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How to Clean Moleskin Upholstery

Updated February 21, 2017

Moleskin is a suede-like fabric, composed of a tightly woven blend of cotton and linen fibres. The fabric is used to manufacture clothing, linens and furniture upholstery. Because the fabric is used in upholstery, it is typically non-removable and, therefore, must be washed by hand. Regardless of whether something was spilt on the fabric or it became dirty with routine use, the fabric will eventually need to be cleaned. When the time comes, use only mild laundry detergents to clean spots and stains

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  1. Attach the upholstery attachment to the hose of your vacuum cleaner. Run the attachment over the upholstery to remove dirt, dust, hair and lint.

  2. Fill a small cleaning bucket with 2 tbsp of a bleach- and chlorine-free liquid washing powder per 1 gallon of cold water.

  3. Dip a nylon, soft-bristled cleaning brush into the soapy water. Scrub the soap into the moleskin fabric, following the grain of the fabric. Scrub the entire surface of the upholstery.

  4. Dump the soapy water out. Rinse the cleaning bucket. Fill with cool water.

  5. Dip a soft cloth into the cool water. Wring the cloth to remove moisture. Dab at the sofa to remove soap residue. Continue dabbing until no more residue is being removed.

  6. Allow the fabric to air dry.

  7. Tip

    If the moleskin fabric can be removed, such as pillow cover, it can be machine-washed in a gentle, cold water cycle. Allow the fabric to air dry.


    Do not use chlorine or bleach to clean moleskin. It can discolour the upholstery. Never use hot water, steam or heat to clean moleskin. It can cause the fabric to shrink.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner and upholstery attachment
  • Washing powder
  • Cleaning bucket
  • Cleaning brush
  • Soft cloth

About the Author

Kallie Johnson

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.

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