How to Clean and Care for Velvet Bedding

Navy velvet comforter on bed with royal blue velvet footstool

Katarzyna Biakisiewicz/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 - 8 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Velvet bedding lends an air of luxury and elegance to any bedroom. The plush textures are soft and cozy and perfect for relaxing. However, the term velvet bedding is a bit of a misnomer, since almost all bedding with a plush feel—velour, microfiber, flannel, or real velvet—is sold as velvet bedding.

Caring for velvet comforters, blankets, pillow covers, and sheets is simple if you take the time to read the care label instructions. The pieces can be made from natural or synthetic fibers or a blend. All bedding sold in the United States is required to have a care label that will tell you if the item is washable and what water temperature and drying cycle to use. Most velvet bedding can be washed on the gentle cycle or by hand, though the manufacturer may recommend dry cleaning only due to the instability of dyes or the inner structure of a pillow or comforter.

Washing velvet bedding at home or in a laundromat doesn't require any special products and is easy if you follow just a few rules to keep everything soft and lint-free.

How Often to Wash Velvet Bedding

Velvet sheets and pillowcases should be washed weekly to remove body soil.

If you are using top sheets and don't have pets on the bed, velvet blankets, comforters, or duvet covers should only need to be washed monthly or when spills or stains are visible.

Tip

To freshen velvet comforters that are not excessively soiled but don't smell fresh, choose a home dry cleaning kit that is used in a dryer. Spot treat any stains with the kit's stain remover and follow the product instructions.


Remove the comforter or duvet cover promptly when the cycle is finished to prevent wrinkles and creasing. Spread the comforter on the bed to finish air-drying.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Washer
  • Bathtub or large plastic tub
  • Dryer
  • Clothesline or drying rack

Materials

  • Gentle laundry detergent
  • Wool dryer balls

Instructions

How to Wash Velvet Bedding
Detergent Gentle laundry detergent without added fabric softeners or any type of bleach
Water Temperature Cool or cold
Washer Cycle Gentle or hand-wash
Drying Cycle Type Low heat or air-dry
Special Treatments Pre-treat stains and wash only with fabrics that do not produce lint
Ironing Settings Use a steamer or steam iron to lift fibers and reduce creasing–do not allow a hot iron to touch the material
  1. Sort the Laundry

    Velvet bedding should be washed with similar colors to prevent dye transfer. Ideally, velvet should be washed alone or with fabrics that do not produce lint. Never wash with cotton towels or bedding—they will shed and leave little balls of lint on the velvet fibers.

  2. Pretreat Stains

    If there are visible stains, pretreat the area with a few drops of a gentle detergent. Use your fingers to work the detergent into the stain and let it sit for five to 10 minutes before washing.

  3. Choose the Water Temperature and Washer Cycle

    Velvet bedding should be hand- or machine-washed in cold or cool water and rinsed in cold water. If using a washer, choose the gentle cycle, which has less agitation and a slower spin cycle to help prevent damage to the fibers.

  4. Choose a Laundry Detergent

    Use a gentle detergent without added fabric softeners to wash the bedding.

    Warning

    Do not use too much detergent. Any residue left in velvet fibers will make them stiff and cause matting. Never use harsh detergents or any type of bleach on velvet.

  5. Load the Washer

    If using a washer with a center agitator, load the bedding evenly around the washer drum. A large capacity front-loading washer is best for large velvet comforters or duvets. Never overload the washer with too many pieces, or your velvet will have excessive wrinkling.

  6. Hand-Washing Velvet Bedding

    To hand-wash velvet bedding, you will need a bathtub, large plastic storage tub, or a laundry sink. Pretreat stains and wash the bedding alone.

    • Fill the tub with cool water and add a gentle detergent. Use your hands to disperse the detergent throughout the tub. Add the bedding and gently push it into the water so it is thoroughly wet.
    • Leave the bedding to soak for about 10 minutes. Use your hands to gently squeeze the soapy water through the bedding. Do not scrub or squeeze too much.
    • Lift the bedding from the tub, gently squeezing out the water. Do not wring.
    • Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean, cool water. Add the bedding to the rinse water and swish through to rinse. Repeat if needed if the water seems very soapy.
    • When rinsed, gently squeeze the excess water from the bedding.
  7. Drying Velvet Bedding

    Velvet bedding can be air-dried on a clothesline or drying rack or dried in an automatic tumble dryer on low heat. Never dry on high heat.

    Add some wool dryer balls to the dryer to help fluff the velvet and speed drying.

  8. Restoring Crushed Fibers

    If your comforter is clean but the velvet has become crushed or creased, use a clothes steamer to lift the fibers. Hold the steamer nozzle at least five or six inches away from the fabric and keep it moving to prevent damage to the fibers. Use your hand to brush the fibers back into position. Allow the comforter to dry completely before using.

Tips to Keep Velvet Bedding Looking Great

  • Blot away spills promptly. Lift away any solid matter from the fibers—no rubbing!
  • Follow the care label instructions.
  • Never wash with lint-producing fabrics.
  • Use cool water, a gentle detergent, and a low heat drying cycle.
  • Lift matted fibers and remove wrinkles with a clothes steamer.