How To Clean Velvet Couch: The Simple, 3-Step Process

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Here’s how to clean velvet couch in three steps: vacuum, spot clean, and steam clean the sofa. Keep reading to learn what stain remover you should use, how to steam velvet fabric upholstery, and how often you should clean velvet furniture.

Table Of Contents

Types Of Velvet Used In Furniture

Below is every primary type of velvet used in furniture and the cleaning tips you need to know for each one. It’s crucial you know what kind of velvet couch you have so you don’t damage it by cleaning it the wrong way.

Silk Velvet

Silk velvet is the most luxurious kind of velvet. It’s smooth, soft, and almost appears wet. It’s difficult to clean, as it can stain easily and fade in direct sunlight. I recommend having a professional clean silk velvet sofas, especially considering they’re rare and often antique.

Linen Velvet

Linen velvet has a matte finish, a shorter pile, fibers with irregular stripes, and a less shiny appearance than silk velvet. You should hire a professional to clean a linen velvet couch.

Synthetic Velvet (Velour Velvet)

Synthetic velvet is usually made of nylon, rayon, or polyester. Synthetic velvet is the easiest type to clean, and you can clean it with the steps I outline in this article. (Note: synthetic velvet and velour velvet are the same.)

Cotton Velvet (Crushed Velvet)

crushed velvet

Cotton velvet is also called crushed velvet. Crushed velvet is a common type of velvet for furniture because of its durability and beauty, and it’s available in matte and viscose (shiny) versions. You can follow my tips in this article to clean a crushed velvet couch.

Mohair Velvet

mohair velvet

Mohair velvet is the finish given to fabric made from Angora goat wool. This type of velvet is also popular for furniture, as it can withstand dirt, stains, and being in a high-traffic area. (If you see a vintage velvet sofa in excellent condition, it might just be mohair, as this was a popular material on Art Deco couches.) It’s so durable that Chevrolet even used it for car-seat upholstery in the 1930s. You can follow this article’s tips to clean mohair velvet.

How To Clean Velvet: What You’ll Need

  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • Microfiber cloth  
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Steamer
  • Medium bowl  
  • Whisk
  • Spatula or knife with dull edges

Directions For How To Clean Velvet Couch

how to clean velvet

Step 1: How To Vacuum Velvet

The crevice tool and dusting brush are the best tools for vacuuming velvet upholstery. Start at the top and brush your entire sofa, including the outside, so dirt and dust are easier to remove.

Step 2: How To Get Stains Out Of Velvet By Spot Cleaning

Immediately after spills, use the edge of a dull knife to lift solids off the couch. Then, use paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Continue to change towels until the moisture is gone. Don’t rub or scrub a stain because this can set the stain deeper into the upholstery fabric.

To make velvet sofa cleaner, mix a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap in two cups of warm. Whisk the mixture to create suds. Get a microfiber cloth wet with the solution, wring it until damp, and then dip it into just the suds. Next, gently blot the stain. As the stain lifts, continue moving to a clean spot on the cloth.

Let the area air-dry. To lift matted fibers, use a steamer or your hand.

Step 3: Steam Cleaning Velvet

Steaming velvet upholstery keeps it clean, avoids compression of the fibers, and keeps it looking new. A handheld clothes iron or a wand can lift the velvet’s nap or pile. To avoid melting the fibers, use a low heat setting. Hold the steam head a few inches away from the fabric and keep your hand moving, so you don’t saturate any one area. To help remove wrinkles, use your hand to gently brush the nap in the opposite direction.

You can also use a steam iron if you don’t own a clothes steamer. Fill the iron with water and put it on the steam setting. Keep the iron’s face at least six inches from the velvet. Don’t let the iron touch the fabric because it can leave a permanent impression.

After steaming the couch, let it air dry.

Frequently Asked Questions About Velvet Furniture Care

How Often Should I Be Cleaning Velvet Couch?    

Clean spills as soon as they occur, vacuum your velvet couch monthly, and steam clean it at least twice a year.

Should I Use A Velvet Upholstery Brush?

Yes, because regularly brushing velvet furniture helps lift the pile and make the nap look neat. (The nap is the direction that the fibers lay.) To prevent damage to velvet, use a soft brush like a baby’s hairbrush or fine bristle brush. Velvet’s color appears different depending on how you brush it, so look at the upholstery from different angles to see which brushing direction you like best. You can create a uniform appearance by brushing velvet in the same direction.

If you need to brush velvet that’s gotten wet, use a velvet brush. Velvet brushes have stiff, fine bristles that stop the upholstery from drying stiff.

Can You Steam Clean Velvet Upholstery?

Yes, you can steam-clean velvet upholstery yourself. You can use a handheld clothes iron or a steam iron. Either way, keep the iron several inches away from the fabric, so it doesn’t get too hot or saturated.

Is Velvet Easy To Clean? (Velvet Vs Crushed Velvet Vs Mohair Velvet)

Yes, velvet is easy to clean — at least, the most popular types (crushed, mohair, and synthetic). Silk and linen velvet are hard to clean, but they’re also very rare. 

Does Velvet Fade In The Sun?

Yes, velvet fades in the sun. So if your living room’s layout allows it, try to keep your velvet couch out of direct sunlight.

Can I Use Baking Soda On A Velvet Couch?

Yes, you can use baking soda on a velvet couch to eliminate odors. Sprinkle baking soda onto the bad-smelling area, let it sit for 20 minutes, and then vacuum up the baking soda.

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Lucy Henderson is a Seattle-based home décor expert and creator of Palladio Interiors. She loves writing about design trends, home-interior inspiration, and home-decorating tips. She's a fan of coziness and simplicity.