How To Clean A Suede Sofa (Naturally with Baking Soda & Vinegar!) | 2021

how to clean a suede sofa

Suede or microfiber sofas can add beauty and class to any home but there's no denying - they need to be kept clean!

While microfiber suede is beautiful and comfortable, it's a very particular material and if you clean your suede or microfiber couch incorrectly, you could easily ruin it.

You can easily save some serious money on professional cleaning services and add it into your spring cleaning schedule - or better yet, weekly cleaning schedule!

It’s not a walk in the park when it comes to cleaning any type of furniture, but with a material as particular as suede or microfiber, it can even be a bit more delicate and time-consuming.

With a bit of time and attention to detail, you can get great results and have it looking brand new. Whether it's a 2-seater sofa, 3-seater sofa, sprawling suede lounge suite or epic antique couch, we've got you covered!

Read on below as we take you through the process and help ease you through the major pain points!


  1. Cleaning Your Suede Sofa
  2. Can You Steam Clean A Suede Couch?
  3. Are Suede Sofas Hard To Clean?

Cleaning Your Suede Sofa

Every sofa is different, especially suede sofas.

They’ll each have unique cleaning requirements and if you’re not paying careful attention to them, it’s easy to damage your sofa.

In order to keep your sofa from getting ruined, follow the steps below and your sofa should come out looking pristine.

Determine the Proper Cleaning Method

Your suede sofa or microfiber couch is a unique piece and likely requires specialised cleaning care.

As suede is made with thousands of tightly-packed microfibers, they’ll generally repel water rather than absorb it.

However, not all suede materials act the same so it’s important you check to see if your sofa can be cleaned with water or if it needs a special formula or cleaning products.

All this information can be found in the tags with a coding system that’s fairly easy to decipher.

  • W - If your sofa or microfiber couch is labelled with a ‘w’, then you are free to use a water-based solution on it without causing damage.
  • S - Sofas labelled with an ‘s’ will be harmed by water! You’ll need to find a special solvent in order to clean a microfiber couch or sofa marked with an ‘s’.
  • S-W - If your suede couch has both an ‘s’ and a ‘w’, then you can use either of the above methods without hurting your sofa.
  • X - X-labeled sofas should not have any liquid used on them at all. Only use a vacuum and dry rags to take care of stains as any liquid will damage the material.


If you can’t find the tags on your microfiber couch, move forward with caution as act as if it had been marked with an ‘s’.

No matter the tag - always make sure to spot test any cleaning products on a small, hidden part of your sofa before cleaning the whole thing. Even if you found your sofas tags, it’s better to be safe and test any solution before beginning.

suede microfiber couch

Do your pet's love your sofa too?

Mix Your Solution

If you bought a special solvent or suede cleaner, make sure to follow the directions on the bottle carefully.

If you’re making your own cleaning solutions, try and find a spray bottle to keep it in for an easy application. You can make a quick water-based solution with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Add a small teaspoon of baking soda or white vinegar to help get rid of odours if you need (just make sure it is suitable for your particular furnitures cleaning code). 

There are a few different home DIY cleaning solutions out there, but in our opinion, it's hard to beat the classic baking soda, vinegar and dish soap combination for getting a couch clean!

If your couch is marked with an X, skip this step altogether and instead vacuum your couch with an upholstery cleaner. Upholstery cleaning is the only cleaning step suggested for this couch type so make sure you get a quality upholstery attachment for it and clean gently. 

Apply the Solution

Once your solution is ready and you've 'spot-tested', spray it directly on the stain or blemish - just be careful not to soak or heavily wet the cushions! Dampen them lightly instead and use a soft towel, sponge, paper towel or purpose-made suede cleaning cloth to rub away the loose dirt in a circular motion. 

Continue on until you’ve finished deep cleaning and then leave the couch to dry. Once you let the area dry, take a soft suede brush to brush the suede microfibers and help the sofa return to its original look.

It depends on the specific manufacturer's recommendations - but this solution may also be useful for removing stains and cleaning other suede products as well!

cleaning a sofa

More Cleaning Tips For Your Suede Sofa

In some cases, you can take care of stains easily and without needing to clean the entire sofa. To make deep cleaning your suede sofa easier, here are a few cleaning tips.

Blot Wet Stains Immediately

Most suede will repel liquid at first if you act immediately and blot the area with a dry rag to remove the majority of the stain and moisture.

If there is still a bit of residue left over, take a damp clean cloth and gently blot the rest of the stain away.

You can apply spot treatment if you want, but it may not be necessary if you take care of the stain as soon as it happens. This is likely one of the most important cleaning tips that can make a real difference.

Don't forget - you can also apply a special suede stain repellent to your couch which will give it much better protection.

Use A Suede Eraser

It may sound strange, but you can use a pencil eraser or rubbing alcohol as a stain removal method on old, dry stains.

There are also erasers made specially to clean suede, but either type will usually do the trick. Rub the stain gently and use a scrub brush to wipe away the dirt

Can You Steam Clean A Suede Couch?

The short answer is yes, it is definitely possible to steam clean a microfiber suede couch.

It’s best to check the tags of your microfiber suede couch beforehand, though, to make sure the heat and moisture won’t harm it.

If your couch is marked with a ‘w’, then you should be good to go and can proceed to clean it. Avoid trying to steam clean any sofa marked with an ‘x’, though, as the moisture might hurt it and void any warranties the manufacturer has for it.

clean a suede couch

Are Suede Sofas Hard to Clean?

Suede sofas are really no harder to clean than other sofas.

They may seem like they should pose more problems due to the delicacy of the material, but they really don’t - cleaning a suede couch is really quite similar to cleaning a fabric sofa.

As long as you follow all the labels and specifications on the manufacturer's tags you should be able to easily clean your suede couch without damaging it.

We hope this has helped out in learning how to keep your suede couches, sofas and lounges spick and span, and looking brand new again!


P.S. - We have great cleaning guides for all sofa types, so if you have a few different sofas or are planning on getting another - you check them out below:


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