How to clean velvet clothing and furniture

velvet dress ready for cleaning

Knowing how to clean velvet clothing and velvet sofas is essential to keep them looking beautiful. It’s easy to damage it during the cleaning process that affects the colour, the nap and the overall appearance.

Why is velvet tricky to clean?

With its opulent texture and luxurious sheen, there’s something about velvet that makes it the perfect fabric for winter. It’s especially beautiful and lovely to wear during the festive season. It’s also a popular fabric for sofas and other furniture. Unlike other fabrics, velvet has a cut-pile, which gives it that lovely soft feel. But this means that you’ll need to be careful when washing it.

A key to cleaning velvet: Act fast

Time is of the essence when cleaning velvet, so if you (or the kids) spill something on your favourite velvet clothing or sofa, be sure to spot clean it right away, as dried-on stains can be especially tough to remove.

How to clean velvet clothing

Use a cool delicate wash cycle in the washing machine. Don’t use fabric softeners, as these can make the pile feel stiff. After washing, velvet should always be air-dried, preferably laying flat. Ironing can flatten and burn the pile so, if you need to get some creases out of a velvet garment, use a handheld steam cleaner instead.

How to clean a velvet sofa or other furniture

When you can’t throw a velvet item in the washing machine, you must spot clean it.

How to clean a velvet sofa or chairs

  1. Brush off/vacuum the stain

    Gently try to remove dry matter or stains, making sure not to press too hard or rub vigorously

  2. Blot wet stains

    Use a clean dry cloth to gently blot liquid stains to get up as much of it as you can.

  3. Use a damp cloth to blot at the stain

    Sometimes you get something on velvet furniture that doesn’t just come up with blotting. Wet the stain slightly then blot with a clean dry cloth. Use water sparingly as you don’t it to become too wet.

  4. Test a hidden part with cleaning solutions

    If your stain still hasn’t come up, use a mixture of mild soapy water and repeat the blotting. (We’ve used the tiniest drop of dishwasher liquid on a damp towel, blotting it with the soapy cloth then again with a damp clean cloth to lift the soap.)

    You can also try specialist cleaning solutions but also test any method (including soap and water) somewhere inconspicuous first and let the area dry completely to assess it before continuing.

  5. Dry it quickly with cool air

    Depending on how much you’ve had to treat the stain, the fabric could become quite wet. Dry it quickly by using a hairdryer on the COOLEST setting or use a fan.

  6. Brush the velvet

    Once it is clean, gently brush the velvet with a soft dry brush to restore the pile to its previous glory.

  7. Still not happy?

    It might be time to call in the professionals.

Get more advice and tips on how to clean clothes

How to wash wool jumpers and other clothes

How to wash whites to keep them bright

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