How to Get Rid of Spots on a Suede Coat

Keep your suede coat looking as new as the day you bought it.
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In clothing and furniture, suede is synonymous with subtle luxury and coziness. Suede gets its rich softness from the nap, or the fuzzy fibers that exist on leather just underneath its tough outer skin. Because suede coats don't include that shiny outer layer, they're softer and more delicate than traditional leather jackets. Unfortunately, suede is also more prone to stains. When it comes to cleaning suede, time is your enemy. Attack spots quickly, and you'll keep the nap of your suede looking newer, longer.

Pat wet stains as soon as possible with paper towels to absorb lingering liquids. Don't rub on the stain, which will only smear it around.

Dust grease spots -- the worst kind of stains -- with a fine coat of cornstarch or talcum powder. Let it sit overnight, then brush the powder away in short strokes with a clean dry washcloth. You may need to repeat this step two to three times to remove most of the grease.

Brush all stains lightly with a piece of art gum or a pencil eraser. This helps to remove lingering discoloration without damaging the look or feel of the suede.

Wet a clean washcloth with water, ring in out and dab it in a small amount of white vinegar. Apply it to any stubborn spots, then let it air dry. You may want to test the white vinegar on a small, less noticeable portion of the stain to ensure that it won't discolor the suede. Using a damp washcloth dilutes the vinegar slightly.

Rub the spot lightly with a suede or nubuck brush once it has dried completely. The soft bristles of the brush help to restore the coat's nap.

Consider taking your coat to a professional suede and leather cleaner if natural methods don't completely remove the stain. Avoid using chemical suede cleaners at home if you intend to have it cleaned professionally, since different cleansers can clash and damage your coat even more. Make sure to tell the pros exactly what was spilled on the coat.

  • In a pinch, a piece of fresh or stale bread rubbed lightly on suede can help remove stains. Just be sure to rub the area with your suede brush afterward to restore the nap.
  • Artificial sweetener can work like talcum power or cornstarch to remove stains.

Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.