How To Clean Velvet Upholstery

Velvet is a fabric that is lush, luxurious, and glamorous. Like silk, velvet is generally a high-quality material used in clothing, furniture, and other items such as bedding. Because pure velvet is often expensive and delicate, it can be tricky to wash or remove stains. By using different professional and home techniques for clothing and household items like furniture, you can wash any velvet item that you own.


1. Check the cleaning code

Most pieces of furniture will have a cleaning code on the tags under or inside the article. Looking for this code can provide you with the recommended and safest way to clean velvet furniture items. In general, velvet is coded as “S,” which means that it requires cleaning with solvents or dry cleaning and will not react well with water.

  • Call the manufacturer if you cannot locate the cleaning code. Most companies will have a database of furniture items and can provide you important information about the cleaning code and caring for the piece. Ask any questions you may have in the course of your call.

2. Hire a professional

If you are unsure about your velvet furniture’s code or the piece is an heirloom or has special meaning to you, take the safest route and hire a professional cleaner. It may cost you a bit more, but a professional cleaner has the training and know-how to most effectively and safely clean velvet items.

  • Consider using a commercial dry cleaning kit for smaller household items such as pillow covers or duvets. Make sure to read the cleaning code and the kit information before you start any cleaning efforts.

3. Vacuum the item

If you decide to spot clean your household velvet item, you should always vacuum it before you begin any washing efforts. Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and run it along the nap, which is the raised and fuzzy surface of fabrics like velvet. This will puff up the fabric and prepare it for cleaning.

4. Make a lemon juice and baking soda solution

One of the most effective ways to remove a stain from a velvet household item is gently applying a solution of lemon juice and baking soda. These two potent ingredients can lift and remove any stains from your item.

  • Mix two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl filled with lemon juice. Stir the mixture until it forms a good amount of foam, which is what you will use to clean the item. If you are cleaning larger objects, use a larger bowl or tub.

5. Test the mixture

Before you begin cleaning any stains or spots, or wash the entire item, it’s important to do a spot test. This can let you know if the mixture is too potent for your item. In this case, you should allow a professional to clean the object.

  • Apply a small amount of the mixture to a spot on your item that is not visible. The can be under the object or at an inconspicuous seam. Make sure to test the mixture using the same gentle dabbing method you would on other spots.

6. Wipe away stains gently

Just as with velvet clothing, you need to be delicate when cleaning stains on your household items. Gently dabbing or wiping away stains can ensure that your item gets clean and remains lustrous and beautiful.

  • Skim the foam from the top of your mixture with a soft, clean cloth. Using long, straight movements, gently wipe or dab at the stains along the nap of the velvet. Make sure to not rub the solution into the fabric, which may cause stains to go deeper into the velvet or damage the item. Check the spot in between wipes to see if the stain is gone. Continue to repeat the process until the item is clean.
  • Remove excess solution or residue by rinsing out the cloth and dabbing the spots until you can’t detect anything on the velvet. Make sure to wring out the cloth before dabbing it on the velvet so that it doesn’t soak the item and ruin the nap or texture.

7. Allow the item to dry thoroughly

In most cases, it won’t take a long time for a household item to dry from cleaning it. However, you may want to give it a few hours or full day to completely dry before letting others use it. This can ensure that the velvet stays lustrous and isn’t exposed to any other potential staining agents.



  • Soak up accidental spills with a cloth or paper towels.
  • Avoid rubbing velvet in panic and instead gently dab and blot as much of the liquid as possible.

Things You’ll Need

Warm wet cloth
 Dry towel
 Gentle laundry detergent
 Vacuum with a brush attachment
 Dry cleaning solvent
 Lemon juice
 Baking soda

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