How to Remove Water Stains From Suede

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Suede and moisture don't always get along -- even a few drops of water can leave visible marks on this otherwise durable material. Remove those unsightly stains with a suede eraser or even, surprisingly, with more water.

Stop the Spread

If the spots on the suede are still fresh, dab them with a lint-free cloth to help absorb some of the water. Blot the other side of the suede as well, if it is accessible. For an item such as a handmade suede bag, stuff plain paper inside, or hang the suede up with a clothespin from a clothesline to help it dry out naturally. Allow the moisture to dry out completely before treating the water spots.


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Erase Those Spots

A suede eraser -- available in the laundry or shoe-care section of some stores -- helps remove those water spots that remain on suede after the moisture evaporates. Rub the eraser over the spots, working from the center of each stain outward past the stain's edges to make the spots less visible. If you're unable to find a suede eraser, use a regular pencil eraser or gum eraser; just make sure the eraser is clean first. If necessary, rub the eraser over a sheet of paper a few times to clean the eraser surface.

The Brush-Off

If the spots remain after using an eraser -- or if the texture of the suede seems a little off in the cleaned area -- brush the suede with a nylon-bristled brush such as a fingernail brush or toothbrush. Wet the toothbrush, shaking off most of the water; then brush the spot again. Apply a dab of baby shampoo over the stain; then brush it again. Rinse the brush and continue brushing the area, rinsing the brush frequently, until the soap is gone. Blot the area dry with a lint-free white cloth and place the suede in an area with adequate airflow so it can dry off quickly and naturally.


Moisture Protection

If you suspect the suede may be exposed to moisture again, treat it with a water- and stain-repellent spray designed specifically for suede, following the instructions on the container. Make sure the suede is completely dry before applying the spray.