How to Clean Suede With Vinegar

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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How to Clean Suede With Vinegar
Spots on suede shoes and other items may usually be cleaned with white vinegar. (Suede man's low shoes on a white background image by terex from

Suede leather should not be soaked for cleaning, as this can ruin it; however, spot cleaning suede leather is fine. Cleaning stains on suede is easier if you use a common household product---vinegar---as your cleaning agent. Vinegar should not harm the suede, although you should always do a spot test first just to make sure the suede's dyes will not run or fade.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Suede brush
  • Toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Cloth
  • Sponge

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  1. 1

    Brush the suede with a suede brush. If you do not have one on hand, use a dry toothbrush to loosen stains.

  2. 2

    Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a bowl. Dip a cloth in the vinegar. Do a colour-fast test on the suede by rubbing one small, discreet area with the vinegar-soaked cloth. If dye transfers to the cloth, you should not use the vinegar and should consult a professional leather cleaner.

  3. 3

    Rub the cloth over soiled areas of the suede. If the whole item is soiled, wet a sponge in the vinegar, squeeze out the excess and rub this over the suede, as advised by Reader's Digest.

  4. 4

    Allow the suede to dry fully, then rub it again with a suede brush or, lightly, with a dry toothbrush. This raises the nap.

Tips and warnings

  • The suede item may smell like vinegar for a while after cleaning. This will fade.

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