Cleaning a velvet sofa can actually be easier than cleaning other fabrics, but you have to be careful. Due to the soft texture of the velvet couch, it's important to use a delicate hand when cleaning.
The velvet couch has become a favorite choice for those who want to add some style and sophistication to their living room. But as classy and luxurious as a velvet couch can be, dirt and marks can show up badly on the pile.
Your once beautiful couch will end up looking shabby and scuffed. Even worse, dirty velvet looks less a classic fabric, and more like an old material. So, how can you keep your velvet sofa looking good?
What Makes Velvet Special?
Velvet is a bold statement fabric to use on a sofa. It's unbelievably soft, undeniably beautiful, and associated with the finer things in life.
Velvet furniture was once considered the realm of the rich, but it's become more and more popular in homes. And when velvet is exposed to the wear and tear of regular use, it can start to look past its best.
Velvet is special because of that plush textured finish, as well as the sheen it creates. The higher pile gives velvet a rich softness, but one that creases easily. Because of these characteristics, velvet needs to be cleaned carefully.
Before you start cleaning, check to see what fibers your velvet is made from. Silk used to be the most common fiber, but cotton and synthetic fibers are more likely nowadays.
Synthetic is the easiest to care for, so consider synthetic velvet if your couch is in a high-traffic area.
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How To Clean A Velvet Couch
The first thing you need to do before cleaning your sofa is checking the care label. Velvet can be delicate, even if it's surprisingly long-lasting. Check the care label to ensure you don't use any products that aren't suitable for your sofa.
Brush for velvet sofa
A soft bristled brush, like the sort you might use for clothing, can be used to knock off dust and dirt. Use long, even strokes to maintain the plush finish.
Don't press too hard. A light brush over should be all you need to gently loosen the dust. Once you've given the sofa a brush, it's time for the vacuum.
How to vacuum your sofa
When caring for your velvet sofa, the best thing to do is vacuum it regularly. This will catch all those spills that accumulate and that inevitable dust. Vacuum your velvet sofa once a week to keep it looking at its best.
Always use the soft brush attachment when vacuuming your velvet sofa! Otherwise, you risk scuffing the material and catching the fabric.
Make sure you get the outside of the couch as well. These sections might not suffer from crumbs in the same way, but the sides can gather dust and hair.
How to steam clean a velvet couch
With or without regular vacuuming, you might start to notice some white marks on your sofa. Although your first reaction is to panic, the chances are these white marks are just the result of creasing.
Velvet is a fabric that loves to crease. It also loves to compress when you sit on it. This can look like marks, but a quick steaming will sort out the problem.
Remember to check your furniture’s care instructions before steaming. Velvet upholstery fabrics have different cleaning codes. Some of them have an S code, which means that the material suits solvent-based cleaners. Other velvets are code W, which indicates that they prefer water-based cleaners.
If your couch has this code, you can safely use the steam treatment. Contrarily, if the furniture is a code X, you cannot perform steaming. This code implies that water and solvent will damage the upholstery fabric. Hence, you can only use a vacuum or brush to clean it.
Use either a handheld steamer, or an iron steamer setting. Turn it to the lowest setting, as you want to go delicately. Move carefully across the sofa, and avoid lingering in any one spot for longer than a few seconds.
How to get stains out of velvet furniture
Spotted a stain on your velvet couch? Don't panic, just treat it quickly. Begin by blotting away any moisture with a dry paper towel. When one towel gets damp, switch to a new one. Keep going until the towels are no longer absorbing any moisture.
Do not rub the stain! Velvet has long fibers, and rubbing will only push the stain further down.
To get rid of any remaining staining, mix a drop or two of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of warm water. Shake or stir to create a foamy solution.
Dip a cloth into the solution, and wring until it's just damp. Gently blot at the stain until you've removed as much as you can.
Leave the velvet to air dry.
Serious stain removal
For a set stain, try using dishwashing liquid and water, and going carefully. If the stain still won't lift, it's best to contact a professional. Velvet shouldn't be too difficult to care for, but it can get badly damaged if improperly looked after.
Rather than struggling with a stubborn stain and worsening the problem, it's better to get someone else to give it a look.
Tips for caring for your velvet couch
- Check the labels to find the fiber content of your velvet furniture before you start cleaning. Synthetic velvet can generally take a rougher handle, while silk velvet will need delicate care.
- Always spot-check any cleaning materials before using. Find a hidden corner of the velvet, and gently dab on the cleaning solution. Leave it to dry, and see how it reacts.
- Keep your sofa out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can fade the color of velvet. Consider sofa covers if you're leaving the couch for an extended period of time (if you’re going on vacation, for example).
- Avoid washing your velvet sofa with anything stronger than mild detergent. Strong cleaning solutions can damage the fabric.
- Regular brushing and vacuuming is the best thing to do for your velvet sofa. It will keep it looking fresh, and help you spot any stains that might be lurking.
Frequently asked questions
Brush the marks with a stiff, natural-bristle clothes brush using short back-and-forth strokes.
Be gentle to avoid further scratching the upholstery. This helps to bring the nap of the fabric back up as well as loosen dust, leftover husks, and the scent of your pet’s claws, so you can vacuum it all away.
To avoid causing harm to your clothes, use the “gentle” or “hand wash” cycles in your washing machine.
Fill a tub with lukewarm or cold water and a small bit of soap and hand wash your velvet. Using moderate hand movements, swish your item of velvet apparel in the sudsy water.
Check the label on the couch cushion. Then, in most cases, you can dry in low tumble in dryer.
Crushed velvet can lose its design and distort from wear and acetate velvets exposed to heat, pressure or moisture can flatten permanently, which ruins its beauty on clothing and furnishings.
To keep velvet looking its best, practice proper care including: Don't apply pressure to it when wet.
Cleaning your velvet sofa isn't rocket science, but it does require a bit more effort than many other fabrics.
You'll have to be careful not to scratch the surface, and you should always test cleaners on a small area before applying them to stains.
Most importantly, use a brush and vacuum to keep that pile looking plush and luxurious.