How to clean suede sofas, armchairs and couches

Cleaning time: 60 minutes

Residual work: 10 Hours 

Level of experience: Beginner

Suede is a great fabric for sofas, couches, and armchairs and certainly has a velvety, rich appearance. Without a doubt, suede gives a room a cozy, luxurious look. This is why obtaining such property is not cheap at all. 

In the pros and cons list for suede, the look of the fabric gives it more than one point, however, this material has a bad reputation in regard to maintenance and cleaning. In order to keep your suede couch spotless for longer, you must clean it regularly due to its fastidious characteristics. Nevertheless, here we have prepared a few upholstery cleaning tips to help you deal with stains. They have all been approved by our team of professional cleaners. After reading this article, cleaning suede or faux suede should be a NO brainer. 

If you know more about the fabric you own it is easier to keep it in a good condition. In this guide, we will show you how to maintain your suede couch or armchair in perfect order. Also, we will reveal to you how to handle even the most persistent & common stains and spots and all the products you will need to buy to handle them, including their prices. Let’s start by clearing up what suede really is! 

What is Suede Fabric?

 *Pay attention now as this is truly important. 

Suede is a leather material or leather-based like a suedette which is usually made from cotton or rayon. The difference between the two is the suedette is a man crafted fabric solely designed to resemble suede but without the use of animal products and suede is actually put together from the underside of an animal’s skin. Suedette is much softer and thinner than the actual leather material. 

How often should you clean suede upholstery? 

The couch is one of the most abused furniture in the house because of the many purposes that it has. Often we use sofas like a bed, it is also a playground for children, a place for when we have guests and more. Due to the great traffic, it is exposed to, sofas should be vacuumed at least once a month. A thorough cleaning should be done two or three times a year. It is a good idea to remember that faux suede is more resistant to dust and dirt. 

Suede Sofa Cleaning Preparation 

Now that you know the difference between natural suede and microfibre suede you can begin with your cleaning preparations. 

If you are still unsure what kind of upholstery you possess, check the labels on the back of your sofa. That way you will be 100% sure. 

Steam Cleaning is definitely not an option with natural suede!

In this table, you will find the recipe for the perfect suede sofa cleaning and we have also included the average market prices for each product or material you will need to make all of this happen. 

Equipment/ Gear

Detergents/ Materials

A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment

Upholstery cleaner for suede – £15.23

Special suede brush – £6

Waterproofing stain repellent – £7.62

Spray bottle – £4.50


Bucket – £9 

Glue removal like Goo Gone 

Sponge – £7 

Suede eraser – £7

Suede Cleaning Cloth – £5

Dishwashing liquid 

Microfiber cloth – £2

Surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) £5.50


White wine vinegar

You know now everything you need in order to proceed. Down below you find two sets of instructions for natural suede and for suedette, as well as treatment for different stains. Let’s begin! 

Remember never to use just water to clean your suede sofa. Water can leave a stain on your couch and shrink the fabric. 

Cleaning suede with water can do more damage than good. It is much better to buy suede made detergent created specifically for this fabric because their sole purpose is to clean without ruining the beautiful and expensive material. 

If for some reason you can’t buy any suede-based products for cleaning check the instruction in this article to learn how to clean like a pro. 

How to Clean Natural Suede Sofas?

  1. Use the vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and dirt. To avoid the accumulation of dust remove the filth on a weekly basis. Remember to put the upholstery attachment before you start vacuuming. 
  2. Removing stains

Nail Polish 

Try scraping as much of the nail polish stain as with the tip of a knife but be gentle. If you apply too much pressure you can leave a mark. If there is still any remaining polish you can rub surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol). Before you use any detergent or material on the suede armchair or sofa apply the product on a non-visible small part of the furniture.

Pee Stain

To deal with pee stains you will need to make a super easy homemade detergent. In a spray bottle add equal parts water and equal parts white wine vinegar. Spray the homemade product as deeply as the pee stain is penetrated. The smell will go away shortly after that. When the fabric dries out, you can vacuum. 

Oily Stains

Salt or cornstarch can be used to absorb any oily stains. It happens to all of us, we decide to eat our pizza, salad, or french fries in front of the TV, and a little piece of food drops and goes on our perfectly good couch. Put some salt or cornstarch on the stain and let it sit for at least 6 hours. Then vacuum and grab the suede eraser to remove any traces of the stain. After you are done with the treatment take the waterproof stain repellent. This way you can avoid accidents such as this one in the near future. The best possible product you can use for stain protection is Scotchgard. Consult with the Clean Expert team to learn more about it.  

Sticky Stains

A commercial glue removal will help you if you have got a sticky stain from some kind of candy or similar situation. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then put some upholstery suede detergent on the suede brush and rub lightly. Use the suede cleaning cloth to remove any soap leftovers after you are through. 

Professional Suede Cleaning

If it is the case that you have more than one stain or the suede sofa has been dirty for quite some time and you did remove the dirty sports right away, then it is time to call professionals. With 25 years of experience in the industry Clean Expert knows how to clean any furniture. We are experts in upholstery cleaning and we understand suede and all kinds of materials for furniture. Our team covers all London areas plus  25 miles outside M25 North. 

How to Clean Faux Suede Couches? 

  1. Start by vacuuming the faux suede couch in the next few steps you will probably need to rub detergents on spots and you don’t want to rub dirt and dust more deeply into the couch as it is health-damaging. 
  2. In the bucket we mentioned earlier you are going to have to mix a few things. Starting with 200-250ml dishwashing soap and moving on by adding1L. Of water. Use a whisk to make the liquid bubbly. We will call this bucket the Bubble Bucket.
  3. Get another bucket with only water in it. This one we will name Water Bucket. 
  4. Now grab the scrub brush and dip it in the Bubble Bucket. Then apply it on the dirty part of the couch. When you see that the scrub brush is changing color a little bit, it is time to wash it in the Water Bucket. Repeat this process a few times on the most affected places of time suede upholstery. Make sure not to leave the fabric very soapy. If necessary, take a microfiber cloth with water to remove any traces of the homemade detergent. 
  5. Let it dry and vacuum again to achieve maximum results. 

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the best way to clean suede or microfiber suede furniture such as sofas, couches, armchairs, and others!

Tip:  If you are dealing with any other kind of stain don’t hesitate to place your comments below. Or if you are dealing with a more difficult situation and you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us, we are a professional cleaning company with a lot of experience in suede sofa cleaning. 


  • George Kosev

    George Kossev is a highly experienced and dedicated carpet cleaning specialist with over 15 years of expertise in providing top-quality carpet care solutions. As the owner of Clean Expert, George has built a reputation for excellence, reliability, and unparalleled customer service in the carpet cleaning industry.