How to Clean a Suede Handbag

People usually tuck away expensive suede bags in their closet and save them for special occasions. However, you don’t need to do so once you learn how to clean a suede handbag with the simple and easy tips and tricks explained in this mini-guide. Restore your suede handbag to its former glory, or maintain its current mint condition to make the most of it! Following is a list of things you’ll need to get started with the process:

What You’ll Need to Clean a Suede Handbag

For Basic Maintenance

Method #1

  • A glass of hot water
  • Toothbrush

Method #2

  • Special suede cleaning brush / small nail brush

Method #3

  • A clean pencil eraser

Method #4

  • Suede leather cleanser

Method #5

  • Clean cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol or vinegar

For Stain Removal

Method #1

  • Clean towel or cloth

Method #2

  • Clean towel or cloth
  • Talcum powder or cornstarch
  • Brush
  • Rubbing alcohol / vinegar / eraser

Method #3

  • Patience
  • Brush

Method #4

  • Plastic bag
  • Brush

For Bag Protection

Method #1

  • Suede sealant

Method #2

  • Pillow case

Method #3

  • Dark closet or a drawer

Basic Maintenance of Your Suede Handbag

1. Keep it Dry

While performing basic maintenance on a suede handbag, the first rule to remember is that you need to avoid using water on it at any cost. Water tends to discolor suede fabric, and therefore, you shouldn’t even use a damp towel on it. If you think that a little moisture is needed, then you can hold your bag over some steam. Take a cup of hot water and let the steam break the stain a little, and then use a toothbrush to clean it. However, never allow the suede material to become completely wet.

2. Brush it to Remove Dirt and Fibers

When it comes to cleaning suede bags, brushers are the best tool out there. You can take care of the basic cleaning on your purse with a brush, or simply use it to perform spot treatment on stains. Use your brush in a single and natural direction to clean any excess dirt and dust from your handbag. You can also slowly move it back and forth to take care of stubborn stains. You can find special suede cleaning brushes online, or simply use a small nail brush for the purpose.

3. Rub an Eraser over Scuffed and Stained Areas

An extremely clean eraser can be a useful item to clean a suede handbag. Take a new pencil eraser and rub it over any minor scuffs, discolored areas or stains in order to restore your bag to its normal condition. Remember to never use a dirty, old eraser for this process. With a used eraser, you might end up making the condition of your purse worse than before.

4. Buy a Suede & Leather Cleaner

A suede leather cleanser is a specialty cleaner that is made especially for the purpose of cleaning suede. Such products are great to perform general maintenance of suede handbags. However, it is essential to remember not to use cleansers that are meant for other bag materials such as leather as they might end up damaging your expensive bag. Additionally, make sure you follow the instructions provided on the label in order to get the best results.

5. Dip a Clean Cloth in Some Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar

Rubbing alcohol and vinegar can safely be used on suede handbags as they can brighten up the appearance of suede fabrics that have gotten dirty and lackluster over time. In order to use rubbing alcohol or vinegar to clean your purse, first pour out a little amount of one of the cleaning agents onto a clean towel, just enough to make it damp. Then, rub the wet towel on the suede to clean it.

Multiple applications might be required, depending on the condition of your purse. Once you’re done applying rubbing alcohol or vinegar, wait for the suede to dry completely before using it.

Stain Removal from a Suede Handbag

1. Blot Fresh Stains

As soon as you spill something on your handbag, make sure that you blot the fresh spill with a paper towel or a clean cloth right away. This instant action will help to minimize the damage cause by removing any excess moisture. Make sure that when pressing the paper towel or clean cloth over the spill and never rub the affected area! You can use multiple cloths or towels if needed.

2. Remove Fresh Stains by Using Talcum Powder or Cornstarch

If you’ve spilled some liquid or oil on your suede purse, then start with blotting it dry using a clean paper towel or cloth. Then, sprinkle some talcum powder or cornstarch onto the affected area, and leave it overnight. The powder will absorb any residue left behind by the oil or the liquid. Tap off the talcum powder or cornstarch the next day, and remove the excess using a brush. Further, clean any remaining stains with a rubbing alcohol, eraser, or vinegar.

3. Let Mud Dry before Attempting to Remove It

If you attempt to remove mud from a suede handbag before letting it completely dry first, you’ll only worsen its condition. No matter how difficult you find leaving the mud to dry, you need to understand that your purse will be better off if you do. Once the mud dries completely, remove the dried dirt with a brush.

4. Freeze the Suede Handbag before Trying to Remove Gum or Wax

If you end up getting gum or wax on your suede handbag, make sure you freeze your bag before you try to remove it. This will make the process easier. Wrap your bag in a plastic bag before putting it in your freezer in order to avoid staining it any further. The gum or wax will harden and allow you to easily chip it or pull it off. Use a brush or your finger to do so, as using sharp objects for this method might damage your purse.

Protection of Your Suede Handbag

1. Purchase Suede Sealants

Suede sealants can protect your handbag from moisture or dampness, and maintain its fresh look. You can easily find them in shoe stores. All you need to do is spray the sealant on your suede handbag and let it sit until the product completely dries. You can leave it overnight as it usually takes that long. Remember that using a sealant will not make your handbag immune to stains or waterproof. All it does is help repel excess moisture.

2. Store the Suede Handbag in a Pillow Case or Dust Cover

Using a pillow case or a dust cover can keep your handbag in the best condition possible. If your suede bag came with a dust cover, you can simply it in the cover when you’re not using the bag. If not, then use a pillow case to keep your bag away from unwanted dirt and dust. You can also use an old shoe box or a plastic bag to protect your bag.

3. Keep Your Handbag Out of Sunlight

If you leave your suede handbag in the sun for a long period of time, the rays can cause the color of your bag to fade and change. Make sure you store it away from direct sunlight in order to save it from losing color. A dark drawer or a closet is the best place to store your bag. However, don’t pile a bunch of other belongings on top of it to avoid any unnecessary damage.

Our Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve successfully learned how to clean a suede handbag, make the most of your luxury items! You don’t need to spend any more money to replace your old bags when you can clean the ones that you already have without any extra hassle and retain their brand-new look!

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