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How to Remove Body Oil From Suede

Updated February 21, 2019

Body oil often leaves a dark stain around the necks of suede garments. Although suede isn't always easy to maintain, removing the body oil as soon as possible is key. The longer the body oil is allowed to remain, the more it will set into the suede, and the more difficult its removal will be. If you feel uncertain about cleaning the suede, refer the problem to a professional cleaner who specialises in suede or leather.

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  1. Sprinkle the oily area with a generous application of cornflour. Allow the cornflour to remain on the oily stain for 10 minutes, which allows enough time for the cornflour to absorb the body oil from the fabric.

  2. Brush the cornflour from the suede, then restore the nap by brushing the suede with a suede brush.

  3. Repeat the cornflour treatment if the first time fails to remove all of the body oil. Alternatively, you can treat the stain with household vinegar. Moisten a soft, cotton cloth with a small amount of vinegar, then brush the suede lightly with the cloth. Don't allow the suede to become saturated. Allow the stain to air dry, then brush the suede to restore the nap.

  4. Use a leather or suede cleaning product if the body oil stain is stubborn and can't be removed by simple at-home treatments. A leather or suede cleaning product may also be needed if the body oil stain is old.

  5. Tip

    A neck scarf helps protect the neck and collar of suede garments from damaging body oils. You can also cover the headrests of suede furniture with a protective cover, what in older times people called "antimacassars," which protected furniture from stains caused by men's hair oil and pomades.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cornflour
  • Suede brush
  • Vinegar
  • Soft, cotton cloth
  • Leather or suede cleaner

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

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