How to Clean a Suede Handbag

Alexander Ivanov |

Suede is beautiful: Boots, jackets and handbags made from leather's delicate sister are some of the most coveted luxury items. In some cases, suede even covers furniture. If your suede handbag gets wet or dirty, it can be cleaned, albeit carefully.

Use the towel to blot the excess water, dirt or grime from the bag. Be careful not to rub; this will grind the dirt into the surface. Pressing down on the stain with an absorbent towel and then immediately lifting the towel is best, even if the suede is just wet.

Stuff the handbag with dry paper so it keeps its shape. Wait for the bag to dry completely. Allow at least 24 hours to ensure it is completely dry.

Once the bag is dry, use a soft-bristle brush to gently return the nap to the suede. Spray with a protectant to waterproof the suede and enable it to repel dirt.

To remove ink stains or other unidentified substances, try a dry solution: a white pencil eraser for light-colored suede and a dark eraser for darker suede. Clean gently, as the eraser can sometimes remove surrounding color along with the stain.

If the dry tricks don't work, apply some white vinegar to the stain with a towel, and gently blot. The ink may transfer to the towel; sure to blot with the clean part of the towel, so you don't transfer the ink back to the suede.

Oil, grease or other stains should be tackled with an over-the-counter suede or leather cleaner. Read the manufacturer's instructions before using any product on suede, and test to make sure the suede is colorfast.