Velvet looks plush, but cleaning it is quite easy. We’ll go through the techniques and instructions for that so you know how to do it properly!
Find out if the couch cushions and the couch has a removable velvet cover
Velvet couches can come with covers that are removable or non-removable. Find out the type of cover you have. If it’s removable, then it’s typically washable in the machine or by hand. If it’s not, however, you’ll normally be required to spot-clean it or vacuum using a soft brush attachment and brush.
Most velvet couch covers that are removeable are made from cotton, polyester or a blend of strong synthetic fibers.
Inspect the couch cover for stains
You should also inspect the couch cover for stains. Check to see if there are leftover food particles, drink spills, grease marks, ink stains etc. Remove hardened particles with the blunt edge of a knife. And check out the next block on how to tackle stains that form on velvet.
Treat the stains
Next comes stains. How do you tackle them on velvet? If you have removable covers, remove them and place them on a towel.
Make a solution of ¼ teaspoons of liquid dish soap and 500 ml of water and add 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol if you’re dealing with stains like ink.
Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the contents of the bottle to a clean rag until it becomes moistened. Use the cloth to rub against an inconspicuous area of the fabric first, before proceeding to use it on the stained area when nothing happened.
Dab gently and continuously over the stained area and apply the solution to the cloth over and over again until the stain comes off from the fabric and transfers onto the cleaning cloth.
When treating stains on a non-removable cover, make sure to rub gently and try to lift the stain with your movement rather than driving it into the foam. Try to rub the cloth in different directions to facilitate the stain removal.
Check the tag on the couch (usually located at the back) for washing instructions
At the back of your couch is a care label usually attached. Check there and find out the best way to clean the velvet covers. These tags usually hold instructions on how to properly clean the couch from cover to frame. So always follow the instructions there.
Typically, polyester and cotton velvet covers that are removable from the couch frame are machine washable. Some polyester and cotton clothes can even be washed in warm water using the normal or permanent press cycle.
Velvet made from delicate materials like silk or those having a complicated finish or construction may not be machine washable. That’s why it’s very important to check the care label of your velvet to find out whether or not it can be washed at home.
Wash inside out
When cleaning velvet, it’s always a good idea to turn the fabric inside out to protect the naps from getting crushed. When naps get crushed, they give rise to something called pressure marks which affects the overall aesthetics of your velvet. Pressure marks would typically go on their own, but would take time, unless you steam the naps to facilitate restoration. Learn how to do that below.
Washing inside out also prevents the naps on the velvet from picking up dust and lint in the washer.
For covers that cannot be removed, brush them
Covers that cannot be removed should be brushed regularly, at least every two weeks. Brush continuously over the surface of the velvet in the direction of the pile in order to remove dust and lints. You can use a lint roller or a velvet brush for that purpose. A soft brush would work too.
You can also incorporate vacuuming to the mix. When you brush your velvet couch, use a vacuum machine to suck out the debris and dirt that were released. Make sure the vacuum has a soft brush attachment to avoid causing damage to the velvet. When vacuuming also, ensure to always vacuum in the direction of the pile.
For the sofa frame, wipe it clean with a damp cloth to restore its shine.
Keep area well ventilated to speed up drying
If you treated stains on the velvet couch, you may need to keep the couch in a well ventilated space to dry. Alternatively, use a hair dryer on no heat setting to speed up drying. Or, you can use a standing fan.
What to avoid doing to your velvet couch fabric
Don’t use a pressing iron directly on velvet
Because velvet has piles, using hot items on it will end up crushing the piles. When velvet piles get crushed, they result in pressure marks that may or may not disappear depending how badly disoriented the piles were.
If you must iron velvet, do so using the steam feature of your pressing iron and on the reverse side. Make sure to use a low heat setting (110°C).
Do not bleach
Unless your manufacturer states otherwise, avoid putting bleach on your velvet. Be it chlorine or non-chlorine bleach. It can destroy the finish on the fabric. Bleach can also weaken the fibers of your velvet, especially when they’re delicate like silk.
Do not iron fixed covers
When you have covers that cannot be removed from the couch, do not use an iron directly over it. Instead, use a steamer to release wrinkles and creases and also to restore the pile back to their glorious state.
Use a steamer to restore velvet looks
A steamer is the best way to restore fallen piles on velvet. Use the steamer and brush in the reverse direction as you steam. Make sure to use the wrong side of a knife to brush the piles back in place, or use a soft brush.
Cleaning a velvet couch isn’t as hideous of a job as you think. You just need to know the basics of velvet material, what it hates, how to deal with stains, and you’re good to go!
Plus, most couch manufacturers include a care label attached to the back side of their products to teach consumers on how best to care for their specific type of velvet couch.
Don’t sleep on that!