Protecting the New Suede Couch
1. If possible, protect your new suede couch from the outset. Apply stain repellent and or waterproofing agents purchased from the retailer. This will help to keep the couch in good condition for longer and will make keeping it clean much easier. Stain repel-lent will also help to ensure that stains don’t form and that you can remove spilled liquids and food with ease.
Frequent General Cleaning
1. Lift up the cushions weekly. Collect all crumbs, papers and other bits and pieces that have accumulated through the week. Use a vacuum, dust buster or brush to collect crumbs and obvious dirt.
Check the underside of the cushions. Crumbs often adhere to the fabric and need to be brushed off. If not removed regularly, larger crumbs and objects can cause dents and even tears in the upholstery (not to mention attracting bugs).
2. Brush the nap at least once a week. Brushing removes dust, which can wear down suede and cause it to look dull.
Use a suede napping brush––these are usually available from shoe repair stores and places that specialize in shoe cleaning. Some shoe and furniture stores may also sell this type of brush.
3. Keep a suede cleaning cloth nearby. Use this to rub down the couch now and then to help keep the nap in good shape. This can be done even while you’re watching TV, so it’s useful to keep the cloth near the remotes.
- Terry toweling can also be used to rub down the couch.
- Rubbing and brushing are especially important if you allow pets to sit on the couch.
1. Vacuum the whole couch and its cushions. Vacuuming keeps the nap intact and will also remove dust and debris from the couch surface.
Use the specialized upholstery attachment for vacuuming the couch; this protects the suede surface from the rougher and dirtier edges of other attachments. Consult your vacuum’s manual if you’re unsure which attachment this is.
2. Brush or rub down the nap after vacuuming. Using either the suede nap brush or the suede rubbing cloth, restore the nap with a quick brush or rub after vacuuming.
As well as stain-proofing the couch at the outside, you can also help prevent stains as follows.
1. React quickly whenever something is spilled on a suede couch. Clean up water, fat and soft food spills immediately––the sooner you remove the spill, the better for the couch.
- Water stains should be blotted immediately with a clean cloth; tea, coffee and other colored stains should be blotted immedi-ately with paper towel, then rubbed with a cleaner (see below).
- Cream, frosting and other soft foods should be scraped off quickly and treated immediately. Any food with fat content will stain (see below).
2. Consider renewing the stain repellent as needed. Read the manufacturer’s instructions as to the duration of the product. Mark the time for renewing it in your electronic calendar, as this may be some way down the track but it is important to remem-ber when to renew it, to ensure that the couch is still properly protected.
3. If you’re trying to remove spot stains, consider using one of the following solutions; just bear in mind that the longer a stain is left, the harder it will be to remove:
- Use a suede shoe cleaner obtained from shoe retailers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Rub the stain with the suede cloth first, to restore the nap. Then, dip a terry toweling rag into white vinegar. Rub the stain to re-move.
- Use rubbing alcohol. Dip a clean, neutrally colored cloth into rubbing alcohol and rub over the stain.
- Grease or fat: Rub with a small amount of white spirits on a paper towel. Then sprinkle with talcum powder and leave to dry. Do not attempt to remove it until it is dry, or it’ll spread and stain the area. Brush or vacuum off.
- Use a specialized proprietary cleaner. Follow the instructions provided on the packaging.
- Always test an inconspicuous area of the couch before using a product for cleaning, just in case it stains.
- If you have small children and/or pets, consider covering the couch with throws to prevent damage from hair, mud and other items brought in by children and pets. Doing this will extend the life of the couch and the throws are easily removed when visitors call.
- If you’re not sure how to clean the couch safely, contact the manufacturer or a relevant retailer for advice.