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Are Professionals Need For Suede Cleaning?

Suede cleaning is often a difficult process, because the material can easily be damaged if special care is not taken. Unlike standard leather, this material is made with a slightly napped surface, which means it is covered in small fibers. These fibers give the material additional porosity, so it will readily soak up liquids and oils. Over time, the fibers will become matted and compressed, resulting in a discolored and mottled appearance that is unattractive. It’s important to keep in mind that most stains rest in the nap, so they remain near the top of the material’s surface. This affords some additional treatment options that can be extremely effective, but also may be risky in untrained hands. That’s why most homeowners turn to a professional service to handle the job.

How do professionals handle suede cleaning?

It depends on what has damaged the material, but in most cases, professionals will have to remove body oil and stains, some of which may be adhered firmly to the material’s surface. Homeowners can extend the life of the upholstery and mitigate some of the damage if they respond to spills and other stains right away, absorbing them as quickly as possible with a clean, dry cloth. Like other forms of upholstery, this material will soak up stains quickly, allowing them to set permanently before long.

But stains are going to happen, and while it may be tempting to apply more moisture to the material to try to wash out the stain and oil, this rarely works. And, in fact, applying too much water to the material can worsen the damage, as it can rehydrate stains and allow them to spread further into the upholstery. Applying water can also result in odors. Instead, what most professionals will do is use gentle abrasion to remove the substance from the nap and reset the nap at the same time. This form of suede cleaning must be handled by an experienced hand, as using too much force or the wrong tool can score a permanent scratch into the delicate material.

A special brush made just for the material can provide the abrasive force. Professionals will begin suede cleaning by testing their tools on an area that is well out of sight. Assuming the test turns up no problems, gentle abrasion is used on all discolored patches of the material. In effect, this scrapes off the top of the material’s nap, and most of the stain with it.

For particularly tough stains, like paint or ink, professionals will use a precise tool to scrape the substance off.

This suede cleaning process will produce a lot of leather dust that should be removed as soon as possible. A simple hand vacuum can do the job admirably, and it will be pushed over the entire piece of furniture. Another effect of the process is that it lightens up the upholstery a bit, but this can be corrected by wetting a soft towel and dabbing the lighter areas.

Few materials are as soft and comfortable as suede, but it must be taken care of, or it will soon show excess wear and damage.

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