Velvet is a fabric that is lush, luxurious, and glamorous. Like silk, velvet is generally a high quality material used in clothing, furniture, and other items such as bedding. Because pure velvet is often expensive and delicate, it can be tricky to wash or remove stains. By using different professional and home techniques for clothing and household items like furniture, you can wash any velvet item that you own.
Method One of Two:
Laundering Velvet ClothingEdit
1Read the label. Before you even consider washing your velvet clothing, make sure to read the label. If it says “dry clean only,” take it to a dry cleaner to ensure that the piece isn’t damaged. If the label only says “dry clean” then it means that dry cleaning is the preferred way to wash velvet, not the only way.
- Take the velvet article to a dry cleaner if you have any doubts. This can save a cherished article of velvet clothing from irreparable damage.
- Consider washing any velvet with a tag that says “dry clean.” This article may not be a pure velvet and can withstand hand-washing or even the gentle cycle of your machine. For example, crushed velvet and polyester velvets are usually fine to hand- or machine wash.
2Dry clean velvet articles. The safest and most effective way to wash velvet is to dry clean it. You can choose to dry clean your velvet at home or take it to a professional dry cleaner.
- Consider getting a commercially available home dry cleaning kit if you are worried about the cost of using a professional dry cleaner. Make sure to read the product’s instructions before dry cleaning your velvet at home. Most products have a hotline that you can call if you have any questions.
- Take your velvet article to a professional dry cleaner. Remember that most dry cleaners have been trained to handle delicate fabrics like velvet. Ask your cleaner any questions you may have and make sure to point out problem spots.
3Machine- or hand wash articles. If your clothing item is crushed or polyester velvet, you can either throw it in the washing machine or wash it by hand in a sink or tub. Washing the article yourself can save money on dry cleaning and may be just as effective as a professional.
- Make sure to read the label before you start. If you have any misgivings about washing the item yourself, err on the side of caution and dry clean it at home or through a professional.
- Avoid washing the item with hot water, which can shrink it and cause it to lose elasticity. Consider using a detergent for delicate fabrics or specifically for velvet. Set a washing machine to either the “gentle” or “hand wash” cycle to ensure that the machine doesn’t damage your clothing.
- Hand wash your velvet by filling a tub with lukewarm or cold water and a small amount of detergent. Swish your piece of velvet clothing through the sudsy water by using gentle movements of your hand. Do this until the item is clean. Avoid scrubbing or twisting the item, which can stretch or damage the fabric. When you’re doing washing the item, empty the tub and refill it with cool water. Push the garment up and down until you don’t see any more soap or residue.
4Remove stains with spot cleaning. You can also wash a velvet garment by just addressing individual spots or stains. This can protect your entire garment from laundering and may save you money, too.
- Mix one teaspoon delicate care laundry detergent with 2 cups cold water in a tub or sink. Dip a clean, soft white cloth into the mixture and wring it out well. Dab—don’t rub-- any stains with the white cloth until all of the stains are gone. Make sure to remoisten the cloth as needed. Once the stain is gone, rinse the white cloth with cold water and wring it out. Then dab the spot to remove soap and any lingering residue.
- Mix a paste of lemon juice and baking soda and dilute it with water. Gently dab the solution on the spot until it is gone. Be aware that this is a very potent combination that can damage your garment if you do not dilute the mixture or apply it lightly.
- Consider using a dry cleaning solvent to spot clean stains. However, be aware that they often contain harsh chemicals that can quickly damage your velvet article if not used properly.
5Freshen up an item with steam. If you only need to make your velvet garment fresh again, use a hand held steamer. This can remove wrinkles and make the fabric appear clean and lush again. Follow up steaming with a spritz of fabric freshening spray to make it smell nice.
- Hold the steamer about 6 inches from the garment to prevent soaking it. Run the steamer from the outside hems toward the middle of the garment.
- Consider turning the garment inside out when steaming and spritzing it with fabric freshener. This can have the same effect as directly steaming and spritzing the garment.
- Try hanging the item in a steamy bathroom if you do not have a hand-held steamer. Putting a velvet garment inside of a steamy, hot shower without exposing it directly to the water stream is as effective as a steamer.
6Air-dry your garment. No matter what, do not put your velvet clothing into a dryer. This can shrink the garment and ruin the fabric’s luxurious texture.
- Hang any item you’ve machine washed and allow it to dry thoroughly. If necessary, use a steamer to move any wrinkles.
- Push out any excess water from a hand washed garment with gentle pressure. Make sure that you do not twist or wring the item. Then lay out the garment on a flat surface. Put a clean, white towel under the item to prevent discoloration and allow it to dry thoroughly. If the white towel becomes saturated, replace it with a new, dry white towel.
- Consider allowing your garment to sit on top of a dryer. The gentle heat will speed up the drying process while protecting your velvet garment from damage.
Method Two of Two:
Cleaning Velvet Household ItemsEdit
1Check the cleaning code. Most pieces of furniture will have a cleaning code on the tags under or inside the article. Looking for this code can provide you the recommended and safest way to clean velvet furniture items. In general, velvet is coded as “S,” which means that it requires cleaning with solvents or dry cleaning and will not react well with water.
- Call the manufacturer if you cannot locate the cleaning code. Most companies will have a database of furniture items and can provide you important information about the cleaning code and caring for the piece. Ask any questions you may have in the course of your call.
2Hire a professional. If you are unsure about your velvet furniture’s code or the piece is an heirloom or has special meaning to you, take the safest route and hire a professional cleaner. It may cost you a bit more, but a professional cleaner has the training and know-how to most effectively and safely clean velvet items.
- Consider using a commercial dry cleaning kit for smaller household items such as pillow covers or duvets. Make sure to read the cleaning code and the kit information before you start any cleaning efforts.
3Vacuum the item. If you decide to spot clean your household velvet item, you should always vacuum it before you begin any washing efforts. Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and run it along the nap, which is the raised and fuzzy surface of fabrics like velvet. This will puff up the fabric and prepare it for cleaning.
4Make a lemon juice and baking soda solution. One of the most effective ways to remove a stain from a velvet household item is gently applying a solution of lemon juice and baking soda. These two potent ingredients can lift and remove any stains from your item.
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl filled with lemon juice. Stir the mixture until it form a good amount of foam, which is what you will use to clean the item. If you are cleaning larger objects, use a larger bowl or tub.
5Test the mixture. Before you begin cleaning any stains or spots, or wash the entire item, it’s important to do a spot test. This can let you know if the mixture is too potent for your item. In this case, you should allow a professional to clean the object.
- Apply a small amount of the mixture to a spot on your item that is not visible. The can be under the object or at an inconspicuous seam. Make sure to test the mixture using the same gentle dabbing method you would on other spots.
6Wipe away stains gently. Just as with velvet clothing, you need to be delicate when cleaning stains on your household items. Gently dabbing or wiping away stains can ensure that your item gets clean and remains lustrous and beautiful.
- Skim the foam from the top of your mixture with a soft, clean cloth. Using long, straight movements, gently wipe or dab at the stains along the nap of the velvet. Make sure to not rub the solution into the fabric, which may cause stains to go deeper into the velvet or damage the item. Check the spot in between wipes to see if the stain is gone. Continue to repeat the process until the item is clean.
- Remove excess solution or residue by rinsing out the cloth and dabbing the spots until you can’t detect anything on the velvet. Make sure to wring out the cloth before dabbing it on the velvet so that it doesn’t soak the item and ruin the nap or texture.
7Allow the item to dry thoroughly. In most cases, it won’t take a long time for a household item to dry from cleaning it. However, you may want to give it a few hours or full day to completely dry before letting others use it. This can ensure that the velvet stays lustrous and isn’t exposed to any other potential staining agents.Advertisement
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Things You'll NeedEdit
- Warm wet cloth
- Dry towel
- Gentle laundry detergent
- Vacuum with brush attachment
- Dry cleaning solvent
- Lemon juice
- Baking soda
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