How to Remove a Balsamic Vinegar Stain From Suede

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Suede can be a beautiful medium for purses, jackets, shoes and furniture, but takes some extra care since it can be difficult to clean because of its soft and delicate texture. One of the most important things to know about cleaning suede is that the longer you wait to treat an item, the harder it will be to clean. Balsamic vinegar is a particular tricky stain, as it is a liquid, which allows it to penetrate faster, and it is such a dark color. If in doubt, you should always rely on professional cleaning, but there are some methods you can safely try before paying out the big bucks.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, absorbent cloths
  • Cornstarch
  • White vinegar
  • Pencil eraser
  • Suede brush

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Blot the vinegar stain as soon as possible with a clean, absorbent cloth. Do not rub the stain, or you risk spreading it or making it worse.

Apply a thin layer of cornstarch to the stain to draw out any oil and as much liquid as possible. Allow to sit for approximately ten minutes and brush it off gently.

Make a solution of one part warm water and three parts white vinegar and wet a small portion of a clean, absorbent cloth with it. Dab it directly on the stain, but do not rub vigorously.

Once the treated ares had dried, lightly rub it with a clean pencil eraser to remove any remaining pigment.

Rub the treated surface with a rough, dry terry cloth towel or a suede brush to restore the natural nap and softness.

If any of the stain remains after this treatment, seek professional advice to avoid overtreating and therefore ruining your item.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevention is the best option when it comes to suede. Have your item professionally treated with a stain repellent or purchase a commercial one yourself. Always check to make sure that whatever you purchase is safe for suede specifically and not just leather in general.
  • Always test the vinegar solution on an unnoticed part of the item before using on the stain to make sure it is safe for your particular piece.
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