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Homemade Cleaner for Faux Suede

Faux suede is a fabric that resembles suede, but it is cheaper and easier to clean. It is common in furniture upholstery. Some faux suede is water-safe while other types get damaged if you use water to clean it. Use the right method for your particular type of faux suede.

Types of Faux Suede

Not all types of faux suede have the same cleaning requirements.  Look at the tag to determine which type you have. "W" means you can clean it with water, "S" means you cannot and "S" and "W" mean you can use a water-based or dry-cleaning method. 

Liquid Dish Soap

Liquid dish soap will remove grease, dirt, food and other stains from your faux suede.  This is a water-safe method. Don't use it to clean water-sensitive faux suede.  Add 1 tsp. per cup of water.  Use soap that doesn't contain bleach, fragrances or dye. Dip a cloth into the solution and wring it out as much as possible.  Even though the fabric is water-safe you should never soak upholstery as it can damage the cushion and encourage mold growth. Blot the area dry with a clean cloth. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is capable of removing light grease and food stains.  This is a dry cleaning process that will also work on water-safe faux suede. To use it, first blot up as much of the stain as possible.  Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and brush it into the faux suede. Work until the stain is gone and sweep the baking soda off the faux suede.  The process will also remove odors from the faux suede.

Emery Board

Emery boards can help remove tough stains from faux suede, but they also remove the top few layers of the fabric so only use this process as a last resort for water-sensitive cleaning.  To use it, rub the emery board over the faux suede. Don't rub too hard as you could wear a hole into the upholstery.  Brush the faux suede to restore the nap.

About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.