Adam said, “Hello I have a brown suede leather jacket. After one part was heavily soaked, there seems to be a dark, almost black stain on it. I have tried soap and water, white vinegar, and steaming. None of these have taken it out. I contacted the manufacturer and he just said the jacket needs to be dry cleaned. Can you help me out?”
Suede is a delicate material that can easily stain. Thankfully though, it also has properties that allow it to be easily cleaned in most cases. Dry cleaning is always a good option for cleaning suede since even water can leave marks (as you have realized). However, the best way to clean suede to remove water marks is actually to rub up the nap. Follow the instructions below to do this.
You Will Need:
- A hairdryer
- A suede brush or dry towel
- An eraser or suede stick
- An emory board or sandpaper
Steps to Remove the Stains:
- First, allow the suede to fully air dry. Do not attempt to speed the drying process by applying heat. If you need the material to dry faster, use a fan or a hairdryer on the cool setting.
- The easiest way to remove water marks from suede is to rub up the nap of the suede. This can be done either with a suede brush or a dry towel. If using a towel, be sure to use a fluffy fiberous one like terry-cloth, not a flat microfiber one. Simply brush the suede gently until the marks are removed. Use a lifting motion as you rub to raise the fibers.
- If the towel or suede brush doesn’t fully remove the stains, use a pencil eraser. It is always best to avoid pink erasers as they can leave stains. Instead, use a white or art gum eraser. A suede cleaning stick can also be used. Gently rub the stains with the eraser until they are gone. This process also rubs up the nap and is very effective on water stains.
- If the stains are stubborn, rub the area lightly with an embory board or sandpaper. This will help when the nap is so flattened that it does not easily rub up. After loosening the nap with the sandpaper, go back to step 2 and start brushing up the nap again.
- If you don’t have any of the above materials, you can rub the stained area of the suede with a clean area of the suede to rub up the nap and remove the stains.
- A light steaming can help to raise flattened nap similarly to sandpaper. However, it is important to brush up the nap fully once it has been loosened in order to remove the stains.
- If the stains are stubborn and do not come out with the above methods, they will need to be treated by a professional.
- There are home dry cleaning kits available in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets, however, a professional will likely do a better job.
- There are water repellents made for suede that can be applied to help prevent future water stains. Be sure to only use one that is specifically made for suede though, as fabric water repellents can damage the material.
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg
- How to Clean Practically Anything by Consumer Reports
- Natural Stain Removal Secrets by Deborah L. Martin
- The Spot and Stain Remover Handbook by Jean Cooper
- 10,001 Hints & Tips for the Home by Reader’s Digest
- Stain Removal by Stephanie Zia