How to Clean a Suede Purse

A woman with a suede purse.
  • 0.5
  • Beginner
  • 10-50
What You'll Need
Suede brush
Pencil eraser
Stale bread
Fine grade sandpaper
Neatsfoot oil
Buffing cloth

Some of the most attractive purses are made from suede. It is a type of leather material with a smooth, velvety feel. Suede is produced from a thin, inner split of leather. An emery wheel is used to abrade the leather surface. This creates the much-loved smooth, nap texture of the material. However, it is a highly absorbent material and is easily damaged by water and stains. You need to take extra care to ensure that fluids don’t spill onto your purse. Use the guide below to get your purse clean.

Step 1 - Rub the Purse

Use a clean, dry towel to rub your suede. Moderate pressure will help to clear surface marks and water spots. Do not rub too hard as it will spoil the texture of the material.

Step 2 - Brush

Obtain a suede brush from a specialty leather store. You can also purchase one online. Use the brush to clear dust and fine debris from your purse. It also helps to restore the fine appearance of the purse.

Step 3 - Remove the Stain

Due to its high absorbency rate, stains may be your biggest headache with your suede purse. Use a soft pencil eraser or fine grade sandpaper to clear stains from your purse. Rub at the stain gently with the eraser until the stain clears. Once it clears, rub down the purse with a clean towel or brush. You could also use a piece of stale bread to clear stains from your purse. Rub at the stain with the bread until it clears.

Step 4 - Condition

It is a good idea to condition your purse after you clean it. This helps to maintain its attractive appearance for longer. It also gives the purse a new look and extends the longevity of your purse. Place a small amount of the oil onto a buffing cloth. Rub the oil into the purse with short, steady strokes. It is best to begin on the inside. Turn the purse inside out for easier application. Extra effort is required at corners and along seams. Proceed to the outside when done with the inside.

Step 5 - Use Professional Cleaning

It helps if you take your purse to a professional suede cleaner every one or two years. The cleaner will give your purse a thorough clean and some special treatment. It doesn’t cost much money and adds to the durability of your purse. This is well worth the effort as suede purses are amongst the higher-priced on the market.


To reduce stain occurrence, take measures to prevent stains on your purse. Obtain a suede protector from a leather specialty store. Apply it as outlined in the instructions. This helps to waterproof the purse and prevents stains. It also gives your purse a new appearance for longer.

Avoid soap and water when you need to clean your purse. These spoil the texture of the suede and you’ll loose the soft, smooth feel.