How to Clean Suede Sofa: Easy Steps for Effective Cleaning

Last updated on April 5, 2024

This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to effectively clean a suede sofa, ensuring it maintains its texture and appeal.

Key takeaways:

  • Identify the type of suede (natural or synthetic)
  • Have necessary supplies ready in advance
  • Use appropriate cleaning methods for different stains
  • Conduct a patch test before using any cleaner
  • Regularly brush and maintain the suede sofa

Table of Contents

Before You Begin

To ensure a successful cleaning experience, familiarize yourself with the type of suede your sofa is made of—natural or synthetic—as cleaning methods differ.

Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions, typically found on tags or in the user manual, to avoid damaging the material.

Before starting, consider the age of your sofa and test any cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous area to ensure colorfastness and material integrity.

Gather the necessary supplies in advance to streamline the process.

Remember that prompt attention to spills and stains yields the best results, and routine maintenance can prevent the need for deep cleaning.

What You’ll Need

Prepare the following items to facilitate the cleaning process:

  • A suede cleaning brush or a soft-bristled brush: To gently lift dirt and debris from the sofa without damaging the fabric.
  • A clean, dry cloth or sponge: For blotting up spills and patting the sofa dry.
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol: Acts as an effective cleaner for stains without leaving water marks.
  • A suede eraser: To remove dry stains and scuff marks.
  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment: To remove loose particles from the sofa’s surface and crevices.
  • A suede protector spray: To apply post-cleaning for added protection against future spills and soil.


1. Identify the Type of Stain:

  • Dry stains: Gently rub with a suede brush or emery board.
  • Wet stains: Blot with a clean cloth, avoid rubbing to prevent spreading.

2. Use a Suede Eraser for Set-in Stains:

  • Gently rub the eraser over the stain until it lifts.
  • Brush off residue with a suede brush.

3. For Liquid Spills:

  • Use a clean cloth to blot immediately.
  • Apply a layer of baking soda to absorb, leave for a few hours, then vacuum.

4. Tackle Persistent Stains with White Vinegar or Suede Cleaner:

  • Apply a small amount of white vinegar on a soft cloth, dab on the stain gently.
  • For suede cleaners, follow the instructions for application on the label.

5. Conduct a Patch Test for Any Cleaner:

  • Apply product to a small, inconspicuous area first.
  • Ensure it does not damage or discolor the fabric.

6. Maintain with Regular Brushing:

  • Use a suede brush to revive the nap and eliminate dust.
  • Brush gently in the direction of the fibers, not against them.

Remember to allow the sofa to dry completely after any cleaning before use. Regular maintenance can prevent stains from setting and extend the life of your suede sofa.

How to Clean a Natural Suede Couch

Begin by gently brushing the couch to remove loose dirt and dust. Use a suede brush or a soft-bristled brush, sweeping in the direction of the suede’s grain.

Address spills quickly by blotting with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rub, as this can push the spill deeper into the fibers.

For dried stains, carefully scrape off any excess with a dull knife or nail file, then use a suede eraser or a bit of white vinegar on a cloth to treat the spot. Dab gently and avoid saturating the material.

Tackle stubborn stains with a suede cleaner designed for natural suede. Follow the product instructions for application. Test on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t alter the color or texture.

Once the couch is clean, restore the nap with a suede brush. Brushing up the nap keeps the couch looking fresh and maintains the soft, plush texture of the suede.

Consider a professional cleaning every one to two years to maintain the couch’s appearance and longevity.

Throughout the cleaning process, maintain even strokes and a gentle touch to preserve the integrity of the suede material. Regular maintenance, prompt attention to spills, and cautious use of products ensure the natural suede couch remains an elegant centerpiece in your living space.

How to Clean a Faux Suede Couch

Faux suede, also known as microsuede, is a synthetic material, and its care differs slightly from that of natural suede. It’s typically more resistant to spills and stains, making it easier to maintain.

1. Immediate Action: In case of spills, immediately dab the liquid with a clean cloth to prevent absorption. Avoid rubbing as this can push the stain deeper into the fabric.

2. Using a Soft Brush: Once dry, use a soft-bristled brush to gently lift the nap and remove any crusty residues.

3. Mild Detergent Solution: For tougher stains, prepare a mix of warm water and mild detergent. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wring it out so it’s damp, not wet. Blot the stain with this cloth until the stain lifts.

4. Focus on Ventilation: Ensure the couch is in a well-ventilated area to avoid mildew growth as it dries.

5. Avoid Heat: Never use a hairdryer or place the sofa in direct sunlight to speed up the drying process, as heat can damage the fabric.

6. Consult Manufacturer Instructions: Always check the couch’s cleaning code, usually found on the tag, for the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean and maintain your faux suede couch, keeping it looking fresh and new.


How do you clean suede couches at home?

To clean suede couches at home, make a paste with a pinch of baking soda and a few drops of water, applying a drop of gentle dish detergent if more stain removal help is needed.

What is the best thing to clean suede with?

The optimal method for cleaning suede involves initially using a dry brush, then a rubber eraser, and finally addressing persistent stains using rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or a specialized suede-cleaning solution.

Can you use soap and water on suede couch?

Yes, a suede couch marked with W or W/S on its care tag can indeed be cleaned using soap and water.

Is suede leather sofa easy to clean?

Yes, a suede leather sofa is easy to clean when handled correctly.

What are some household items that can be safely used to clean a suede sofa?

Household items that can be safely used to clean a suede sofa include a suede brush, a white vinegar and water solution, an eraser for spot stains, and a towel for blotting spills.

How often should a suede couch be cleaned to maintain its appearance?

A suede couch should be cleaned lightly every week and thoroughly around every three months to maintain its appearance.

Can a professional cleaning service be beneficial for maintaining a suede sofa’s longevity?

Yes, a professional cleaning service can be beneficial for maintaining a suede sofa’s longevity by providing deep cleaning without causing damage to the material.

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