How To Care for Suede & Leather

Suede feels soft and smooth. It is more pliant than other leathers. Suede is made from calfskin that has been split. Regular leather has a smooth side and a textured side, while suede is textured on both sides. Although suede is not as durable as regular leather, it has several uses and items made from suede, such as shoes, boots, wallets, bags and purses as well as vests are good fashion pieces.

Suede is quite difficult to maintain and clean. It is less durable than regular leather as it is thinner. But some suede had been made to look like real leather by applying glue to one side and passing it through rollers to make that side smooth.

It may be difficult to clean suede and leather, but it is still possible to care for it with these steps.

1.    Suede is prone to staining and soiling because it is not protected by a backing. You can prevent this by using leather protection spray every six months.

2.    Use a special suede brush or cloth in a circular motion to revive the texture of suede. The brushing can also remove scuff from suede as well as light soiling and dried stains.

3.    Remove grease and other oil stains from suede and leather with a clean, dry cloth. Use a degreaser specially made for suede apparel and furniture to remove grease and oil stains. Revive the flattened nap of suede with the suede brush.

4.    Blot out spills and food stains with a damp clean cloth or use a leather cleaner. When the spill and stain has been removed, dry the suede item with a hair dyer while you lightly brush the wet area with soft bristle brush or a suede brush to raise the nap. Blot off spills on leather with the damp cloth and dry and buff it with a soft towel.

5.    Refrain from exposing leather and suede to the sun to minimize fading.  Clean them regularly by brushing them with a microfiber cloth. Condition leather with solution of one part white vinegar and two parts linseed oil applied with a soft cloth.

6.    Store leather and suede on hangers placed in a dry and well-ventilated closet.

7.    Remove ink and other stains from leather with any of these homemade solutions:

  • Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and swab the ink stain with it. Polish with the dry cloth.
  • Put some cuticle remover on the stain and leave it overnight. Wipe off with a clean, damp cloth and dry with another soft cloth.
  • Mix equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Lightly rub the stain with this paste and wipe off with a clean, damp cloth. Dry the leather with a soft cloth.

8.    Some stains on suede can be removed by a pencil eraser. Keep one handy. You can also buy a block of suede eraser. It works the same way as a pencil eraser does. Wet stains should be blotted with absorbent cloth or paper towels. Avoid rubbing as it will only spread the stain over a larger area.

9.    Use a soft towel to wipe leather and suede items to remove dust regularly. Give your suede and leather items a good airing too in an area that is away from the sun and where air is free to circulate.

Suede and leather items will give you long years of service if you give them the proper care and treatment. Your leather and suede apparel and furniture will benefit more with some professional cleaning once or twice a year.


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