How to Clean a Suede Couch?

Suede is a luxurious material that adds a touch of elegance and comfort to any home. Its velvety texture and unique look make it a popular choice for furniture, especially couches.

However, suede, whether natural or faux, requires special care to maintain its beauty. Cleaning a suede couch can seem daunting, but it can be a simple task with the proper knowledge and tools.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process, ensuring your suede couch looks its best.

How to Clean a Suede Couch

Cleaning a suede couch involves several steps; here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step – 1:  Identify the Type of Suede

Before you start cleaning, you must know what type of suede your couch is made of. Natural suede is made from the underside of animal skin, giving it a soft and pliable texture.

Faux suede, or microsuede, is a synthetic material designed to mimic the look and feel of natural suede.

Each type requires different cleaning methods, so identifying your couch’s material is the first step.

Your couch should have a tag with a cleaning code.

  • ‘W’ means it can be cleaned with water-based solutions
  • ‘S’ means it should be cleaned with a dry-cleaning solvent
  • ‘WS’ means either method can be used
  •  ‘X’ means it should only be vacuumed

Step – 2: Things Required For Cleaning

Before you dive into cleaning, gather all the necessary materials and tools.

  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • A suede brush
  • A clean cloth or sponge
  • A suede cleaner is suitable for your type of suede.

Always do a spot test with your cleaning solution on a hidden couch area to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration.

Step – 3: Regular Vacuum Maintenance

Regular maintenance is vital to keeping your suede couch looking its best. To remove dust and small particles, vacuum your suede couch at least once a week.

Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to avoid damaging the suede. In addition to vacuuming, you should also brush your suede couch regularly.

This helps keep the suede’s nap looking fresh and prevents it from becoming flat and shiny. Use a suede brush and always brush in the direction of the nap.

Step – 4: Spot Cleaning

Accidents happen; when they do, it’s essential to act quickly. The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove.

For water-based stains like juice or coffee, blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible.

Avoid rubbing, as this can cause the stain to spread. For oil-based stains like butter or salad dressing, sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or baking soda on the stain and let it sit for a few hours.

The powder will absorb the oil, making the stain easier to clean. After a few hours, vacuum the powder and use a suede brush to restore the nap.

Step – 5: Deep Cleaning

Over time, your suede couch may need a deep cleaning to remove dirt and grime that regular maintenance can’t handle.

Start by vacuuming the couch thoroughly to remove any loose dirt. Then, apply a suede cleaner to a clean cloth or sponge and gently rub it into the suede. Always follow the instructions on the cleaner, and remember to do a spot test first.

Step – 6: Advanced Cleaning Techniques

Consider steam cleaning if your suede couch needs more than a simple clean. This method uses hot water vapor to penetrate the suede and lift out dirt and stains. It’s a powerful cleaning technique, but it should be used cautiously.

Too much moisture can damage suede, so it’s essential to use a steam cleaner designed for upholstery and let your couch dry thoroughly afterward.

For stubborn stains or deep-set dirt, you should use a suede-specific product. These cleaners are designed to be gentle on suede while removing dirt and stains. Always follow the instructions on the product, and remember to do a spot test first.

Step – 7: Drying

After cleaning your suede couch, it’s essential to let it dry completely. This can take several hours or even overnight.

Please avoid using the couch or placing any items on it until it dries. Once dry, use a suede brush to fluff up the nap and restore the couch’s soft, velvety texture.

Consider using a suede protector spray to protect your couch from future stains. These sprays create a protective barrier that repels liquids and prevents stains.

They can be easily applied at home, but always do a spot test first to ensure the spray doesn’t alter the suede’s color.

Professional Cleaning: When and Why

Sometimes, a stain is too stubborn, or the suede couch is too valuable or delicate to risk a DIY cleaning. In these cases, it’s best to call in the professionals.

Professional upholstery cleaners have the knowledge, tools, and experience to clean your suede couch safely and effectively.

They can also advise you on how to care for your suede couch and prevent future stains. While professional cleaning can be more expensive than DIY, it can be worth the cost for the peace of mind it provides.

If you’re considering professional cleaning, get quotes from several companies and check their reviews to ensure you choose a reputable provider.

Preserving Your Suede Couch: Tips and Tricks

Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your suede couch and keep it looking its best. Here are some tips and tricks for preserving your suede couch:

1. Avoid direct sunlight: Sunlight can fade the color of your suede couch. Try to position your couch out of direct sunlight or use blinds or curtains to protect it.

2. Rotate cushions: If your couch has removable cushions, rotate them regularly to ensure even wear.

3. Use a suede protector: A spray can help repel liquids and prevent stains. Treat stains immediately: The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove.


1. Can I use a regular household cleaner on my suede couch?

No, regular household cleaners can damage the suede. Always use a cleaner specifically designed for suede.

2. Can I use water to clean my suede couch?

Water can cause stains on suede, so it’s best to use it sparingly. If your couch has a ‘W’ cleaning code, it can be cleaned with water-based solutions. However, always do a spot test first.

3. How often should I clean my suede couch?

Vacuum your suede couch at least once a week to remove dust and small particles. How often you deep clean depends on how much use the couch gets, but generally, a deep clean every 3-6 months should be sufficient.

4. Can I steam clean my suede couch?

Yes, steam cleaning can be an effective way to clean a suede couch. However, too much moisture can damage suede, so using a steam cleaner designed for upholstery and letting your couch dry thoroughly afterward is essential.

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