Faux suede is a robust, stain-resistant fabric that's even more durable and cheaper than traditional suede. Faux suede is very easy to care for, and with proper maintenance, regular cleaning, and the prompt removal of stains, this fabric will stay looking fresh and new for many years.
Part One of Three:
Caring for Faux Suede GarmentsEdit
1Check the labels. While most faux suede fabrics used for clothing, towels, drapery, and other garments, accessories, or decor will be machine washable, always check the labels first to be sure. If the label is missing or too worn to read, err on the side of caution: hand wash the garment with a gentle soap or detergent and hang or lay it to dry.
- A care label with a washing basin full of water on it means you can machine wash your item. If there is a number as well, this indicates the temperature at which to wash it.
- For a washing basin with a hand on it, wash the garment by hand instead of the washing machine.
- A square with a circle inside means you can tumble dry your garment as well.
- A single circle means dry clean only.
- A triangle means it’s safe to use bleach.
- If any of these symbols appear on your care label with an X or cross through them, it means you cannot use that method of cleaning.
2Do a spot test. Before washing or cleaning any new fabric, you should always do a spot test on the fabric to ensure that the cleaning product you want to use won’t damage the fabric in any way.
- Choose a small spot on the fabric that won’t be seen, and apply a small amount of your desired cleaner to the area. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes, and blot the area with a clean, white cloth.
- Check to see that no color bleeding, discoloration, or shrinking has occurred. Use a damp cloth to remove the cleaner.
3Spot clean stains. For tough stains or hard-to-clean dirt, spot clean the stains with soapy water, a clear alcohol like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or vodka, or a gentle liquid laundry detergent that’s been diluted in water (use a teaspoon (6 ml) of detergent in one cup (240 ml) of water). To spot clean:
- Apply a small bit of cleaner to the fabric with a cloth or clean sponge.
- Gently rub the area with either the sponge, a lint-free cloth, or a soft-bristled brush, such as a clean toothbrush. If you use a cloth or sponge, make sure it’s white or undyed, as the dye could transfer to the fabric.
4Treat stubborn stains. Sometimes fabrics just don’t want to come clean, but there are methods you can use to remove stubborn stains from your favorite clothes.
- To remove deodorant or perspiration stains, rub a small amount of liquid laundry soap into the armpit areas and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing.
- For oil stains, lay the stain face-down on a clean wash cloth or hand towel. Pour some liquid laundry soap onto the back of the stain and let it sit. As the oil and soap soak through and dry, replace the cloth with a clean one. Rinse the area once it has dried and launder it normally.
- To get rid of stubborn organic matter (such as food, beverages, grass, and blood), pre-treat the stains by rubbing them with a detergent that contains enzymes, such as OxiClean, Tide Stain Release, and Ultra Plus. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wash normally.
5Launder the garment. For machine-washable items, always wash faux suede items together to prevent the material from collecting lint. Wash larger items, such as curtains and bedding, alone. To machine wash a single faux suede item, place it in a lingerie bag to separate it from the rest of the clothes in the load.
- To be on the safe side, always use the delicate or gentle cycle and a mild liquid detergent when washing faux suede.
- To hand wash your item, fill a large bowl or sink with warm, soapy water. Place your item in the water and let it absorb the water. Gently agitate the fabric with your hands, concentrating on areas that are particularly soiled.
6Dry the item. If the care label indicates that your item is safe for the dryer, follow the heat settings, or use a low- or no-heat setting to dry your faux suede.
- You can also hang your items to dry on a clothesline, or lay them flat on a towel to dry.
7Brush the fabric. Washing faux suede can make the fabric stiff. Use a soft brush or clean toothbrush to gently brush the fabric and return its softness.Advertisement
Part Two of Three:
Cleaning Faux Suede AccessoriesEdit
1Brush off dirt, salt, and mud. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove excess dirt, dust, salt, mud, and other dry grime.
2Prepare a cleaning solution. Faux suede is a popular choice for fashion items like boots, shoes, bags, and purses, and it is possible to clean these when they are dirty. To do this, you will need:
- Some newspaper (for shoes)
- A soft wash cloth or cotton balls
- A mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, or plain isopropyl alcohol
3Clean the accessory. Dip the wash cloth into the cleaning solution and wring out the excess water. You want it slightly damp, not soaking wet. Gently rub the fabric with the damp cloth, rinsing and re-dampening the cloth as needed, until the dirt, salt, or stains are gone.
- If you are using alcohol instead, transfer it to a spray bottle and spray the alcohol onto a clean cloth before rubbing the fabric.
4Let the item dry. When you are cleaning shoes, stuff them with newspaper as they dry to help them retain their shape. For bags or purses, lay them flat on a towel or hang to dry.
- If the newspaper inside the shoes becomes damp, replace it with dry paper.
5Brush the fabric. Any faux suede item, including a fashion accessory, will become stiff after washing, so use a soft brush to brush the fabric once it’s dry.Advertisement
Part Three of Three:
Cleaning Faux Suede FurnitureEdit
1Vacuum regularly. Weekly vacuuming will keep your furniture free of crumbs, dirt, allergens, pet hair, and dust. It will also stop dirt and dust from accumulating in the fibers, and help to maintain and overall clean appearance. Vacuum the pillows, cushions, nooks, crannies, and crevices.
2Check for labels. Furniture tags will tell you what types of products to use for cleaning, but that’s only helpful if you know what the codes mean. Most faux suede will have one of the following labels:
- W: clean with water-based solutions, like soapy water
- S: clean with solvent-based cleaners, like furniture spray or alcohol
- SW: clean with either water- or solvent-based cleaners
3Dab spills immediately. Faux suede is water resistant, meaning that when liquid gets spilled on it, the liquid will bead up so that you can wipe it away. Spills that aren’t cleaned immediately will cause stains from watermarking, dyes, or food marks.
- Dab, don’t rub, spots with a clean, dry cloth to remove liquids and water.
- For food spills, use a spoon or spatula to scoop up the mess right away.
- For mud, allow it to dry before removing the clump and brushing off the dust and dirt.
4Clean stains and messes. Choose a cleaner based on the label on your furniture and test it on the fabric in an inconspicuous area before spot cleaning elsewhere. Your best bet for a cleaner will be isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.
- Spray a small amount of alcohol on the soiled area, and gently rub it with a clean, undyed sponge or lint-free cloth. Blot stubborn stains if necessary, and use a clean spot on the cloth for each soiled area. Allow the area to dry before using.
- Always use strong cleaning agents in a well-ventilated area, and never near an open flame.
- To clean the entire piece, work in small sections using the same method. Don’t forget about removable pillows and cushions.
5Remove stubborn stains. Because of the nature of furniture, it is sometimes bombarded with pretty nasty stuff that can stain, such as dirt, oil, and even wax. Luckily, faux suede is quite durable, and most stains can be removed without damaging the fabric.
- To remove oil, wipe up as much of the oil as possible with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. Soak a rag in alcohol and wring out the excess. Use this cloth to blot at the oil stains, then remove the oil and dirt with a clean, dry cloth.
- To remove wax, heat an iron on high. Lay a clean cloth over the affected area on the furniture, and gently rub the hot iron back and forth over the cloth. As the wax melts, it will be absorbed by the cloth.
- To remove gum, apply an ice cube to the gum to freeze it. When it’s very cold or frozen, gently scrape it off with a spoon or spatula.
6Buff the fabric with a brush to return the softness.Advertisement
I bought a faux suede wine colored jacket and it bleeds onto any light colored shirt under it. How do I stop it from bleeding?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- The dye wasn't "set" by the manufacturer so you'll need to find a professional leather cleaner company that knows how to set dye or find a DIY method for home dyed items. Since it's faux suede and not real, there may be no way to keep it from bleeding entirely but it's worth asking your local cleaners first.
Will faux suede get marked in the rain?
How can I get a greasy head mark off of suede?
I inherited a 60 year old faux suede jacket. It hasn't been worn in decades and is so stiff it can stand up by itself but once was soft and pliant. How can I soften it up again and make it wearable?
I bought a faux suede tan colored jacket and it sheds onto the dark tops I wear with it - how can I stop this?
How do you take any wrinkles out of faux suede?
The easiest way to clean faux suede is to apply rubbing alcohol to stains using a cloth or spray bottle. Rub the alcohol into the stain using a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush. Blot stubborn stains with a cloth to lift them out of the fabric.
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