Can You Wash Suede Fabric In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Suede Fabric In The Washing Machine

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Most manufacturers and experts do not recommend washing suede in a washing machine.

Suede fabric has a unique and luxurious texture that adds sophistication to clothing, accessories, and even furniture. However, this delicate material requires special care to maintain its appearance and longevity.

The question arises: can you wash suede fabric in the washing machine? In this article, we’ll explore this query while providing valuable insights into the dos, don’ts, and alternative methods for cleaning suede fabric.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Suede Fabric


  • Regular Brushing: Use a suede brush to gently remove dirt, dust, and surface stains. Brushing in one direction helps maintain the nap of the suede.
  • Blotting Stains: If you encounter a liquid spill, immediately blot the area with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid rubbing, as it could spread the stain.
  • Stain Removal Products: Consider using specialized suede stain removers or erasers for minor stains. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test the product on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Storing Properly: Store suede items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and moisture damage.


  • Machine Washing: Most manufacturers and experts do not recommend washing suede in a washing machine. The agitation and water exposure can cause irreversible damage to the delicate fibers, leading to shrinkage, color fading, and loss of texture.
  • Submerging in Water: Suede and water are not the best companions. Submerging suede items in water can lead to permanent damage, warping the material and causing it to lose its softness.
  • Heat Exposure: Avoid exposing suede to direct heat sources, such as radiators or hairdryers, as this can lead to cracking, drying, and deformation of the fabric.
  • Abrasive Cleaning: Using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals can cause abrasion and discoloration. Stick to gentle cleaning methods specifically designed for suede.

Best Ways To Wash Suede Fabric:

While machine washing is not recommended for suede fabric, there are alternative methods that can effectively clean and refresh your suede items:

  1. Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or spots, create a solution using mild soap and water. Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and gently blot the stained area. Afterward, use a dry cloth to blot away excess moisture.
  2. Suede Cleaner Kits: Invest in a suede cleaning kit that contains a brush, eraser, and specialized cleaner. Follow the instructions provided in the kit to clean your suede items effectively.
  3. Professional Cleaning: For valuable or heavily soiled suede items, it’s advisable to seek the services of a professional cleaner who specializes in suede and leather cleaning. They have the expertise and equipment to handle delicate materials safely.
  4. Steam Cleaning: Some experts recommend using a handheld garment steamer to freshen up suede fabric. Keep the steamer at a safe distance and gently steam the suede, followed by brushing it to restore the nap.

Alternative Washing Methods For Suede Fabric

If you’re looking for alternative ways to clean suede fabric without using a washing machine, consider these methods:

  • Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and use a soft cloth to gently clean the suede. The vinegar helps break down stains while also refreshing the fabric.
  • Cornstarch or Talcum Powder: For oil-based stains, sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the affected area and let it sit overnight. The powder can absorb the oil, making it easier to brush away.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the suede, let it sit for a few hours, and then brush it off. Baking soda helps absorb odors and freshens the fabric.
  • Freezing Method: For items that can fit into your freezer, place them in a sealable plastic bag and freeze overnight. The cold temperature can help kill odor-causing bacteria. Remember to brush the suede afterward.


Can I wash suede shoes in a washing machine?

Answer: No, washing suede shoes in a washing machine can cause irreversible damage to the material. It’s best to use specialized cleaning methods or seek professional assistance.

Can I use water to clean suede?

Answer: While water can be used sparingly for spot cleaning, it’s important to avoid saturating suede with water, as it can lead to warping and discoloration.

How can I remove ink stains from suede?

Answer: Ink stains on suede can be challenging to remove. It’s recommended to consult a professional cleaner who specializes in suede and leather cleaning for best results.

Can I wear suede in the rain?

Answer: Suede is sensitive to moisture and is not the ideal choice for rainy conditions. Consider using a suede protectant spray to make it more water-resistant.

Is suede the same as nubuck?

Answer: While suede and nubuck have similar textures, they come from different parts of the hide. Suede comes from the inner layer of leather, while nubuck is sanded from the outer layer, making it slightly more durable. Both materials require special care.

Final Words:

Suede fabric adds elegance to our wardrobes and living spaces, but it requires special care to maintain its allure. While machine washing is a big no-no for suede, there are plenty of safe and effective methods to clean and refresh this delicate material. By following the dos and avoiding the don’ts, you can ensure that your suede items remain in impeccable condition for years to come.

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