade sandpaper can be used carefully to remove encrusted dirt.

Remember, for suede couches, it’s all about gentle, non-invasive tools. Avoid anything overly abrasive to maintain the integrity of the suede’s delicate nap.


To effectively tackle the task of cleaning a suede couch, you’ll need some specialized materials to ensure the best results without damaging the delicate fabric. Arm yourself with the following items:

  • Suede cleaning brush: This soft-bristled brush is designed specifically for the delicate fibers of suede, used to lift dirt and dust before and after cleaning.
  • Suede eraser: Ideal for addressing dry stains and marks, it works by crumbing as you gently rub, lifting away dirt particles.
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol: When dealing with tougher spots, a small amount of either of these can be used to help break down stains without causing water stains.
  • Clean, white cloth: A must-have for blotting and gently applying cleaners without transferring any dyes or colors.
  • Suede protector spray: A final touch to safeguard your couch against future spills and stains, keeping it looking pristine for longer.

Always keep in mind that with materials such as suede, less is more — it’s crucial to use minimal amounts of liquid and gentle pressure to avoid damage.


Begin by gently brushing your suede couch with a suede cleaning brush to lift the fibers and remove surface debris. Always brush in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the material.

For localized stains, use a white vinegar or rubbing alcohol solution lightly applied with a clean cloth. Dab the stain, don’t rub, to prevent spreading it. Let the area dry completely. Once dry, re-brush the suede to restore its nap.

For general cleaning, a small amount of suede-specific cleaner can be mixed with water to create a sudsy solution. Apply sparingly with a soft cloth, then blot gently. Again, allow the couch to air dry and finish with a brushing.

For dried spills or crusty stains, use a suede eraser. Rub gently until the stain lifts. Vacuum the area to collect any debris that comes loose.

In the event of liquid spills, blot immediately with a paper towel. Do not press too hard, as this can push the liquid deeper into the suede. Once the majority of the liquid is absorbed, follow the stain removal steps as necessary.

Always perform a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the couch before applying any cleaning solution or water to ensure that it won’t cause damage or discoloration.

How to Clean a Natural Suede Couch

Begin by vacuuming your couch using the brush attachment to remove loose dirt and dust. Be sure to clean in the direction of the suede’s grain to avoid damaging the nap.

For light stains, use a suede eraser or a dry, clean pencil eraser. Rub gently at the mark until it lifts. Avoid applying too much pressure as it may push the stain deeper into the fabric.

For wet stains, dab the area with a clean, dry cloth to absorb the moisture. Never rub a wet spot as this can worsen the stain. Let it air dry naturally.

For tougher stains, create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar or rubbing alcohol with water. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and wring it out so it’s damp, not soaking. Gently blot the stained area. Follow this with a clean damp cloth, again in the direction of the nap, to rinse the area.

Once the couch is clean, brush the suede with a special suede brush to restore its natural texture.

Remember, suede should never be cleaned with water as it can cause staining and damage. Always test any cleaning method in an inconspicuous spot before applying it to a larger area.

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