How to Clean Faux Suede

Written by clare bills
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There are different types of faux suede. The most luxurious is Ultrasuede®, which is fabric sold for making clothing or upholstery. Ultrasuede can cost as much as £44 per yard and is heavier than most of the other faux suede's such as micro suede. Microsuede is actually a brushed polyester, or microfiber, which is a very popular choice for furniture and clothing. Manufacturers of both types of faux suede will tell you that their product cleans easily, but there are challenges for both fabrics. Look for a label to check your manufacturer's recommendations.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper towels
  • Cotton rags
  • Dry cleaning product recommended for microfibers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Baking soda
  • Furniture deodoriser sprays
  • Toothbrush
  • Soft scrubbing brush
  • Lint brush

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  1. 1

    Dab at spills as soon as they happen. Get a paper towel or a cotton rag, such as an old T-shirt, and absorb as much of the spill as you can without rubbing. Micro suede will repel small spills, but if the moisture seeps into the fabric it can leave a water mark.

  2. 2

    Use rubbing alcohol, or ammonia, on a wet rag to work on oily spots. Rub gently and then use a clean dry rag to blot the spot and hopefully remove the oily stain. Let it air dry.

  3. 3

    Try a dry cleaning product for a really difficult stain. Follow the manufacturer's directions.

  4. 4

    Remove odours from your micro suede by putting baking soda over the area and leaving it to soak in. Vacuum it off or shake it out. If you use a furniture deodoriser spray, just mist lightly or you will leave watermarks on your faux suede.

  5. 5

    Raise the nap with a toothbrush or another brush made for suede products. This will help areas that may have become hardened.

  1. 1

    Use a lint brush to restore the nap of your Ultrasuede on a regular basis. Use a vacuum to dust the fabric and follow up with a barely damp rag to remove additional dust and surface dirt.

  2. 2

    Pat spills right away with a paper towel, but don't rub or you risk embedding them into the fabric. For dried-in spills, brush them with a suede brush and vacuum up the dried material.

  3. 3

    Wipe difficult stains with a warm, but damp, rag. Wipe gently and use only the clean part of the rag. When it's dry, brush the area to restore the nap.

  4. 4

    Use two rags for oily stains. Soak one in alcohol and keep the other clean and dry. Pat the stain with the alcohol-soaked rag to loosen the dirt and then lift it off with the dry rag. Repeat as necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Many faux suede fabrics can be washed in the washing machine, so check for care instructions on your garment or furniture. The fabric may be lined with other fabrics that are not safe in the washing machine.
  • Do not use a dryer to dry your microfiber unless you are certain you have removed the stain. This could set the stain in for good if it has not been removed.
  • Manufacturers of Ultrasuede say never to "pour a cleaning product directly onto Ultrasuede."
  • Use a well-ventilated room if you clean your faux suede with rubbing alcohol or ammonia and avoid contact with cigarettes or open flames.

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