How to Remove Oil Stains from Suede


Ann asked: How can I clean greasy butter stains out of my suede jacket? I dropped some melted butter on my suede jacket while eating. I also had some red sangria wine. However, I believe the stain is grease from the butter. Please give me some suggestions on how to get the stain out.

Suede needs quick treatment when it comes to removing stains. Because the fabric does not have a protective coating, it absorbs the stains more easily. If left too long, they may not be removable as they will have discolored the suede permanently. Treat grease stains as soon as possible with the method below for the best results.

You Will Need:

  • Corn starch
  • Vinegar
  • Soft cloths
  • Suede brush or buff

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. If the stain is still fresh on the surface, use a cloth or napkin to soak up as much as possible. If a spill happens while you’re out, this is a good start. The rest of the stain can be removed once you return home.
  2. Cover the stain with corn starch. Be liberal with the application.
  3. Allow the corn starch to set on the stain for 10 minutes. The powder will absorb the oil and pull it out of the suede.
  4. Brush it off of the surface. One application may remove the stain completely.
  5. If a large amount of oil remains, repeat the corn starch.
  6. If there is still a small amount of residue on the surface, moisten a cloth with vinegar.
  7. Gently brush the surface with the cloth. Brush lightly and avoid allowing the suede to become soaked with vinegar.
  8. Once the stain is removed, allow the suede to dry.
  9. Brush the surface with a suede brush to restore the nap as needed.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Some light stains can be removed with an art gum eraser. Ensure the eraser is white as the pink ones will cause additional staining.
  • If the stain is old or set in, it will require professional cleaning.
  • There are special suede cleaning products and stain removers available at leather stores. These are also effective in removing stains. They are a better choice when attempting to remove old grease or oil stains.


  1. Sarah S. says:

    I tried this and it worked–not with 10 minutes of cornstarch, but six days. It got the butter stain right out of my new suede boots. You just need to keep rubbing it in.

  2. Sarah F. says:

    This worked on my suede boots too! Just cornstarch – I left it for about an hour and my stain was fresh – it’s gone!

  3. Denise says:

    I had just dropped mayonnaise on my pink skirt. Soaked up excess and googled and found this amazing tip. Thank you! It worked beautifully.

  4. Beth says:

    I took my favorite EMU suede boots out of storage this winter and noticed that I had lingering peanut oil stains from last year’s turkey fry. I dabbed a little white vinegar on the stains and covered them in corn starch. It was amazing to watch the vinegar and cornstarch gravitate to the spots. I waited an hour for the solution to dry, brushed it off with a toothbrush and the stains were gone!

  5. Gill says:

    Sorry to be a numpty, but I guess this might be American… is corn starch the same as “cornflour”? Thank you. Managed to spill oil from a tin of sardines on the husband’s new “Moshulu” slippers… he is NOT impressed!

  6. Melanie says:

    Yes, corn starch and corn flour are the same thing. Another term for them is “maize starch.”
    Source: Wikipedia – Corn starch

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