How to Clean Velvet Couch: Simple Steps for Ideal Results

Last updated on April 3, 2024

This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for effectively cleaning your velvet couch, ensuring its lustrous and luxe finish remains intact.

Key takeaways:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush and vacuum for day-to-day upkeep.
  • Spot-clean spills with mild detergent and water.
  • Deep clean with an upholstery cleaning machine, following specific steps.
  • Call a professional for extensive stains or delicate velvet.
  • Maintain lustre with regular cleaning and professional service.

Table of Contents

Materials Needed

To maintain the plush beauty of your velvet couch, gather these essentials:

  • Soft-bristled brush: Gently lifts dirt and dust without damaging delicate fibers.
  • White cloth: Ensures no color transfer while dabbing stains or spills.
  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment: Sucks up surface debris without being abrasive.
  • Mild detergent: Acts as a gentle cleansing agent for spot cleaning.
  • Water: The base for your cleaning solution; use distilled to avoid potential water stains.
  • Steam cleaner (optional): Refreshes fabric and tackles deeper grime without saturating the velvet.

Having these materials on hand prepares you to tackle any cleaning task, preserving your velvet couch’s luxurious feel and look.

Use a Vacuum for Day-to-Day Upkeep

Maintaining a velvet couch requires gentle care to ensure its luxurious feel remains intact. Daily dust accumulation can dull the fabric’s sheen, making regular vacuuming essential.

Utilize your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to gently lift dust and dirt from the surface. Move it across the couch in a systematic manner, ensuring no section is overlooked. Focus on crevices where crumbs and pet hair often hide, using the crevice tool if necessary.

It’s imperative to avoid using the regular vacuum brush as it can damage the velvet pile. For best results, ensure vacuuming is conducted in the direction of the pile to maintain the couch’s texture and appearance.

Regular upkeep will extend the life of your velvet upholstery and keep it looking its best.

Spot-Clean As Spills and Stains Occur

Act quickly when spills happen, as velvet can absorb liquids rapidly. Use a dry cloth to gently blot—never rub—the stain. Avoid pressing too hard to prevent the liquid from penetrating deeper into the fabric.

For solid or semi-solid spills like food, carefully lift away the residue with a spoon or the edge of a credit card. Avoid using sharp objects that might snag the fabric.

After removing the excess, address any remaining mark with a solution of mild dish soap mixed with water. Dampen a soft cloth with the mixture and blot the stained area, starting from the outside and working your way in.

To rinse, dab the area with a water-moistened cloth and then blot with a dry cloth to soak up excess moisture.

Always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the couch first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric or alter the color.

If the stain persists or if you’re unsure about the type of velvet, consult a professional cleaner for advice to avoid damaging your couch.

Deep Clean With an Upholstery Cleaning Machine

For an occasional thorough cleanse, an upholstery cleaning machine can be your best ally. These machines inject a cleaning solution into the fabric and then extract the dirty liquid.

1. Choose the Right Cleaner: Ensure you use a velvet-appropriate cleaning solution. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation for a compatible product that won’t damage the fibers.

2. Test First: Always test the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area. This step prevents potential discoloration or damage to visible parts of your couch.

3. Gentle Application: Use the machine gently, without pressing too hard against the velvet. Excessive force may crush the fibers, ruining the distinctive texture of the fabric.

4. Avoid Over-Wetting: Velvet should not become overly wet. The cleaning machine should moisten the surface just enough to clean it without penetrating too deeply, preventing potential damage to the cushioning underneath.

5. Dry Thoroughly: Once cleaned, the velvet should be dried completely. A well-ventilated room or a fan can speed up the process. Do not use a heat source like a hair dryer, as it might shrink or damage the fibers.

6. Brush the Nap: After the couch is dry, gently brush the fabric in the direction of the nap to restore its original luster. This helps in maintaining the smooth feel and appearance of the velvet.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, despite the best of efforts, the velvet on your couch may require the expertise of a professional. This is especially true if the couch has extensive or stubborn stains that home remedies cannot address.

If you notice that the fabric’s pile has become matted, crushed, or altered in texture, and your attempts to revive it haven’t worked, a professional might be able to restore it. Additionally, if your velvet couch is a valuable antique or made from a non-synthetic velvet like silk or a cotton blend, it may be safer to defer to expert care to avoid accidental damage.

Professional cleaners have the right tools and cleaning solutions designed for these delicate fabrics. It’s also wise to schedule a professional cleaning annually to maintain the luster and aesthetics of your velvet couch, ensuring it remains a statement piece in your home for years to come.


Can water ruin velvet?

Yes, water can ruin velvet, specifically if the fabric is made from rayon or acetate, as it permanently disrupts the fabric’s nap where the water hits.

Can a velvet couch get wet?

Yes, a velvet couch can get wet; however, due to its thin nature, it can quickly absorb and get stained by any liquid, even water, requiring immediate cleanup and regular maintenance with a handheld vacuum.

Can you use a steamer on a velvet couch?

Yes, a handheld steamer can be effectively used to clean a velvet couch.

How do you make a velvet couch smell fresh?

To freshen up a velvet couch, spray a mixture of equal volumes of white vinegar and water over it, then let it air dry for several hours.

What are the recommended products for cleaning velvet upholstery?

Recommended products for cleaning velvet upholstery include a soft cleaning brush, dry cloth, mild dish soap, vinegar, steam cleaner, and specifically designed velvet cleaners.

How often should you clean your velvet couch to maintain its lustre?

To maintain its lustre, it is recommended to vacuum or lightly brush your velvet couch weekly and schedule professional cleaning once a year.

Should you use a professional couch cleaning service for velvet furniture?

Yes, it’s advised to use a professional couch cleaning service for velvet furniture due to the material’s delicacy and the specialized cleaning techniques required.

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