Hand sanitizer is a big part of our life today and so it is very common to have hand sanitizer stains on a lot of our everyday items like clothes, jackets, bags, shoes, to mention a few.
While materials like plastics, nylon, and other synthetic materials will be a lot more forgiving, natural materials like leather, suede leather to be precise, are not so forgiving.
So in this article, I’m going to focus on how to remove hand sanitizer stains from suede. But first, let me get into the basics.
What Is Suede?
What is suede? Suede generally refers to leather that has been sanded or buffed on the flesh side, or inside, to give a napped finish. It’s similar in look and feels like velvet.
Unlike regular leather which is made from tanned animal skin that has its outside layer intact; suede is made from the inside layer of animal skin. As a result, suede leather is softer and finer than regular leather.
The term “suede” can also refer to a type of fabric that uses this same technique to create a similar feel and texture. Suede fabric may be used for clothing or other items such as luggage, furniture, and car upholstery.
Suede leather is often used in high-end fashion items as it is seen as a more luxurious material.
How Does Suede Get Stained?
Due to the nature of suede and the fact that it is made from leather, suede leather stains easily.
Suede itself is prone to staining due to its soft texture and porous nature. This means dirt can get trapped in the fibers of your suede items very easily. This is the reason why stains like those from hand sanitizer can be tricky to deal with.
Also, unlike other materials like cotton or nylon, suede does not have a natural protective layer or will not have the same level of surface protection you get when compared to smooth leathers.
This makes suede prone to staining, water damage, discoloration, and even fading. Plus stains are usually a lot more difficult to remove from suede when compared to other materials.
However, if you follow the right steps, you can remove hand sanitizer stains from suede without too much trouble.
Since suede is somewhat sensitive or delicate, you do not want to use any method that will involve a lot of chemicals or methods that would get the suede leather very wet.
Without wasting too much time, let’s get into 3 of the most effective ways to remove hand sanitizer stains from suede.
How to Remove Hand Sanitizer Stains from Suede
Now that we know a little more about suede leather, here are 3 easy ways to remove hand sanitizer stains from your suede items.
1. Using Fine Emery Board or Nail File
The first method to remove hand sanitizer stains from suede is using a fine emery board or nail file. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or gel stains from suede.
And yes! you read right! emery board or nail file. And yes again! the same one you use on your nails.
A fine emery board or nail file helps to remove not only hand sanitizer stains from suede but it’s also awesome for removing all types of stains from suede and microsuede.
To use this method, you’ll need:
- A fine emery board or nail file
- Cotton balls
Step 1: Dab All Excess Hand Sanitizer Residue
- Dab as much of the hand sanitizer stain as possible using the cotton balls.
- You want to try and remove as much of the stain before trying to clean it.
Step 2: Slightly Buff The Stain
- Use the fine emery board or nail file to gently rub at the stained area in a circular motion.
- Be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the nappe of the suede leather.
- Continue rubbing until the stain is gone.
Step 3: Brush Off Residue
- Once the hand sanitizer stain is gone or significantly faded, use your suede brush or a clean soft-bristled brush to brush the area in a circular motion.
- This will lift any fibers that have been flattened by the stain and restore them to their original texture.
- Do this until you get back your suede’s original texture and appearance.
Remember! You do not want to scrub too hard as this can damage the nap of your suede leather or fabric – so be gentle!
The fine emery board or nail file method is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remove hand sanitizer stains from suede without having to use any harsh chemicals.
It’s also a great way to get rid of other types of stains on your suede items. But if you don’t have an emery board or nail file, you can check out the next method.
2. Using Suede Or Pencil Eraser
Another easy way to remove hand sanitizer stains from suede is using a suede pr pencil eraser. It is as simple as it sounds.
There are special suede erasers used to remove stains and marks from suede, but you can also use a regular pencil eraser to get rid of hand sanitizer stains.
To use this method, you’ll need:
- A suede or pencil eraser
- Soft Bristled-Brush
Step 1: Blot
- Blot as much of the hand sanitizer stain as possible using a cotton ball if the stain is fresh.
Step 2: Rub The Stained Area With Eraser
- Next, gently use your suede or pencil eraser to rub at the stained area in a circular motion.
- You want to be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the nap of your suede leather.
- Continue rubbing until the stain is gone or significantly faded.
Step 3: Remove The Eraser Residue
- Once you are done with step two, use a soft-bristled brush or a lint-free rag to wipe off the eraser residue.
3. Using White Vinegar
If you still have significant traces of the hand sanitizer stain left on your suede, you can use white vinegar to remove it.
White vinegar is one of the most effective ways to remove stains from suede and it’s a natural cleaner. White vinegar is also great for cleaning smooth leather and faux leather.
You can use white vinegar to do such an awesome job because it contains acetic acid, which is great for cleaning and removing stains. The acid component is able to break down and remove the stains. To use this method, you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Microfiber cloth, Cotton balls, or cotton pads
- Soft Bristled-Brush (optional)
Step 1: Dilute Your Vinegar With Water
- Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl or spray bottle.
Step 2: Blot And Rub The Stain With Vinegar Solution
- Dab the stain with the vinegar solution using either a cotton ball, cotton pad, or microfiber cloth.
- You want to be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the nap of your suede leather or fabric.
Step 3: Rinse
- Dampen your microfiber cloth with clean water, wring it out so it is damp (not wet), and then use it to wipe away the vinegar from your suede.
Step 4: Air-Dry
- Take a clean towel, set it on a flat surface, and lay your suede item over it to dry.
- Allow it to air dry completely
Step 5: Brush
- Brush the suede surface to restore the nappe to its original texture using a suede brush or a soft-bristled brush.
Tips On How To Prevent Suede From Stains
As much as you may try, it’s impossible to keep suede from staining. But there are a few things you can do to help prevent them:
- Try not to wear your suede in areas where there is a high chance of it coming into contact with dirt, grease, or other types of stains.
- If you do get a stain on your suede, act fast and treat it as soon as possible.
- Make sure to brush your suede item regularly to keep the nappe intact and free from dirt, dust, and other particles that may cause stains.
- Apply water and stain repellent to your suede items to help protect them from stains.
Suede is a delicate material and it’s very easy to stain or damage. But with the right techniques, you can remove hand sanitizer stains from suede and get your item looking new again.
To save yourself some time and effort, use one of the methods mentioned above to remove hand sanitizer stains from suede without causing any further damage.
If you’re not sure which method is best for your item, you can start with the suede eraser method and see if that works. If it doesn’t, move on to one of the more aggressive methods like a fine emery board or white vinegar methods. Happy cleaning! 🙂