This Is How To Clean A Suede Leather Handbag Easily

Investing in a high-end suede leather bag is one of the best decisions you can make. They are a classic staple that you must add to your closet. Why? Because there are endless trending ways to design suede designer bags. However, the real trouble is maintaining the shiny new appearance of these bags. 

Woman holding brown suede bag

The matte texture of this leather bag is its primary attraction, which is why you must know how to clean and maintain a suede purse. Do you already know how to clean your suede boots, heels and gloves but not a bag? Whether you’re dealing with scuffs or water stains, we’ve got the cleaning method for you. Taking care of your bag is more of an investment than you may think. When you buy a few high-end but long-lasting and classic pieces, you can ensure a fashionable wardrobe for years to come. Read on to find out the complete guide on how to clean a bag made of suede.

Basic maintenance of suede handbag

Maintaining a suede bag can be challenging as it is one of the most delicate kinds of leather. So first, let’s talk about what this material is! 

Commonly used to create designer bags and shoes, suede is a popular type of leather. It has a fuzzy, soft feel and is also used to make jackets, furniture, and more. Its napped finish is what differentiates it from other kinds of leather that are commonly smooth and lustrous. The reason for its textured feel is that it’s the fuzzy underside of the hide. 

This split leather comes from sheep, deer, goats, and calves in natural shades of brown. It is a high-quality, thin, and delicate fabric, which makes it vulnerable to damage. This includes ink stains, exposure to direct sunlight, scuffs, and other stubborn stains. However, you can always keep it in optimal condition with a little bit of care and maintenance. 

Close up of blue suede bag

How to maintain your suede handbag

Nothing can last long without constant care and maintenance. Suede is a delicate fabric, which means constant upkeep is the best way to elongate its life. Here are a few everyday cleaning tips that you can follow: 

  1. Always keep your bag in a dust bag to protect it. Suede has a rough surface which makes it more prone to gathering dust. Most bags come with their dust bags; however, you can always use a pillowcase to protect them if yours come without one.
  2. Use a soft suede brush to remove any dust particles sitting on top. You can also use a soft toothbrush for that purpose. Use the brush in a gentle downwards motion as harsh strokes can damage the top layer of your leather purse
  3. You can also spray your suede bag with a water repellent spray to prevent any water-related damage. This material catches water stains pretty quickly; therefore, it is best to protect it from any splashes
  4. Don’t store your suede shoes and bags in a plastic bag. Plastic does not allow the air to pass through, which causes mould to grow on the surface of your bag. Keep it in a fabric dust cover and let your leather bag breathe. 
  5. Apply a thin layer of suede polish to keep the leather conditioned and as good as new. Most polishes come with natural pigments that will also renew the look of your precious handbag. 

Removing stains from the suede leather handbag

Cleaning a suede bag does sound a bit complicated. Yet, there are a few ways through which you can keep your bag in the best condition. Here are five certain ways for removing stains: 

1. With a pencil eraser 

Minor stains and marks on your bag can easily be cleaned with the help of a suede rubber. If you don’t have that specific rubber at hand, you can also use a good quality pencil eraser. Apply slight pressure on the affected area and erase the mark like any pencil marking. Brush off the rubber dust, and your bag will be as good as new. 

This technique might not work for greasy or wet stains. There are separate ways to treat such stains altogether. However, if you got a slight patch of dirt, pencil marking, or any scratch, you can easily remove them with a common stationery rubber

Close up of pencil erasers

2. With a suede cleaner

There are several suede and nubuck cleaners available in the market that you can use to clean your bag. These cleaners work well with fuzzy leathers and get rid of all dirt and grime. You can use this cleaner for regular maintenance and harsh stain removal

Spray the product on the surface evenly. Let it coat your bag and leave it on for 2 minutes. Wipe the cleaner off with a dry cloth till the surface looks as clean as new. If you see any prominent stains, repeat the process until your bag is thoroughly cleaned. 

3. With rubbing alcohol or white vinegar

Another trick is to use rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to clean your bag. Both ingredients work wonders when it comes to stain removal.  They can also clean a mouldy leather jacket.  As a plus, they don’t only remove stains, but they also help brighten the surface. Dab it on the surface using a paper towel and rub it off using a cloth. 

The only drawback of using vinegar is the pungent smell. To tackle this problem, add two drops of lemon essential oil to your vinegar. Unfortunately, you can’t completely get rid of the strong vinegary scent, but letting the bag dry in the open air will help weaken it. 

Glass jar with white vinegar on a black table

4. With cornstarch 

If you accidentally spill oil or grease on your bag, you can rescue it with a tablespoon of cornflour. It will soak all the oil and leave the surface spot-free within a few minutes. Spread it on the stained area and let it sit for 15 minutes to soak the oil. Then, brush it off using a suede brush, and your bag will be back to how it was. 

If your spill has left some discolouration, you can use the leather cleaner after the cornflour step. Then, fluff up the napping of the fabric with a brush to give it a fresh appearance. Don’t have cornstarch at hand? No worries, you can use talcum powder instead. 

5. With a damp cloth

If you have to clean your bag quickly and have no cleaning supplies, you don’t have to panic. Instead, just grab a clean cloth and dampen it with tap water. Next, dust your bag using a dry paper towel, then move on to rubbing the stain with a damp cloth

This isn’t the most efficient way to clean your bag, but it can provide you with momentary spot removal. You can also keep a microfibre towel inside your suede handbag for on-the-spot cleaning. 

Stack of colourful rags

Important tips for cleaning your bag

Now that you know how to clean a suede bag, here are a few important tips to keep in mind while cleaning: 

1. Don’t pick on the leather surface

With time, suede starts developing micro fur that gives it a worn-out appearance. It is quite common for people to pick on that tiny fur, thinking it will renew the surface. When in fact, it ruins it. Use a brush to brush down those furs, and you are good to go. 

2. Avoid using hot water

Water is a big NO when it comes to this material. It can easily ruin the surface of your bag or cause permanent water stains. In addition, hot water can alter the shape and colour of the leather. So, make sure your handbag stays far away from water at all costs. 

3. Always use dabbing motions

It is always suggested to use vigorous downwards motions with a gentle brush to maintain the surface of your bag. However, when using a cleaning cloth, it is best to use dabbing motions. 

4. Use a razor to remove the fluff

If your suede tote shows signs of wear, you can always use an old razor to shave off the fluff. Lay the bag out flat on the floor and clean up the excessive fur precisely. With a little bit of patience and a steady hand, you will be able to resurface your suede bag completely. 

With these quick tips up your sleeve, you will become a suede pro within no time. 

Woman holding stylish suede bag

Maintaining your bag is essential for retaining its allure. That’s why you must follow our complete leather cleaning guide to keep your staple bag brand new. Plus, you can also use this method on suede shoes, couches, and similar products. All you need is some patience and a few cleaning products, and you’re good to go.

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