How To Remove Oil Stains From Suede

Have you ever spilled butter onto your suede couch?

How about wine onto your brand new suede jacket?

If this is you, it’s not the end of your couch or clothing, so don’t panic.

We have researched and found several ways to remove oil stains from suede.

What Is Suede

Suede is either a natural or dyed leather with a fuzzy finish applied to it.

It is a very thin leather and not as durable as a solid leather hide.

Another important thing to remember about suede is that it doesn’t have a protective layer of coating and will, therefore, absorb the stain much quicker.

Because of this, a HUGE part of your success from removing oil stains from suede will be how quickly you can start working on it after the spill.

If you wait too long, the stain may be too far set in and you will need to call a professional.

But you should always try to remove the stain yourself first.

Read on for the items you’ll need and how to remove oil stains from suede on your own.

What You’ll Need

In this section, we go over the items you’ll need to remove oil stains from suede.

A couple of different methods will be discussed later in the article.

We list all the items needed for both methods and will give detailed instructions for which items and materials will be needed for each method.

If you don’t have all the items listed it’s not a problem.

You probably have enough to try one of the methods.

It may be worth your time, however, to try both methods, if needed, before calling a professional.

Paper Towels

The first thing you need is a good absorbent paper towel or clean rag.

This will be needed for both methods so make sure you have some handy.

Baking Soda/Corn Starch

One of the methods is removing the oil stain using either baking soda or corn starch.

Baking soda will absorb and pull out the oil from the suede.

It’s good to have in the home to use for almost any type of oil-based stain.

If you’ve run out and need to order some, click here.

Liquid Dish Soap

If you get to the stain fast enough most liquid dish soaps will work fine.

For stains that are more set in try Ajax.


You will use a clean toothbrush for a couple of finesse steps in the process.

Just use an old but clean one that you were about to trash.

Microfiber Cloth

A microfiber cloth is needed to lightly brush away the baking soda.

If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, use the thinnest and lightest material cloth you have on hand.

I like these that I found on Amazon.


Make sure that you use distilled white vinegar when cleaning any types of stains.

If you use cider vinegar, they are much more acidic and can damage the suede.

I really like this brand.

And there you go!

These are all the items that you’ll need.

You probably have this bringing your cost to nothing at all.

Now you are ready to start removing the oil stain off of your suede.

Step By Step Instructions For How To Remove Oil Stains From Suede Using Baking Soda

Here we go over in detail how to remove oil stains using baking soda.

This is the method I would start with as it will, quite often, remove the stain completely without having to try anything else.

#1 Blot With Paper Towel

The first thing you need to do is use your paper towels to blot up all the oil that you can.

The quicker you can get to the stain and start this process, the better.

You may be able to take care of most of the stain just using paper towels if you can get to it quickly enough.

#2 Cover Stain With Baking Soda

Next, you will completely cover the stain with baking soda.

Make sure that you apply it liberally as you can’t put too much on the stain.

Allow the baking soda to sit for at least an hour.

It’s fine to allow it to sit for several hours.

You should see the baking soda start to have an oily look after it’s been sitting for an hour or so.

This is because it is pulling the oil out of the stain.

#3 Remove Baking Soda With Microfiber Cloth

You can brush the majority of the baking soda off with your hand.

Use your microfiber cloth, (or any fine cloth) to remove what is left.

It’s fine to dampen the cloth lightly to remove the last bit.

Excess water can damage suede so make sure that you just dab the remaining baking soda off.

If the stain is not removed completely do steps 2 and 3 at least one more time.

#4 Apply Vinegar

If the stain is still there after trying the baking soda a couple of times moisten a cloth with vinegar.

Very gently rub the cloth over the stain.

You can dab softly as well just make sure not to have actual drops of vinegar fall onto the suede.

#5 Dry And Brush

After the stain is removed allow the suede to air dry.

Avoid any type of heat drying.

When it is fully dry, scrub the spot with a toothbrush to raise the suede’s nap.

This will allow it to not be matted after removing the stain.

If the stain is still visible read on for another method.

Step By Step Instructions For How To Remove Oil Stains Using Liquid Dish Soap

#1 Blot With Paper Towel

Follow step one from above the same way.

#2 Pour Liquid Dish Soap

Pour your grease-cutting dish soap onto the stain and make sure it’s completely covered.

Let it sit for no more than 10 minutes.

#3 Scrub With Toothbrush

Scrub the stain in small strokes with your toothbrush.

This will work the soap into the stain.

Pro Tip:

Be sure to brush lightly.

If you brush too hard it can damage the suede.

If done correctly, the suede will have a soft and vibrant look when finished.

#4 Remove Oil With Microfiber Cloth

Dampen your microfiber cloth very lightly with warm water.

Squeeze out the excess water from the cloth and scrub the stain.

As you scrub you should see the oil forming on your cloth.


And there you go!

Now you know two ways to remove oil stains from suede.

As we said earlier, these methods are far more successful if you can start them as soon as possible after the spill occurs.

Using these simple steps can save you money as well as give you a sense of accomplishment.

Happy stain removing!