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  • Larissa Klinger

The best (Non Toxic) Way to Clean and Deodorize Suede

Updated: Mar 10


Suede can be a little tricky to clean. Do to its rougher texture, it can not be buffed with a polish like regular leather. It is also sensitive to water. In fact, using water can actually make the problem worse. These intimidating reasons are why companies try to sell you on products filled with harsh chemicals or that are toxic to you and the environment. But lucky for you I have some hacks to make this care easy and manageable. You probably have some of the materials in your home already. Read on to learn how to effectively clean and deodorize your suede articles the safe and thrifty way.



For Scuffs and Dirt

Lightly brush the suede with a bristly brush. You can purchase a suede brush kit... or simply use an old toothbrush. This helps to remove loose dirt and debris. I like to start by brushing in one direction. Once I have most of the spot cleaned I will go back and forth lightly.


For Harder to Removove Dirt and Stains

Use a suede rubber on harder to remove stains. This helps to penetrate a little deeper into the material's nap and lightly scratch off the top layer of suede. Use slow deliberate strokes that aren't against the grain. Follow up with a bristly brush to restore the suede's texture.


For more Stubborn set in Stains and Salt Marks

Use White Distilled Vinegar. Unlike water- this will not damage the suede. Dampen a small part of a cloth or rag with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rub the dampened cloth onto the stain in a circular motion. Let it completely dry and then follow up with a bristly brush to restore the suede's texture.



To Remove Odor from Suede

Because Suede is a porous material it can easily absorb smells. It is also susceptible to mold and mildew so it can acquire a musty smell.

White vinegar comes to the rescue again!

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a natural deodorizer. Dampen a cloth or rag in undiluted white distilled vinegar and wipe down the suede following the grain.

Once the vinegar on the article is dry, use a suede brush to restore the suede's texture.

**If the lining of a suede article has a smell, use a vodka refresh spray!


These tricks are perfect for getting your suede boots and coats cleaned and ready to store before the spring weather is here. Let me know if you try these hacks, and make sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter to get helpful sustainable tips like this straight to your inbox.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.


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