How to Clean a Suede Sofa

Suede sofas add elegance and timelessness to any space they occupy. They are as lovely to look at as they are too feel. They have a comfortable and fuzzy feeling which is quite relaxing.

But, their beauty is not without cost. A suede sofa can cost you a small fortune and a small stain can look hideous on this immaculate finish.

To keep the sofa in its best shape, you have the responsibility of keeping the sofa clean and tidy and getting rid of any stains swiftly before they set. But how do you clean suede sofas without damaging the fabric?

What is Suede?

The trick lies in understanding what suede is and how to clean and take care of it. Suede is a supple type of leather made from the underside of an animal. It’s commonly used to make bags, shoes, furniture and even clothes. The cosy and warm feel of suede comes from the small fibres also called Nap.

How to clean a Suede Sofa

Cleaning a suede sofa seems like a nightmare given how delicate the fabric is. Without the right information and tips, the nightmare can quickly become a reality. But, by taking some time out to know which cleaning processes to follow and the kind of care and attention to the fabric, you can just as easily have some excellent results.

Here are a few tips to get you started on the right footing:

  • Only use an upholstery cleaner specifically designed for suede
  • Before cleaning, refer to the manufacturer’s care instruction on both the sofa and the cleaning product
  • The room in which you intend to clean the sofa must be well ventilated. Make sure all the windows are open. If there are fans, you can turn them on as well.
  • If you can’t get enough air into the room, use a painter’s face mask, so you don’t inhale the aerosol cleaner
  • If it’s the first time cleaning the suede sofa or you’re using a new cleaning spray, test it out on a discreet area of the sofa to make sure it doesn’t affect the suede before cleaning the entire sofa

A few things you will need

  • The suede furniture cleaner
  • A suede napping brush (You can find it in most shoe shops)
  • A suede rubbing cloth
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A brown gum eraser
  • A dry sponge
  • For the best results, you can use a waterproofing or stain repellent product. These are only optional.

Why not also read our latest blog: What is Spring Cleaning?

Suede Sofa Cleaning Regime


  • Once a week, spray the sofa with a suede stain repellent. To avoid missing spots, work your way from one section to the next. Applying a stain repellent will protect the sofa from accidental spills and cleaning will be much easier. For the best results, apply two or three coats of the stain repellent.
  • Vacuum loose and trapped dust once a week. Make sure you remove the cushions to capture as much dirt and dust as possible
  • Use the suede brush to remove hairs and other particles that might still be clinging on to the cushions.


After completing the weekly cleaning duties, once a month, you will need to:

  • Remove the cushions and vacuum up as you normally would under the weekly cleaning tasks
  • Vacuum both sides of the cushion using a cross pattern to loosen any trapped dirt
  • Vacuum the entire sofa after completing the cushions using the same pattern
  • Use a suede cleaning cloth to wipe down the sofa and both sides of the cushion to keep the sofa looking amazing.

Removing stains from a suede sofa

For wet stains

  • Moisten a cloth using white vinegar or suede cleaner
  • Rub the damp cloth against the affected area in small circular motions or a cross pattern
  • Let the area dry before polishing using a napping brush or a suede cloth
  • Clean the spills as soon as possible to keep them from setting

For dry stains

  • Remove loose dirt by brushing gently using a suede brush
  • Remove the stain completely using a suede eraser or a brown gum eraser
  • Use a piece of sandpaper to remove stubborn pieces of the stain
  • Use a suede napping brush to restore the condition of the suede after the stain is completely gone

For grease stains

Grease rarely finds its way on to your suede sofa. But if it does, here are a few tips on how to get rid of it

  • Pat cornstarch or talcum powder onto the stain and leave it overnight
  • The powder helps to absorb the oils
  • Use a vacuum to remove the powder the following day
  • Once the powder is off, use a brown gum eraser or suede eraser to remove the remaining traces of the stain
  • You might need to repeat these steps a few times until the stain is completely removed

For blood stains

  • As with most fabrics, blood can be difficult to remove from suede. But, there’s a simple method you can use.
  • Mix warm water and soap. Try to make as many bubbles as possible
  • Using a clean sponge, gently rub the stain using the foam only in small rubbing motions so you don’t spread the stain.
  • Use a clean soft cloth to wipe the area clean until it’s dry

No matter what found your way onto your beloved suede sofa, this simple guide has a solution on how you can get rid of it. From simple cleaning and maintenance methods to innovative ways to get rid of tough stains, you have it all.

Keeping your suede sofa in the best condition for many years should be much easier now with all these cleaning tips.

If you still need a helping hand CHOR offers a wide variety of cleaning services including Office Cleaning Services to keep your business in tip-top condition.

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