The Best Way to Clean Velvet

The Best Way to Clean Velvet

Whether you find velvet tacky or classic, you’ve probably noticed that the plush material has enjoyed a period of popularity over the past few years, adding softness to furniture and fabrics. But what happens when it’s time to take care of stains or spills, or tidy up your sofa? Here’s the best way to clean velvet.

How to clean velvet

Here’s how to keep your velvet upholstery and fabric clean and stain-free:

Vacuum the velvet

One of the downsides of velvet is that it tends to attract dust, dirt, and crumbs, which often accumulate along seams and between cushions on chairs or sofas. For this reason, you may notice that your velvet furniture gets (or at least looks) dirtier faster than other types of upholstery.

Fortunately, using a hand-held vacuum or the upholstery attachment on a full-size vacuum will take care of it. That said, if you’re having trouble sucking up all the dust and other debris on the fabric, use a clean, soft-bristled brush to loosen it up first, then vacuum it away.

Spot treat, if necessary

Vacuuming your velvet furniture on a regular basis should keep it in tip-top shape, but if you’re dealing with spills or stains, more action is necessary.

The trick to cleaning up a spill on velvet is to dab it with a clean, dry absorbent cloth as soon as possible, then allowing it to air dry. If it leaves behind a stain — or you discover an older spot on your furniture — there are a few more steps involved.

First, mix up one of two cleaning solutions:

  • Baking soda + lemon juice: Put 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a small dish and fill with lemon juice until it starts to foam.
  • Dish soap + water: Fill a bucket or container with warm water, then add a squirt or two of mild dish soap. Swish it around a bit until it’s sudsy.

Then, do a small patch test on an inconspicuous part of the velvet furniture to ensure that your solution of choice won’t damage the fabric.

If you’re happy with the result, dip a clean, soft, dry cloth into either the foam or the suds, then use it to blot — not rub — the stain until it disappears. After it air dries, check the area to make sure the stain is gone, and to see if the velvet is now matted. If it is, use a clean, dry, soft-bristled brush to fluff it back up.

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