How To Prevent Denim From Staining Suede--And How To Fix It If It Does

September 24, 2015 by Linda DiProperzio
shefinds | Style

With fall’s arrival, it’s finally jean season! And many of us love to pair our favorite pair with a gorgeous suede jacket, boots and hndbags. While it looks great, doing so can also wreak havoc if that dye from the denim rubs off on the suede. Those marks are nearly impossible to get off, and can cost you big bucks having your items professionally cleaned or replaced. Before this happens to you, read on for tips to prevent it altogether.

1. Wash your jeans ASAP. While many of us might prefer not to wash jeans right away, it’s the surest way to prevent the indigo dye from rubbing off on our suede items. Wash them inside out using cold water (hot water can cause the jeans to shrink and cold water is also gentler on dyes so the color won’t fade). And make sure to wash the jeans alone so the dye doesn’t rub off on anything else.

2. Throw in some vinegar. You might also add one cup of white vinegar to your cold water rinse. The vinegar will help seal the dye within the fabric so that they won’t continue to bleed. However, many of the newer dyes are impervious to the vinegar, so there is no guarantee it will work. It’s one of those “it can’t hurt” options.

3. Think about hand washing. If you’re worried about the jeans losing their shape, you can also hand wash your pairs in a cold water and vinegar mix. If your sink isn’t big enough, use the bath tub!

4. Treat with Scotchgard: A fabric-protector spray, like Scotchgard, can help keep the dye in place, but the protector may wash out eventually.

Already stuck with an awful stain on your suede? Try these simple tricks to get it clean:

– Rub suede gently with a clean, dry white bath towel to remove some of the dye (the towel must be white so color from the towel doesn’t transfer onto the suede).

-You can also dampen the towel and pour 1 tbsp. of white vinegar onto it. Blot the stained parts. Then brush suede with a soft, clean toothbrush.

Be sure to check out new uses for your lint roller and the right way to apply eyeshadow.


Linda DiProperzio is a weddings expert and freelance writer based in New York.

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