Money-saving hints for how to best wash suede

Knowing how to wash suede could save you a lot of money. Read on to find out how to wash suede yourself and avoid hefty dry-cleaner bills.

Protect your suede items

Whether you have just purchased a pair of suede shoes or a suede-covered chair, cover the surface with a protective spray before using. This will protect the fabric and minimize damage from stains. Repeat this regularly with wear. You should also invest in a suede brush. Its stiff bristles are specially designed to raise or “fluff” the nap, but in a pinch, a clean towel or toothbrush can do.

Treat stains immediately

If possible, treat stains immediately to prevent them from setting. You can use spot treatments like the ones below to remove stains on any suede item. Test a small patch first and check for color bleeding. For tough stains, use leather cleaner specifically designed for suede.

  • Scuffs – Remove shoe marks with a suede eraser. You can also use a regular rubber eraser. Gently rub the stain until the mark disappears.
  • Water marks – Rain can leave water marks on suede shoes. Use a towel to soak up recent wetness. If the water marks are old, try spraying the rest of the item using a spray bottle of plain water and blot off excess moisture. As the item dries, the marked area should blend with the rest. Avoid disappointing water damage and leave your suede shoes and jackets at home on a rainy day.
  • Dark liquid – Dampen a paper towel with white vinegar and dab to remove coffee or tea stains.
  • Grease or oil – Apply talcum powder or baking soda to greasy stains. Sprinkle the powder directly onto the stain and let sit for a couple of hours while it soaks up the moisture. Dust off powder with a suede brush.
  • Wax – If your item can fit in a freezer, you’re in luck. Freeze the item until the wax is hard and brittle. Then use a butter knife to gently scrape it off.

How to wash suede

  • For best results, hand wash suede.
  • Fill a sink or tub with cool water and a mild detergent.
  • Add the garment and gently squeeze the soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Squeeze and press out water. Don’t wring.
  • Lay the item on top of a large towel. Roll it up with the towel, squeezing to remove moisture. Do this until the item is lightly damp.
  • Once dry, use a suede brush to relax the nap.

If you choose to wash suede in the washing machine, use a front-loading machine if possible.

  • Top-loading washing machines can twist or wring clothing.
  • Select the gentle or hand wash cycle.
  • Use a mild detergent in cool water.
  • Remove the item before the spin cycle and use the towel method to remove water.
  • Hang to dry.

Suede is a wonderful fabric, but it requires extra care to keep it looking new. Only wash suede when necessary to remove stains and odors. It just may last you a lifetime.

Money-saving hints for how to best wash suede
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