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How To Clean A Velvet Couch

Opulent and durable, thick and buttery — All words we use to describe our Mod, Luxury and Plush Velvet textiles. Because of its elegance, rich color, and ability to elevate any space, velvet furniture has made a major comeback in recent years. But despite its overwhelming popularity, purchasing a velvet sofa for your living space can still feel intimidating, right?
You will probably find yourself questioning how to clean velvet upholstery. Before we start discussing cleaning codes and best practices, you’ll want to understand the type of velvet you’re dealing with. There are two main kinds of velvet: cotton and synthetic. When choosing what type of velvet upholstery is best for you, you will want to consider your lifestyle and how much wear and tear the furniture will experience. For example, if your couch will sit in a more formal living space and get less traffic, a modern sofa with luxe cotton velvet is a good choice for you. However, if you have kids and pets, a synthetic velvet might be a smarter choice for you in the long run since it’s more durable and easier to clean. Our Plush Velvet and Luxury Velvet textiles are made of 100% polyester and surpass 70k double rubs on the Wyzenbeek scale, making either option a great choice for a highly trafficked home. You can check those out here!

If you have kids and pets, or a busy lifestyle, the idea of keeping a velvet couch lush and beautiful can definitely sound daunting. Surprisingly, maintaining a velvet couch is easier than you think, and lucky for you, we know just how to help! See our tips and tricks for how to clean a velvet couch below:

Test Cleaning Products: While velvet has a reputation for being hard to maintain, it really is not much more difficult to clean than most other fabrics and materials. First and foremost, you will want to check the cleaning code for the specific velvet fabric you’re dealing with. The standard cleaning codes are listed below:

  • W (Water Cleanable): Only water-based detergents are allowed.
  • S (Solvent Cleanable): Only dry, solvent-based cleaners may be used.
  • S/W (Solvent or Water Cleanable): Both water-based or dry, solvent-based cleaners are allowed.
  • X: Only vacuuming is allowed; further cleaning will have to be done by professionals who specialize in how to clean a couch with this description.

You will want to read the recommended cleaning instructions for the couch and follow them exactly. Cleaning instructions for different types of couches or custom couches vary; for example, how to clean a leather couch will differ from how to clean a velvet couch. Not following the recommended care instructions for your couch can result in damaging fabric fibers and even result in fading or discoloration, so play by the book on this one!

When it comes to spot treatment, get ahead of spills by testing the cleaning solution on a non-visible part of the couch. This way you know how the product affects the material and you can be prepared to tackle spills as they happen! If you prefer the more natural route when it comes to cleaning your couch, many upholstery experts recommend using a combination of baking soda, lemon juice, and water to spot clean velvet.

Vacuum Regularly: Vacuuming your velvet weekly is one of the best ways to keep dirt from building up. Be mindful of the fact that vacuuming a velvet couch is nothing like vacuuming the floor. When using a vacuum cleaner on the floor, a back and forth motion is normal, natural, and gets the job done; however, with a velvet sofa, single strokes moving in the same direction of the fabric are what’s best. This helps to keep the fabric from breaking down and also maintains that luxe look! You can also use a soft brush to loosen dirt before vacuuming, or to brush excess dirt away. 

Handle Spills Immediately: It is important to tackle any spills on velvet right away. Whether you prefer entertaining, snacking, allowing kids and pets to run around, or kicking your shoes up on your couch, these things can come with accidental mishaps! When something inevitably spills onto your velvet couch, the sooner you get to it the better. Why? If the liquid dries, it can damage the fabric, and we don’t want that to happen! The first thing you’ll want to do is blot (never scrub) the area immediately with a clean, dry, absorbent cloth.

Once you’ve soaked up as much of your mess as possible, you can move onto using a cleaning solution. As mentioned, you can use a mix of baking soda, lemon juice, and water, or simply mix a drop of dishwashing detergent with lukewarm water. Next take a clean cloth, dip it into your mixture, and lightly blot the stain until you have removed it as much as possible. Always let the area completely dry before living in that seat again, and voila! Your couch will look as good as new in no time.

Steam: Since velvet is plush and has a higher pile, it can compress or flatten when under pressure or weight for long periods of time. This can appear in the form of a white stain or a crease, but don’t fret: this is easily fixable. You can use the steam setting on a standard iron or a handheld steamer to fix this. Make sure you are using the device on the lowest heat setting, and do not press into the fabric or stay in one spot for longer than a few seconds. You can start in the corner and work your way through to the center in the direction opposite of the fabric pile. This will help bring some extra life back into your plush velvet fabric!

Now that you're equipped with our tips on how to clean a velvet sofa, there’s no excuse as to why you can’t have the velvet couch of your dreams as part of your modern living room furniture! Make sure to choose an upholstery fabric that works best for you and your family, but no matter what kind of sofa you’ve got, making a point to clean it on a regular basis is the best way to keep it looking its best! When shopping for velvet seating, keep an eye out for options that have removable couch cushion and pillow covers so that you can more easily and safely handle stains ASAP. Inside Weather's custom sectionals and couches are also all enclosed in a waterproof nylon casing for an added layer of protection between you and the insert! Any safeguards like this are super helpful in ensuring you and your sofa live a long, happy, and clean life together.