How To Clean Different Suede Couches and Furniture

A suede couch is a comfortable and luxurious seat. It's durable but delicate to care for and maintain.

Pet hair, wine stains, and food crumbs on a couch are normal. You should know how to clean suede because it's one of the high-traffic areas in your home.

When cleaning suede furniture at home, you must be extra careful not to damage its shine and softness. So, how do you clean suede couches like a professional?

  • Vacuum it
  • Treat the stains
  • Wipe the couch with a damp microfiber cloth
  • Use a suede stain remover to clean up all stains
  • Allow a few minutes to dry
  • Brush it to restore its original appearance

If you're looking for the best way to clean your suede couch and how to remove stains, read on.

a little boy in a tan sweat suit sitting on a suede couch playing with a small Zerorez toy van

How Do You Clean Suede Couches Correctly?

First, ensure you have all the necessary equipment and products.

They include:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Suede brush
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Bucket/ bowl
  • Cornstarch/baby powder
  • Whisk
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • A lint-free microfiber cloth
  • Commercial glue remover

Step 1: Determine the Material of Your Suede Couch

To know how to clean a suede couch, determine whether it's made from synthetic microfiber or natural suede. Each type requires a different approach to prevent damage.

Nylon and polyester fibers are cut and woven to make a microfiber suede couch, which is plush and soft like natural suede. A microfiber suede couch has tightly woven fibers, making it highly resistant to stains, dust, and dirt, so microfiber can be cleaned.

Natural suede is soft because it is made from the underside of animal skin. It's also thinner than traditional leather. Natural suede can be obtained from pigs, deer, goats, and calves, but mostly lambskin. It can be dyed or undyed natural suede, but both have a fuzzy and napped finish.

Check the attached care tag if you're unsure what material your couch is made from. It also gives you instructions on how to clean the suede couch.

Below is the interpretation of the codes found on the care tag.

  • Code X: Don't use cleaning detergents; they cause shrinking or staining. Vacuum clean or hire an expert to clean the couch correctly and safely.
  • Code W-S: Use either solvent-based or water-based products.
  • Code S: Use a water-free or dry-cleaning solvent when removing soil, dirt, or stains. As these solvents are flammable, stay away from candles and other open flames, and ensure the room is properly ventilated.
  • Code W: Use water-based cleaning solvents.

Step 2: Vacuum Away Debris

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove soil, dirt, and dust from the suede couch. A crevice tool and an upholstery brush attachment are ideal for preventing damage.

If you don't have a vacuum cleaner, you can remove dirt and dust with a suede brush.

Step 3: Treat Stains

Use white vinegar to clean genuine leather. If you're dealing with the original suede, add a few drops of white vinegar to the water and then apply it to a microfiber cloth.

Don't overwet the cloth; let it be damp, and then use it to remove the stains by dabbing, not rubbing.

Add a pinch of baking soda in a basin of water and use the paste to remove stains on suede couches so it doesn't damage them. Add a drop of mild dish detergent to the paste for stubborn stains. Dampen a microfiber cloth slightly by dipping it into the paste and then dab it on the surface to remove the stain.

To effectively remove all stains, treat each differently. For example, you can use commercial glue when dealing with sticky residue. Cornstarch is ideal for removing oil-based stains because it absorbs them well.

Step 4: Make a Cleaning Solution

Some microfiber suede couches may be cleaned with Isopropyl Alcohol. Others should be cleaned with water and soap. You must always refer to the care tag to know what the manufacturers recommend.

a microfiber suede or ultra suede gray couch with a pillow on it in a green-painted room

How to Clean Microfiber Suede With Water and Soap

  1. Add ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid to 4 cups of warm water
  2. Add ½ or 1 cup of vinegar (white) for stubborn stains
  3. Use a handheld mixer or a whisk to mix the solution until suds of soap form.
  4. Fill another bowl with plain, clean water to rinse the couch.

Step 1: Clean the Couch With Soap as You Rinse

Dip the suede brush in the soap suds (avoid the water) and brush the couch, starting with the couch back and moving down to the arms and then the cushions.

This helps prevent soiling the already-cleaned areas of the sofa. Work on one area at a time, spreading the suds evenly and scrubbing gently.

Brush the couch using cross patterns or small circular motions to remove dust and dirt trapped in the nap. To remove stubborn stains, use a solution of baking soda and water.

Rinse the brush using clean water (in a separate bowl) and shake it to ensure it's completely dry before applying fresh soap suds to clean another couch surface. Dip a microfiber cloth in plain, clean water to dampen it. Use it to wipe away the suds after cleaning an area.

Repeat this process (applying sud, scrubbing, and rinsing) until your couch is clean.

Step 2: Air-Dry the Couch

Place the couch where it can air dry properly so mold doesn't grow. Like when drying your carpets, open your windows and doors and/or turn on the fan to speed up the drying process.

Once completely dry, you can use a vacuum upholstery brush to brush and fluff its fibers. For great results, brush using the long sweeping motions to restore the couche's original appearance.

How to Clean Microfiber Suede With Isopropyl Alcohol

Start by vacuuming and removing stains, then proceed as illustrated below.

Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Products

Pour alcohol into a clean, dry spray bottle Pour in warm water into a clean bucket

Step 2: Clean the Couch

Start from the top, spraying alcohol on the back couch, the arms, and the cushions. Use a microfiber cloth to scrub the couch while it's still damp. You have to be quick because alcohol dries fast.

Use plain, clean water to rinse the cloth, wring it properly, and then rinse the couch until it's clean.

Step 3: Dry and Vacuum

Wait until the couch is completely dry before vacuuming. Moisture leaves water upholstery stains, which damages faux suede couches.

Once your sofa is dry, vacuum using an upholstery brush. It lifts the matted fibers, making the couch look neat and professionally cleaned.

How to Clean Your Natural Suede Couch

After you vacuum clean and remove stains, follow the following steps to clean a natural suede couch:

Step 1: Make a Cleaning Solution

Mix distilled white vinegar (30%) with clean water (70%).

Step 2: Clean the Couch

Dip the light-colored microfiber cloth into the solution, slightly dampening it. Then, dab your cleaning solution on your couch's stained or dirty parts. Scrub gently using the microfiber cloth so as not to damage the couch.

Step 3: Allow to Dry

Air dry the couch until it's completely dry. Avoid exposing a suede couch to direct sunlight; it can ruin it and cause fading.

Once completely dry, brush it using a long sweeping motion to restore its original softness and beauty. Use a suede brush to avoid damaging the material.

Step 4: Treat the Suede

Treat a suede using a protective spray to prevent moisture and stains from ruining your suede couch.

How Often Should You Clean a Suede Couch?

Clean a suede couch or a suede chair when stains and spills occur to stop them from setting in.

Vacuum your suede couch at least once a month to remove dirt and dust, and have it professionally cleaned twice a year.

male Zerorez technician cleaning a suede couch with steam cleaning hot water extraction tool

Does Hot Water Extraction Method Clean Suede Couches?

Indeed! The hot water extraction method (steam cleaning) cleans faux and natural suede upholstery and couches without damaging them. This method doesn't overwet the material, making it ideal for cleaning suede couches. It also removes odors and stubborn stains, making it the best.

How to Clean Ultra Suede Furniture?

Ultra suede furniture is resistant to pilling, discoloration, fraying, and stains, making it a great choice for people with pets and small children. Ultra suede looks and feels like natural suede, but it is mixed with polyurethane foam.

Here are the steps to follow when spot-cleaning your ultra-suede furniture:

  • If the spill has just happened, tap it gently with a paper towel to remove it.
  • For dry soiling, use a suede brush to remove the stain. If the stain is stubborn, dip a lint-free microfiber cloth in lukewarm water and wring it completely. Then, gently rub the stained area. Brush the area gently in case it looks tousled.
  • Allow the furniture to dry completely.

How to Remove Oil-Based Stains From Ultra-Suede Furniture

  1. Use a lint-free microfiber cloth or paper towel to wipe as much oil as possible. Avoid rubbing, as this will spread the stain further; dab it.
  2. Soak a clean cloth in ethyl alcohol and use it to tap the stained surface. Because ethyl alcohol is highly flammable, ensure your room is properly ventilated and avoid contact with candles or any other open flame.
  3. Use a dry, clean cloth to pat the oil off. Repeat this procedure until the oil-based stain is removed.
  4. Allow the furniture to dry completely before using it.

How to Remove Wax and Chewing Gum From Ultra-Suede Furniture

  1. Put ice cubes in a plastic bag, place it on the stain, and wait a few minutes for the wax or gum to harden.
  2. Chip it gently to avoid damaging your suede furniture
  3. Treat the surface using ethyl alcohol and rinse with clean water

Zerorez® has been cleaning faux suede, including microsuede couches, using hot water extraction. This method is also effective when cleaning upholstery and carpets. It effectively removes even stubborn stains without ruining the fabrics.

Engage us through a chat to clean suede furniture with our Zr™ Water water and cleaning equipment.

For over 20 years, we have offered suede professional couch cleaning services to countless happy customers.

Our customer care representatives are more than willing to answer your questions and offer the best advice. You can save your beautiful suede couch from permanent damage by sending us an inquiry, scheduling a cleaning service online.

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez Today!