8 Best Ways To Clean Velvet Furniture

It's natural for your velvet furniture to accumulate lint and occasional stains after many years of use, which is why regular cleaning is essential. Many homeowners perceive velvet to be a high-maintenance material, but this is not necessarily the case.  Although this special material has an elegant look and feel, maintaining velvet upholstery is not a complicated task –– at least, it is not as tiring to clean compared with any other material, as Martha Stewart reveals.

The first step in cleaning velvet furniture is discerning which type of velvet you are working with; either pure velvet or synthetic. While synthetic velvet is woven from fabrics such as cotton and linen, pure velvet is created from tufted silk (via Cleaner Cleaner). It is also important to check for cleaning instructions on the label of your furniture for guidance. Once you've completed these steps, you can begin to gather your supplies. The following methods call for items such as dishwashing liquid, lemon, baking soda, a vacuum cleaner, an absorbent cloth, and a steamer. Read on to find out how you can use these tools to clean your velvet furniture. 

Brush regularly

If you want to keep your velvet furniture looking as good as new, start by brushing it regularly with a velvet upholstery brush for maintenance. If an upholstery brush is not available, a regular brush with soft bristles would suffice. A harsh bristle brush should never be used, as it can scratch your furniture, which could leave a mark. Brushing your velvet furniture removes hair, fur, dust, and other debris that may have become lodged in the fabric's fibers (via Chill Sofas). As always, you can refer to the product label for further guidance. 

Before you begin to brush your velvet furniture, however, you should determine the way the fabric is woven. Brush in the direction of the grain, otherwise, the velvet will appear messy and unkempt. Regularly brushing your velvet furniture is more beneficial than you might assume. This simple act will give your velvet furniture a facelift and leave it looking gorgeous, per Beanbags R-Us.

Vacuum your velvet

It is not uncommon for dust and dirt to settle on furniture, but if it is not cleaned, it can trigger an allergic reaction or give the room a messy look. Once the dust settles and you then rest on the furniture, the particles that go further into the material could damage the velvet. According to Beanbags R-US, once dirt reaches the fibers, the velvet frays, diminishing the overall quality of the piece. 

Fortunately, using a vacuum cleaner to clean your velvet furniture should be fine to keep it looking pristine. A hand-held vacuum with an attached upholstery brush would be the best tool for this process. The brush loosens the dust and grime so that the vacuum can then suck it up. A handheld vacuum is also the ideal tool for getting to harder-to-reach areas, such as between the cushions or the space between the back of your couch and the wall. 

Use steam to sanitize

A steamer may be used in place of the vacuum cleaner to clean and refresh your velvet furniture. Using a steamer can help to remove creases from velvet and prevents the piled material from compressing, according to Articulate. If you don't own a steamer, you can achieve similar results with the steam setting on an iron. Either way, steaming also disinfects your furniture without the need for harsh chemicals that can cause harm to the fabric, or to more sensitive household members. 

Before you begin, Chill Sofas recommends you check the label on your furniture to confirm that it is safe to use water-based cleaning methods. Otherwise, you run the risk of marring the fabric. While steaming your furniture, be sure to keep the steamer or iron on low heat. It is key to remember as you are cleaning not to allow your steam tool to directly touch your upholstery. Lastly, micadoni suggests moving your steamer in the opposite direction that wrinkles have formed in order to remove them. 

Towels can remove dents

According to Audenza, velvet is a unique fabric and thus requires specific maintenance. Due to its pile, it is prone to marking. You should avoid leaving heavy items on your velvet furniture for an extended period in order to prevent it from getting crushed or wrinkled. Dents and marks, however, are sometimes unavoidable. Luckily, you can remove them with a steamer, and a towel.

Using a steamer on low heat, steam over the mark and then press the towel down over it. The towel helps contain and concentrate the steam in the problem area and aids in lifting the velvet pile. As micadoni explains, you should run the steamer and towel in the opposite direction of the pile in order to remove wrinkles. Once you have completed this step, use a soft bristle brush to direct the pile in the correct direction for a smooth finish and refreshed look. By now, the fabric has been lifted carefully and marks have been removed.

Address spills ASAP

While you yourself may try to be extra careful, guests and messy family members might leave stains on your furniture. The best method of cleaning velvet furniture is to get rid of spills the moment you notice them. If you spot clean the right way, you won't have to worry about a permanent stain.

In order to prevent the spill from seeping deeper into the material, use paper towels to absorb the liquid. Avoid rubbing the stains; it only makes the problem worse. If paper towels are unavailable, MyDomaine recommends the use of white cotton cloth in lukewarm water. To avoid pushing the liquid further into the material, gently place the damp cloth on the affected area. This should soak up the moisture from the spill to prepare the material for cleaning. For spot cleaning, add a couple of drops of dish soap to 2 cups of room-temperature water. Apply the mixture to a clean cloth so it is damp, and then lightly press it on the spot until the stain seems to relent.

Solutions for stubborn stains

If you are faced with more stubborn stains, there are a few more methods you can try. To remove stains and combat any odors, you can use baking soda and lemon – ingredients you likely already have at home! As micadoni details, fill a bowl with room-temperature water and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Once the mixture is combined and entirely dissolved, apply it to a clean cloth and follow the instructions detailed in the previous slide, pressing gently and never rubbing. 

If you happen to have a piece of velvet furniture that cannot be cleaned with wet methods, you'll have to try a dry cleaning method instead. According to Roger + Chris, the process is easy. Start by gently soaking up any spilled liquid. Using a sponge, apply the dry cleaning detergent to the stain and blot repeatedly. Once the spot has dried, the stain should be gone. You can also aid the drying process with a fan or hairdryer. As always, remember to brush your velvet upholstery when you're done cleaning.