How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of a Suede Couch

Corey M. Mackenzie

Suede-upholstered furniture looks and feels luxurious, but you must treat spills on suede carefully. Suede's texture means you cannot wipe off stains as easily as you could from other types of leather upholstery. Suede, or napped leather, absorbs liquids, so it does not tolerate most liquid cleaners well.

In addition, fingernail polish is made to cling to whatever it is applied to. This means fingernail polish on a suede couch takes special handling to remove.

  1. Blot freshly spilled fingernail polish with a clean, dry cloth. Apply gentle pressure only. Do not rub or press down, or you will force the polish deeper into the suede upholstery.

  2. Gently scrape up dried polish from a suede couch with the tip of a butter knife. Get as much up as you can this way, but do not scrape the couch roughly or you may leave a mark on the suede.

  3. Soak a corner of a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol. Test the rubbing alcohol on a discrete area of the sofa to make sure it does not discolor the suede. If it does not, dab the fingernail polish stain with this cloth. Some polish should come up this way. Rubbing alcohol dries very quickly and therefore should not harm the suede.

  4. Rub any remaining polish stains gently with a pencil eraser or an emery board.

  5. Brush the area with a suede brush when you are finished removing the stain. This will help bring the nap of the suede back up.