How to remove mildew from suede

The slightest amount of dampness and warmth can cause mildew to grow on a suede jacket or furniture. This living organism thrives in these conditions and, left unattended, quickly will grow, leaving stains and odour on the surface. Because suede is a natural and porous material, you must remove the mildew carefully to avoid damaging the suede. Home remedies and the driest cleaning method possible help get rid of mildew stains on suede, along with its musty odour.

Bring the suede item outdoors if possible, and brush visible mildew spores off the surface. If you cannot bring it outside, vacuum the item instead. Throw the vacuum bag away to prevent the mildew from transferring to another surface.

Mix a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Dip a clean sponge in the alcohol solution, and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible.

Gently sponge the mildew stain on the suede until it's gone; rinse the sponge frequently and apply more rubbing alcohol solution as needed.

Press a clean cloth onto the surface of the suede. Move to a dry spot on the cloth and continue to wick up moisture until no more transfers to the cloth.

Aim a fan at the site of the mildew stain on the suede. Allow the air from the fan to help dry the surface faster. Brush the suede with a clean, dry scrub brush to blend in the nap.


Sponge mildewed suede with a cloth dampened in vinegar. Vinegar kills mildew and is safe to use on suede clothing and upholstery. Remove any lingering mildew odours by sprinkling the surface with baking soda. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight before vacuuming it off.


Avoid scrubbing suede as you could spread the stain and damage the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrub brush
  • Vacuum (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • Fan
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.