Last updated on July 1st, 2021
Faux suede, also known as microsuede, is a man-made fabric. Other names for the fabric include Ultrasuede and microfiber.
It is formed from millions of fine microfibers of polyester. It is visually and tactically similar to real suede, but the fabric is much easier to care for and maintain.
Faux suede is also considerably cheaper and more durable than genuine suede. Faux suede can be found in a huge variety of colors and patterns and is water-resistant.
It is a very strong but lightweight fabric, with a comfortable feel and a soft texture. The material is shrink and stain-resistant.
The fabric is very breathable and resistant to clinging, piling, and color fading. This makes it a great alternative to traditional suede which is very high-maintenance.
What do you use to clean faux suede fabric?
All faux suede furniture will come with a care tag installed by the manufacturer. This is a long strip of fabric with information printed on, that has been sewn into the lining of the recliner. This care tag will have a cleaning code listed on there somewhere, indicating the most appropriate cleaning method.
The most common codes are ‘W’, ‘S’, and ‘S-W’. The ‘W’ tag means that the fabric can be cleaned with a water-based cleaner. The ‘S’ code means that the fabric must be dry-cleaned using a solvent-based cleaner, and ‘S-W’ means that both methods are suitable.
If your care tag has an ‘X’ code printed on it, you should contact a professional upholstery cleaning company for further assistance.
How do you prepare to clean the recliner?
You should regularly be vacuuming your furniture to remove crumbs and other loose debris. This is particularly important if you have animals or young children in the house.
We recommend vacuuming the surface of your furniture at least once per week to prevent loose items from becoming ingrained.
You should use a soft brush attachment on the fabric. This will suck up the debris without pulling too harshly on the fabric and causing it to wrinkle.
It is a good idea to perform a spot test on your furniture when using a new cleaning product. This should be done on an inconspicuous area of the fabric in case the chemicals react badly.
How do you clean ‘W’ coded faux suede?
If any liquids are spilled onto the faux suede, you should clean them immediately. The structure of the fabric means that the liquid will bead up and will not soak into the fabric fibers as fast.
Grab a clean and dry cloth and use this to dab at the spilled liquid. Do not rub with the cloth, and as it becomes saturated and dirty, switch it out for a fresh one.
Once the stain has been lifted, wipe over the area using a clean and damp cloth. If the substance spilled is smelly, sprinkle over a thin layer of baking soda to prevent odors from setting in.
If the spilled liquid is oil-based, you will need to use a different method. Blot the spill with a dry cloth and then grab a dry detergent. There are some that are specially formulated for microfiber fabrics, or alternatively, you could use some corn starch.
Allow this to sit on the spill for 5 minutes to soak up the oil. After this, pour a small drop of liquid dish soap onto a toothbrush. Pat this onto the stain and allow it to sit for a further 5 minutes. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any residue. This process can be repeated several times until the stain has lifted completely.
How do you clean ‘S’ coded faux suede?
If anything is spilled onto your furniture, you should immediately sprinkle over a powder laundry detergent or a solvent microfiber cleaning product.
Grab a soft-bristled scrubbing brush and work in circular motions over the stain. Once the fabric has dried out completely, use a vacuum to suck up any remaining powder.
If the stain is old, use a damp cloth and dish soap to gently rub at it. Work in small sections and be sure to wring out moisture from the cloth as much as possible before you use it on the recliner. If the stain is only mild, you may be able to lift it with just a damp cloth.
We advise using a blow dryer set to a cool heat to dry off the area that you have just cleaned. This will prevent water stains from setting into the fabric.
Use a soft scrubbing brush to refresh the texture of the recliner before you use it again.
To remove ink stains, we advise using baby wipes. You could also apply some rubbing alcohol or clear spirits (such as vodka).
If your pet pees on your recliner, we advise using a 1:1 dilution of white vinegar to water. Sprinkle the area with a thin layer of baking soda to lift any odors from the fabric.
If your recliner cover is really heavily soiled, you may be able to throw it in the washing machine. Remove the cover from the stuffing and wash it on a gentle cycle with a mild laundry detergent.
You should not tumble dry the fabric, instead, allow it to air dry naturally. Be aware that this process could cause the color of the fabric to fade.
What should you avoid?
There are some chemical products that will cause irreversible damage to your faux suede recliner. These include carpet cleaners, bleach, and nail polish remover. Any products containing chlorine or acetone should also be avoided.
If you cannot get the stains to lift from your recliner using the methods mentioned above, we recommend contacting a professional upholstery cleaning company.
They will have access to products that are stronger and more effective than those commercially available. They will also have a much higher level of knowledge and will be able to properly advise on the best course of action.