The Right Way to Clean Velvet Furniture

Choosing velvet furniture is choosing to make a bold style statement in your space—there’s no ignoring its soft sheen, rich color, and innate elegance. But velvet’s commanding presence also means that any discoloration or stains are that much more visible. No more hiding a dusty apartment…once the sunlight hits a velvet couch, there’s no hiding those annoying, allergy-inducing particles.A living room with a large bookcase and a green velvet couch and leather side chairs.

Anthropologie’s website has pages of swoon-worthy velvet sofas and chairs to peruse, so who better to ask for advice on how to clean velvet? According to Anne White, the brand’s head of home interiors personal styling, the first thing you should think about is actually completely unrelated to the furniture. “If you’ve opted for a bright, richly pigmented color, like navy or chartreuse, we recommend avoiding direct sunlight, which can cause the fabric to fade,” she says. “Consider window coverings substantial enough to protect your piece but lovely enough to catch the eye. The technology for window films, which block the sun’s rays without blocking your view, has improved and may be another avenue to explore.” Craving more velvet cleaning tips? Read on to learn how to clean velvet furniture and protect it from wear and tear and those inevitable spills.

Materials:

  • Vacuum
  • Absorbent cloth
  • Soap and water or an upholstery cleaner
  • Soft brush

Vacuum the fabric

Remember those pesky dust particles we were talking about? Well, in terms of regular maintenance, all you need to do to the item itself is give it a good dusting. “We recommend regular vacuuming,” says Anne. “A soft brush can also loosen surface dirt and brush it away.”

Tackle spills the right way

If a friend does happen to spill their cocktail on your couch, White suggests blotting the area immediately with a clean, dry absorbent cloth. We then recommend mandating said friend to a different spot in your home. No one likes a party foul.

Test cleaning products

If a dried stain is staring you in the face and you just can’t help but do something about it, test any cleaning product (even basic soap and water) on a hidden spot to ensure it doesn’t ruin the fabric. Mix soap and water to create a sudsy solution. Use a soft cloth to blot the stain with the suds, then let the fabric dry completely.

Brush the fabric

“Once the velvet is dry, use a soft, dry brush in the direction of the pile to restore its direction and loft,” says Anne. This will give the velvet that brand-new, never-been-touched look.

Turn to a professional

When in doubt, ask for help. “It’s best to professionally clean the entire piece to ensure the color remains uniform,” Anne explains. “To ensure your velvet furniture remains in optimal condition, you should have it professionally cleaned with pure, water-free solvents.” Next up? Sit back, relax, and enjoy your good-as-new upholstery.