How to Get Ink Off Suede

Updated February 16, 2017

Brushed suede has a smoothed napped finish. Used in shoes, handbags, clothing and furniture, it a popular material that represents elegance and luxury. When an ink stain appears on your suede items, however, you will need expert tips to clean the nap without destroying the delicate fabric. Using common household products and a steady hand, you can remove ink stains quickly.

Blot the stain with an old white T-shirt. If the stain is fresh and still damp, dab the stain to remove ink from the top surface of the suede.

Scrub the ink with a suede brush or emery board. The rough surface of the emery board and the tough bristles of the brush lift the nap to remove the first layers of the ink.

Apply vinegar to the stain. Dab the edge of a cloth into a teaspoon of vinegar. Dab the ink stain gently. Wait 10 minutes. Using a clean white cloth, blot the vinegar-soaked area. Air dry the area for 30 minutes in a well-ventilated area.

Rub the soiled area with ultra fine sandpaper. Using a circular motion, apply the sandpaper to remove any remaining ink and vinegar residue.

Clean the remaining ink with isopropyl alcohol. If any ink remains, douse a cotton swab with alcohol. Press the alcohol into the ink. Rub the stain with a rough terry cloth towel to remove. Brush with the suede brush to remove the stain completely.

Lift the nap with steam. Using hot water and a tea kettle, apply the steam two inches from the suede to raise the flattened nap. Air dry the suede away from heat.

Apply suede silicone spray to protect the fabric. Spray the suede light with a protectant to prevent future ink stains.


Before removing the ink, try an ink patch test. Dab the suede with the vinegar or alcohol to test for potential suede discolouration or damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Terry cloth towel
  • Suede brush
  • Ultra fine Sandpaper
  • Tea kettle
  • Vinegar
  • Emery board
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Silicone suede protectant
  • Small white cloth or T-shirt
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About the Author

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.