Cleaning creator shares how to properly clean suede items at home

Zachary Pozniak (@jeeves_ny), a cleaning content creator, recently posted a video on Sept. 28 showing how professional dry cleaners clean suede items, and how to do it at home by hand.

In order to show off his skills, Pozniak chose to use a $3500 Christian Dior jacket for his video. To start, the jacket had light orange makeup stains around the chest and green residue along the cuffs.

The first thing Pozniak started with was a suede stone, which he described as a “big eraser.”

“That paired with a lint brush, did a very good job, but there was a faint bit still there,” Pozniak said.

Pozniak had an idea of how to get the stain out, but tested it first on the inside lining because he wanted to use a liquid. The solvent he wanted to use left a ring after drying, so he decided against it.

“In my experience, getting a garment 90% clean is better than risking it to get to 100%.”

Pozniak continued to use suede stones, of varying roughness, and lint rollers to clean and restore the rest of the jacket. He also mentioned that he used a little bit of soapy water off camera to fully clean the cuffs.

As he noted earlier in his video, he had to be careful with the type of solvents and cleaning solutions he used on the jacket because of suede’s nature. The material is made from “small leather ‘hairs’ which become stiff and brittle when they get wet, then dry.” Whenever the suede dries out, then the small hairs are at risk of breaking off, which would leave the material permanently damaged.

One question his viewers had was about how to remove foul odors, since the jacket wasn’t being traditionally washed.

“How do you clean armpit sweat odor in garments which can’t be soaked?” replied @holy.hope.

Pozniak didn’t have a direct response to comments like those, but there are several documented ways of removing bad smells from suede.

“Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a natural deodorizer. Dampen a cloth or rag in undiluted white distilled vinegar and wipe down the suede following the grain,” Larissa Klinger wrote for The Article.

Just like Pozniak, using a suede brush is the final step to get the material looking as fresh as possible.

“Once the vinegar on the article is dry, use a suede brush to restore the suede’s texture.”

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