How to Clean Faux Suede Furniture

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner and attachments

  • White rags

  • Mild powder laundry detergent, cornstarch or microfiber cleaning product

  • Mild liquid laundry detergent

  • Mild dish-washing soap

  • Baking soda

  • Toothbrush

  • Soft scrub brush

  • Blow dryer


Always test cleaning products and methods in an inconspicuous place before treating the actual stain.


Saturating faux suede may cause water stains. Never use a soaking wet rag, and soak up as much water as possible after a spill.

Faux suede is a synthetic, soft-napped material that resembles animal suede both in appearance and in touch. Faux suede, also known as micro-suede, Ultrasuede and microfiber, is more stain resistant, easier to clean and less expensive than suede, which makes it a good fabric choice for furniture, clothing, coats and many other products. It's also more water repellent than suede, which keeps the fabric spot-free and cleaner looking. And more times than not, you can clean it with home-based cleaning products and forgo expensive professional cleaning methods.


Step 1

Check the tag on your faux suede microfiber furniture for a cleaning code. A tag marked with a "W" means that's it is safe to clean the furniture with a water-based cleaner. An "S" code means that only dry-cleaning methods are safe, while an "S-W" code means both cleaning methods are appropriate. If the tag is marked with an "X," consult with a professional upholstery cleaner before using any cleaning products or methods.


Step 2

Vacuum up crumbs, pet hair and dust on a weekly basis to keep the particles from settling into the fabric. Use a high-powered attachment to suck up crumbs from furniture crevices and creases, but use only a soft brush attachment on the fabric itself. High-powered attachments may pull and permanently wrinkle faux suede.


Step 3

Clean up spills immediately. Liquid beads up on microfiber, making it easy to clean spills before they soak into the furniture. Dab, don't rub, with a white dry cloth, changing the cloth as needed until the stain is gone. Gently wipe the area with a damp rag, and sprinkle on baking soda to deter odors.


Step 4

Blot oil-based stains and spills, then sprinkle on a microfiber cleaning product, cornstarch or a dry detergent and allow the cleaner to soak up the oil. Add a small amount of dish-washing soap to a toothbrush and tap in the soap. Let it sit for five minutes and wipe off with a wet rag. Repeat until the stain is gone.


Step 5

Sprinkle on a mild laundry powder-based detergent or a solvent microfiber cleaning product to treat spills on faux suede with the "S" code. Work in small areas, and rub stain with a soft scrub brush. After fabric dries, vacuum up excess detergent.


Step 6

Spot clean old or set stains by gently rubbing stain with a damp white cloth and dish-washing soap. Wipe away with water. Work in sections and always wring out excess water from rags and towels before using on the furniture. Try using just a damp cloth on lightly soiled areas.


Step 7

Scrub deeply penetrated stains with a toothbrush. Use baby wipes, rubbing alcohol or clear drinking alcohol to blot up ink stains. Soak up pet urine and scrub with a vinegar and water mixture. Sprinkle on baking soda to remove odor.


Step 8

Dry off wet, clean furniture with a blow dryer set on a cool or cold setting to help prevent water stains.

Step 9

Sprinkle baking soda on the furniture regularly, to keep it smelling fresh. Vacuum up with a soft sweeper attachment.

Step 10

Brush microfiber furniture with a soft scrub brush to soften the nap after cleaning.

Step 11

Throw heavily soiled faux suede in the washing machine. Unzip removable pieces, remove fiberfill and wash with mild detergent on gentle cycle. Line dry. Be aware, though, the color may fade slightly and may not match up with the other fabric.

Step 12

Call a professional for advice on removing stubborn stains or if the tag is coded with the letter "X."


references & resources

Lisa Gregor

Lisa Gregor has been writing off and on for 40-plus years. She has been writing how-to articles for eHow since January 2009 and on her blog She is working on two children's books, a fiction novel and has plans to write a series of budget (frugal living) books.