How to Clean Velvet Furniture
Once reserved for royalty and the very wealthy and traditionally woven from silk, velvet furniture is now available to everyone to add a spot of elegance to your decor, and its popularity is spiking lately. Velvet furniture, just like velvet bedding, is plush, usually richly colored, and is relatively easy to care for.
Before you purchase a velvet couch, chair, or bed headboard, take time to find out the fiber content of the velvet and review the cleaning care tag. Modern velvets are woven from both cotton and synthetic fibers. If the piece will be used daily, especially by children and pets, choose a velvet made from synthetic fibers. They help repel stains easier than cotton velvet. Synthetic fibers also hold their color better if exposed to bright sunlight.
Cleaning velvet furniture doesn't require special products or equipment, but it does take some patience and time. Here's how to keep your velvet furniture looking beautiful.
How Often to Clean Velvet Furniture
As with all upholstered furniture, velvet should be vacuumed weekly to remove dust that can weaken fibers and leave a stale odor in the upholstery. Depending on how frequently the piece is used, a clothes steamer can help lift the pile so that you don't have crushed velvet. This can be incorporated into your weekly vacuuming routine.
Attend to spills right away by blotting them with paper towels. Be sure to lift away any solid spills with a dull knife—never rub!
When the furniture begins to look dull or show signs of grit or grime, especially on the arms, it's time for deeper cleaning.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Vacuum with upholstery attachment
- Clothes steamer
- Microfiber cloth
- Medium bowl
- Dull-edged knife or spatula
- Dishwashing liquid
- Paper towels
How to Properly Clean Your Velvet Furniture
The best attachments for vacuuming velvet upholstery are the dusting or upholstery brush and the crevice tool. Using the upholstery brush, start at the top of the chair or sofa and work in a grid to cover every area. The brush will loosen the dust and soil so it can be suctioned away.
Use the crevice tool to clean between and under cushions and between the cushions and arms. Don't forget to vacuum the outside of the furniture and underneath.
Use Steam to Remove Creases
Just as the nap on a velvet dress or pants can become crushed or creased after sitting, so can velvet upholstery. If the creases are not removed, they can become almost permanent and leave the backing of the velvet fabric exposed.
A handheld clothes steamer or one with a wand works great to lift the nap or pile of the velvet. Use a low heat setting to avoid damaging (melting) the fibers. Hold the steam head several inches from the fabric and move in a grid over the problem areas. Always keep the steam moving. Use your hand to gently brush the nap in the opposite direction to help release the wrinkles.
Spot Treat Stains
As soon as spills happen, lift away any solids with the edge of a dull knife. Then, blot any moisture away with paper towels. Keep changing to a new towel until no more moisture is absorbed. Never rub a stain, because it will push the problem deeper into the fibers.
To spot treat any type of stain, mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid into two cups of warm water. Use a whisk to create suds. Dip a microfiber cloth into fresh water and wring until damp. Dip the damp cloth into just the suds and gently blot the stained area. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred.
Allow the area to air-dry. Use your hand or a steamer to lift any matted fibers.
Schedule an Overall Cleaning
There will come a time when the entire sofa or chair needs to be cleaned. An overall cleaning will leave the upholstery more even in color than continued spot cleaning.
Tips to Keep Velvet Furniture Clean Longer
- Treat spills and stains as soon as they happen.
- Vacuum the upholstery weekly to remove dust and crumbs.
- Use steam to lift any matted pile and remove creases.
- Test any cleaning products in a hidden area to make sure there are no color changes to the velvet.
- Keep velvet furniture away from direct sunlight. If there are no other options, cover exposed areas with throws to help block the sun.
When to Call a Professional
To get a deep cleaning done of your velvet furniture, you might hire a professional cleaning service, especially if you don't have the equipment or the time to do it. A professional upholstery cleaning service has more experience in doing these types of jobs, plus they have higher-end equipment, and the job will get done faster than you can yourself. The size and material of the furniture will determine how much it will cost. The average cost to professionally clean a couch, for example, is around $150 to $200.