How to Remove Adhesive from Suede

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Jewel asked: I have a suede coat that has double sided tape on it. What can I do? It’s just a little strip, about 6 inches long and ¼ inch wide.

Removing adhesive from suede can be challenging. In more severe cases, it will require removing a small amount of the suede’s surface. Here are the steps ranging from the easiest to the most difficult. Work through them until the adhesive is removed from you suede piece.

You Will Need:

  • Spoon
  • Artgum eraser (white erasers)
  • Emery board
  • Soft cloth

Steps to Remove the Adhesive:

  1. Suede cannot tolerate many of the chemicals that will weaken adhesive. The methods below will remove the adhesive without applying liquids or chemicals to the surface.
  2. Begin by scraping off as much of the adhesive as possible. Scraping it with a spoon will help to curl the adhesive so that it can be picked off.
  3. Once a majority of the adhesive is removed, rub the remaining residue off with an eraser.
  4. If the eraser cannot remove the final layer of sticky residue, it can be sanded away.
  5. Use an emery board to very lightly sand the surface. This will remove the adhesive along with a small amount of the suede. Work slowly and carefully so that little suede will be removed.
  6. If the nap of the suede is affected, it can be restored by brushing the surface with a suede brush.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If emery boards are not available, fine sandpaper (grade 6/0-8/0) can be substituted.
  • If the adhesive cannot be removed, consider having the piece professionally serviced to remove the sticky substance. This is advisable if the piece is of high value.
  • Though chemicals are not recommended, some have found WD-40 effective and safe for removing adhesive from suede. Simply spray some onto the surface and rub the adhesive in a circular motion until it is removed.
  • Before trying additional cleaning methods, test a small, hidden area first to ensure there is no staining or discoloration to the suede.

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