Some say that owning a suede sofa is like dating the prom queen - it looks and feels great, but it’s hard to get and requires a lot of (and we mean A Lot) attention and time.
Still, if you own a sofa, the chances are that it is a suede one. It’s the most popular material for furniture, particularly because of its durability. Plus, it makes each room look quite cosy and even somehow luxurious.
However, this doesn’t mean that you are elusive to dirt though.
Actually, this is one of the most pretentious fabrics, when it comes to maintaining it in appropriate (and clean) condition. Plus, couches are one of the items in a household that receive the most wear and tear.
And finally, those don’t come cheap at all.
What Does the Label Say?
The first thing you should do is to Check the label or the care tag, after all, you want to clean your sofa not ruin it. Let’s go through the alphabet once again but this time starting with W.
- A W-label indicates that it’s safe to use water when cleaning your couch.
- An S-label means that you can use solvents like rubbing alcohol, but the water is a no-no.
- An S-W label leaves some space for improvisation since you can use either water, a special solvent, or even some fancy mixture of both.
- An X-label basically ties your hands, because it indicates that you can’t use any liquid at all. So the vacuum cleaning seems to be the only option.
NB! - If you can’t find a care tag on your couch, a safe way to proceed is to treat it as if it has an S-label or you can call us instead. We’ll take more than proper care for your suede furniture.
If you’re certain that you want to proceed on your own, then you should know that once you’re sure that you’re using the appropriate cleaners, there is still much more to the story./li>
Get the Right Tools for the Job
Let’s start with all the supplies you will certainly need to get the job done perfectly.
Things you will need (include but are not limited to):
- Furniture cleaner for suede;
- A suede napping brush (these can be found at most shoe shops);
- A suede rubbing cloth;
- A suede eraser may come in handy as well
- A vacuum cleaner;
- Brown gum eraser or a suede eraser;
- A dry sponge;
- A waterproof spray or stain repellent
- Protective spray
First, you should remove all the cushions. This is the only way to clean both sides of your sofa and will make your march to thorough cleaning quite easier. It’s best if you remove all the cushions every week to vacuum any trapped dust, hair, or crumbs.
If your cushions are not removable and you can’t summon your supernatural powers, be extra careful to somehow clean the whole cushion.
Don’t stop here. After vacuuming, wipe both sides of the cushions with your suede brush to remove any dust or dirt that you missed.
Use a suede brush to work up the nap. If you don’t own a suede brush (because most people do not), a clean bath towel will do the job just as well.
Mix the proper cleaning solution and don’t overdo it. You won’t need gallons and remember - for couches with W-labels, fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few squirts of mild dish soap. If you’re dealing with an S-label care tag, fill a water bottle with undiluted rubbing alcohol instead.
Practice makes perfect so prepare to repeat your actions over and over again until you reach some visible results. If the stain is stubborn, you should treat the stain several times (we are saying several with no clear idea how many we’re talking about). Don’t forget to blot the couch with a clean towel. Or simply call us instead – we assure you this is quite easier.
Let’s Focus on the Stains Themselves
If you have to deal with Wet Stains have in mind that the faster you act, the better. This means that you should immediately leave your meal and your glass of wine aside and run for some cleaning supplies in the middle of your romantic dinner. This is necessary because suede is extra sensitive to moisture and any liquid (even water if you’re dealing with an S or X label) can irreversibly damage your luxurious upholstery.
Once you’re back to the crime scene, blot the spot gently with a clean towel (it’s preferable to pick a white one) and try to extract as much of the stain and moist as possible.
The good news is that if you’ve managed to blot the stain right after it occurred, the following procedure won’t be necessary.
If the stain is stubborn, you should use a slightly damp cloth and apply a proper (according to the label) spot treatment product. Then leave it on the affected area for a few minutes and use a clean damp cloth to rinse the place. If everything seems all right, your hair dryer may come in handy in order to dry your sofa faster, otherwise the liquid will be absorbed forever.
How to Deal With Old Stains
If you’re in a mood to finally deal with this dried up ketchup stain on your precious sofa, you can try this DIY trick. Just gently run the area using a pencil eraser (we’re not quite sure about this though but the internet said it’s helpful). You should know that there are also specialized erasers for suede, but the ordinary one is claimed do the job too. After
erasing the stain (without using Photoshop), brush off the spot using a soft brush. This should remove the excess dirt. If this doesn’t work, maybe it’s best to call a professional sofa cleaner. You’re not seriously expecting to get rid of stubborn stains like the ones from ink or crayon so easily, don’t you?!
How to Remove Grease Stains Yourself
You may try to use talcum powder by gently patting it into the grease stain and leaving it to stay overnight. It’s supposed to absorb the oils in the grease. On the next day, you should brush off or vacuum up the remaining powder.
Afterwards, use a brown gum eraser or suede eraser (which is far more appropriate) to remove any remaining traces of the stain.
Even if you’ve managed to do everything right so far, you may still have to repeat the procedure two or three times to completely remove the grease stain (or to call us instead).
There’s one more method you can try and this one comes with a certain spirit.
First, take two clean rags: a big dry one and a smaller, which you should soak in ethyl (rubbing) alcohol. Use the
drunk one to pat the stained area from the outside. Then pat off the loosened dirt and oil onto the dry rag. If the stain is resistant and still visible, repeat the process again. After the stain is gone, let the area dry off.
Remember to never pour any cleaning product directly onto the delicate fabric. We’re pretty sure you know that because of common sense but still - use ethyl alcohol in a well-ventilated space and avoid contact with eyes and open flame (it’s flammable, you know).
Not a Bloody Marry but Actual Blood
We won’t lie, it’s hard to remove a blood stain from any surface and when the case is a suede upholstery, the outcome may not be what you were aiming for.
You can at least try – by mixing warm water and soap. Be sure to make as many bubbles as possible (like in the Disney's version of the Cinderella story).
Take a clean sponge and gently rub the stain using only the foam by applying small rubbing motions to avoid spreading the stain instead of cleaning it.
Then wipe the area with a clean, soft cloth until it is dry.
When it Comes to Watermarks
If the suede is recently wet, let it dry and then try using a suede brush or a bath towel. If the watermarks are old, you can try to rewet the whole item with a spray bottle and then sponging off excess moisture. When the suede dries, the troubling spot should blend with the rest of the suede. We certainly wouldn’t damage the whole sofa in order to fade one stain – but the choice is yours.
All we Need is a Candlelight
If you’re an old-fashioned romantic, sensitive person, who loves the unique candle flame (which tends to brightens every room) you may want to call our customer support or try using some ice on the stain in order to remove the wax from your suede upholstery once it hardens enough.
You can try the same trick with dried up chewing gum as well.
Time for Some Refreshments
Unfortunately, we’re not talking about a cocktail day on the beach but about your scruffy-looking suede sofa. First, you should wipe the surface with a slightly damp cloth (choose one which is white and made of cotton) - this is the easiest way to wipe away the dirt and the household dust, without soaking accidents. And not to brag but you should know that the professional cleaners never use water to clean such sensitive materials like suede. We obtain witch efficient cleaning product of high quality and rely on a dry cleaning procedure to get the job flawlessly done, because shampooing and steam cleaning can damage such kind of gentle upholstery.
How to Brush it Up
Remember young cleaner, the suede upholstery has to be brushed almost daily in order to keep its gorgeous look. You already know how to handle stains but there’s more to come.
After cleaning spills and removing spots, you should leave the area to dry completely. Then brush the suede upholstery with a soft suede brush (you’ll have to get one if you want to keep the delicate glamour after all). The best way to do so is by brushing the suede with gentle circular motions (almost like petting a cat but without the pleasant purr sound). Remember to apply a bit more pressure on the area, as you remove spots and stains from your upholstery (don’t try this with the cat though).
And since we’re talking about pets, brushing is a must if you have one adorable creature of them at home. You have to brush your upholstery on a regular basis to collect all of the pet hair which unfortunately is inevitable.
The Products Matter Too
It’s about time to talk about the most proper stain removal products for a suede sofa that you may lay your hands onto.
There are many brands of specialized suede cleaners available on the market (not as good as the professional cleaning materials we use though). No matter how expensive the mix that you're about to use is, it’s strongly advisable to start by applying only a small portion of it on the even smaller inconspicuous area (you have no idea how much damage an inappropriate cleaner may cause). Then wait for about 20 minutes, just to be sure that the particular cleaner won’t harm the delicate upholstery.
Once the test is passed, follow strictly the cleaning instructions of the product.
Be careful! Remember not to apply any stain removers when the suede is still wet, because this luxurious upholstery is extra sensitive to moisture and liquid can damage it.
If you’ve just unpacked your brand new suede sofa, then be sure that you have a fabric protective spray at home. It’s the safest method for cleaning, especially for a new couch. It may not be as promising as it sounds but will surely help in preventing accidental spills from becoming permanent.
Don’t forget to keep an adequate distance of 6-8 inches from the surface or else your suede couch cleaning procedure goes in vain.
DIY Cleaners Basics
As innocent this may sound be careful, if you’ve decided to use your kitchen supplies for cleaning. White distilled vinegar diluted in water is among the most common choices, when it comes to making suede furniture great again. Again it’s essential to first test the salad dressing to a small hidden area.
Actually, no matter what you’re about to use – do the test first! The other must in cleaning suede upholstery is to blot the area dry after removing a stain.
When you have no luck with the protective sprays, cleaning solvents, alcohol and vinegar, give the suede shoe cleaner a try. The suede shoe cleaner is designed for thick suede shoes but also gives fine results with the suede sofas and couches. If nothing else works, this might be it. If not, call us instead.
Some people go even further in order to save some cash and use something as simple as bread - no matter if it is stale or fresh - to clean stains from their suede upholstery.
You can try Windex on your sofa instead of using it to clean windows (the things this cleaner is actually supposed to do). It’s rumoured that it may remove fresh ink from suede furniture.
You can use baking soda not only for making delicious pastry but to remove stains from your suede furniture and keeping it safe from strange, unpleasant odours. All you have to do is to allow the baking soda to sit overnight and vacuum it up in the morning. It’s definitely is a strange method for aromatherapy, if you ask us, but nothing can stop you from trying it.
No matter what you’re about to use for cleaning, make sure that the room is well ventilated and open windows and turn on any fans at your home. If you’re allergic or sensitive to any kind of cleaning products use a painter’s face mask, especially if it is difficult to air the room, or if you’re worried about the aerosol cleaner.
A friendly reminder - Some household products are dangerous not only for your furniture but also for your health.
Finally, don’t ever forget that if you have any doubts on what exactly to use and how to apply it, when you are dealing with old, stubborn stains, you can always search for professional sofa and upholstery cleaners in London. Did we mentioned that this is exactly thw thing we're best at? So don't hesitate to get your quote today.