How to Wash a Suede Jacket

Some people often criticize suede jackets for not being the most practical of jackets, but even the most vocal critic will agree that suede jackets are undoubtedly one of the coolest.

Their soft fabric and their fashionable look add a touch of class to your appearance. However, suede is a delicate fabric that requires great care if you decide to wash it on your own.

In this article, you will see the best way to wash a suede jacket without destroying them.

How to Wash Your Suede Jacket

Suede Jacket

Water is the greatest enemy of your suede jacket, so you can’t just toss it in a washing machine and hope for the best. Even washing by hand is generally not the best approach.

Usually, suede jackets come with the “dry-clean only” instructions, and you should hand them over to a dry cleaning professional. The dry cleaner should be skilled in washing suede fabric and cleaning it without water.

But given the high cost of dry cleaning, you no doubt want to avoid going to the dry cleaners all the time. The steps below will show you several ways of ridding your jacket of lighter stains at home.

Step One: Lay the Jacket on a Flat Surface

Spread out the jacket as much as possible. Button up the jacket entirely and put it on the right side.

Step Two: Brush the Jacket with a Suede Brush

Suede Brush

One of the disadvantages of suede is how easily it attracts dust and other light debris, but you can solve this problem by using suede brushes.

The brushes are soft enough to prevent spoiling the jacket but strong enough to remove dust and other debris from the jacket. A regular toothbrush can work fine if you don’t have a suede brush.

Brush up every part of the jacket until you fluff up every part of the jacket. An added advantage to brushing your jacket is that it loosens up the suede jacket’s fabric, making it easier to wash off other forms of stains, especially embedded stains.

Step Three: Spot Clean Stains on the Jacket

Suede Eraser
Jumbo Eraser Suede Cleaner

If there are conspicuous stains on the jacket, just brushing them will not have the desired effect. Since you can’t soak the suede in water, spot cleaning is the best method.

You can do this in two ways:

Spot Cleaning the Jacket Using a Vinegar Solution

For this method, you will need a small bowl, a little vinegar, and a piece of a soft white cloth. Fill two-thirds of the bowl with water and add white vinegar to the remaining part.

Dip the cloth in the water and squeeze until it becomes damp, and use the damp cloth to scrub the stained parts of the jacket. 

Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to spritz the vinegar solution (solution should be two parts water and one part vinegar) evenly on every part of the jacket.

Be careful not to soak any part of the jacket with water excessively.

Spot Cleaning Using a Suede Eraser

Suede erasers are block-like materials for rubbing off dirt and scuff marks from suede fabric. 

Using suede erasers might take some time, but if you are patient, you can get the stains out without harming the material.

To use a suede eraser effectively, follow the steps below:

  • Spread the jacket on a flat surface
  • Rub the suede eraser on all stained parts.
  • Use a suede brush to fluff up the nap after using the eraser.

Note: if the stains remain after treating with vinegar and suede eraser, take the jacket to a professional dry cleaner who specializes in washing suede.

How to Wash Specific Stains Off Your Suede Jacket

Different stains require different cleaning approaches, and the same is valid for suede jackets. 

Here are different kinds of stains that can affect your jacket and the ways you can clean them:

Cleaning Oily and Sweaty Stains

Oily and sweat stains can be tough to remove because they tend to sink into the fabric. Sweat stains usually stick to the collar and cuffs of jackets.

To remove such stains, sprinkle the stain with baby powder or cornstarch and allow it to soak for an hour. The powder or cornstarch will take on an oily look.

Once this happens, brush off the powder from the jacket with a suede brush. Give the jacket a good brushing if the stain is gone.

If the stain remains, repeat the process until all oily stains disappear entirely.

Cleaning Food and Mud Stains

Sometimes, food and mud stains are inevitable as we wear our jackets. Not to worry, you can clean off these types of stains as well:

First, use the sharp end of your credit card or a blunt knife to scrape off an excess stub. Allow the stain to dry.

Once it is dry, you can treat the stains in one of three ways:

1. Gently rub the stain with a damp microfilter cloth to remove the dried-up stain as much as possible.

2. Use a suede eraser to scrub off the stain gently. If a suede eraser is unavailable, you can use a pencil eraser.

3. If the stain is too tough, use an emery board nail file to remove the stain.

After treating the dried stains, use a suede brush to rub the stained area. Start gently and then gradually progress to more vigorous action.

Cleaning Liquid Stains 

Sometimes we might encounter liquid stains from sodas, juices, and other liquid substances.

The best approach is to address the stains quickly, so they don’t set into the jacket’s fabric. Use a towel or a cloth to blot out as much liquid from the fabric as possible.

Use gentle dabbing motions, so you don’t press the liquid further into the jacket and dry under direct heat. Once the stain is dry, use a suede brush or eraser to remove the stain.

Tips on Preserving Your Suede Jackets Between Wash

It is generally good to clean your suede jacket as often as necessary, but the nature of its fabric means that we should limit exposure to laundry products as much as possible.

Following the tips below will reduce your need to wash your suede jacket and would even help it last longer.

1. Always protect your jacket with a good suede protector spray before wearing them. Suede protectors increase the stain and water repellency of the jacket.

2. Wear a scarf around your neck to reduce the amount of sweat, and bodily oils seep from your neck to your jacket.

3. Water is detrimental to suede fabric, so they are not ideal for wet conditions. A reasonable precaution would be checking the weather forecast before wearing your jacket.

If you accidentally get caught up in wet weather, don’t allow them to be wet for long. Air dry on a sturdy hanger as soon as possible.

4. Reduce the number of times you wash the jacket by deodorizing it. Baking powder and coffee grounds are suitable odor absorbents.

To do this:

  • Put the baking powder or coffee grounds in a small bag or envelope.
  • Place the small bag in a more oversized bag.
  • Put the suede jacket into the oversized bag and seal it for five to seven days. 

The baking powder will absorb all odors from the jacket in at least five days, and you can wear them without any smells.

5. If you can’t clean the stains at home, take the jacket to a dry cleaner to prevent the stains from sticking to the jacket’s fabric. The longer the stain remains, the harder it becomes to remove.

Remember that the dry cleaner you take your jacket to must be skilled in cleaning suede jackets.

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