How to Clean an Old Suede Vest

by Michelle Ullman ; Updated September 28, 2017

Suede's style is soft, yet rugged.

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A suede vest's rugged, retro style adds flair to jeans and a casual top, emboldens a feminine skirt or dress, and plays up a sexy outfit worn for a night on the town. Suede's velvety texture is more luxurious than leather, but also harder to clean. If your old suede vest is heavily stained or soiled, has tears or other damage, or is very fragile, have it professionally cleaned. You can handle minor dirt, stains and dust yourself.

Raise the nap of your suede vest with a suede brush. Rub in small circles against the grain of the suede.

Scrub away small stains or smudges with a clean pencil eraser or suede eraser. Rub gently until the stain is gone.

Remove old water stains by spraying the entire vest with clean water. Soak up the moisture with a towel, then hang the vest until it is completely dry.

Tackle body oil stains with white vinegar. Wet a cotton ball or clean cloth with vinegar, then massage it into the suede until the stain disappears. The smell of vinegar will eventually fade away.

Brush your vest again with the suede brush after your cleaning is complete.

Spray the vest with suede waterproofing protector to ward off future soiling.


  • Test an inconspicuous spot on the inside of your vest before using vinegar or any cleaning product. If you don't have a suede brush, substitute an old toothbrush.

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About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.