diy suede cleaner

DIY Suede Cleaner: Keep Your Suede Looking Fresh

Suede shoes and clothing are fashionable and comfortable, but they require special care to maintain their appearance. While it’s always best to take suede items to a professional cleaner, you can save yourself time and money by cleaning suede at home. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to make a DIY suede cleaner that is safe and effective.

Understanding Suede

Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish. This means that the surface of the leather has been brushed to create a velvet-like texture. Suede is also more delicate than other leathers, so it requires special care. Suede items are prone to stains, scratches, and water damage. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can keep your suede looking fresh.

Ingredients for Your DIY Suede Cleaner

To make a homemade suede cleaner, you’ll need the following ingredients:

– White vinegar
– Lukewarm water
– Soft-bristled brush
– Clean towel
– Paper towel
– Cornstarch or baby powder

Steps to Make Your DIY Suede Cleaner

Step 1 – Remove Dust and Dirt

Before cleaning suede, remove any dust or dirt on the surface. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the surface of the suede in one direction to avoid damaging the nap.

Step 2 – Treat Stains

If there are any stains on the suede, treat them with cornstarch or baby powder. Sprinkle the powder on the stain and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. The powder will absorb the oil or grease, making it easier to brush off later.

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Step 3 – Mix the Cleaner

Mix one-part white vinegar with one-part lukewarm water in a bowl. Dip a clean towel into the cleaning mixture and wring out any excess liquid.

Step 4 – Clean the Suede

Gently rub the damp towel on the surface of the suede in a circular motion. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or saturate the suede with water.

Step 5 – Dry the Suede

Use a clean towel or paper towel to blot the suede and remove any excess moisture. Then, let the suede air dry away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Step 6 – Brush the Suede

Once the suede is dry, use a soft-bristled brush to brush the surface in one direction. This will help restore the nap of the suede and remove any remaining dust or dirt.


1. Can I use my DIY suede cleaner on all suede items?
Yes, you can use this cleaner on most suede items, including shoes, jackets, and bags. However, always test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the suede first to ensure that it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

2. Can I use water to clean suede?
Using water to clean suede is not recommended as it can cause water damage and discoloration. Lukewarm water may be used to dilute the cleaner, but it should not be used to saturate the suede.

3. How often should I clean my suede items?
It’s a good idea to clean suede items once a month to keep them looking fresh. However, if there are any stains or spills, you should clean them immediately to prevent them from setting in.

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4. Can I use a normal brush to clean suede?
It’s best to use a soft-bristled brush specifically designed for suede. Normal brushes or abrasive materials can damage the nap and texture of the suede.

5. What should I do if my suede item gets wet?
If your suede item gets wet, blot it with a clean towel and let it air dry away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Once it’s dry, brush the surface in one direction to restore the nap. Avoid using a hairdryer or other heat sources to dry suede as it can cause water damage and shrinkage.


With this simple and effective DIY suede cleaner, you can keep your suede items looking like new. Remember to take care when cleaning suede and always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first. By following this guide, you can add years to the life of your suede items and save money on professional cleaning services.

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