How to Clean a Suede Jacket and Liner

How to clean suede

This year, one of my personal resolutions was to buy ZERO new clothes. It’s my little way of not contributing to the over-production of clothing that so often ends up as additional waste in landfills. That’s not to mention the damaging environmental impact that results from irresponsible production factory pollution as well as the questionable work conditions for many factory employees (I went into more detail about this in a recent newsletter – if you missed it then I recommend first signing up so you don’t miss future issues and also checking out the documentary The True Cost to learn more!).

This might sound like I gave up clothes shopping entirely but that’s not the case. In fact, I am working diligently on improving my tired wardrobe and slowly replacing my old, sad pieces with items that I truly love to wear. So instead of buying new, I am buying second hand! Including this thrifted suede jacket.

This suede GAP jacket easily retailed for $200-$400 when purchased new. I bought it for $30 from a Crossroads in San Francisco.

With that said, the jacket showed signs of wear – the suede edges of the sleeves and areas around the zippers were pretty dirty. The lining had some minor stains as well. I bought it anyway and cleaned it up -now I receive compliments every time I wear it!

The moral of this story is don’t be afraid of suede! Suede shoes or suede jackets can be easily cleaned and cared for at home. See how to clean suede in the video and photos below.

How to clean suede

If you regularly wear your suede clothing items (suede shoes, suede jackets, suede accessories…), they will eventually get dirty. Luckily it isn’t terribly difficult to clean suede.

How to clean suede

Enter the suede brush. I used this one and it worked like a charm (watch the video and you can see for yourself!). Simply brush away the dirt from your suede. This might require a little elbow grease if you have darker stains on lighter suede like on my jacket for example.

How to clean suede

The suede brush should take care of any external jacket stains but you also want to make sure you clean the jacket liner.

Grab a big bowl and combine 1 TBS of laundry detergent with 4 cups of warm water and mix well.

Soak a clean sponge in the soapy water and squeeze out any excess liquid, then sponge clean the inside liner of the suede jacket. This process is easiest if you hang the jacket inside out while you sponge clean.

Once you sponge the liner with the soapy water, rinse the sponge with clean water and sponge the jacket once more to remove any soap residue.

Let the jacket liner dry COMPLETELY before hanging it right side out. You can use this liner cleaning process for any of your coats or jackets!

How to clean suede

Enjoy your clean suede!

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