How to Clean Velvet Furniture Like a Pro

How to Clean Velvet Furniture

How to Clean Velvet
By Eileen Graham

Velvet Cleaning and Care Instructions

There’s nothing more luxurious than a soft velvet sofa. Fortunately, learning how to clean velvet furniture is easy. Velvet is an incredibly durable fabric– that’s probably why velvet furniture pieces from centuries ago are still intact But how do you clean velvet furniture to keep your couch/sofa looking great and feeling fresh? 

To best understand how to clean your velvet furniture, watch this video on how it is made:

Caring for Velvet Furniture

Our partner JB Martin has been weaving velvets in South Carolina for nearly two centuries. When it comes to velvet care, we defer to the creators of this surprisingly durable yet luxurious fabric, and we’ve put their advice to the test. Spot cleaning is the recommended method. One of our designers, Gina, has praised diluted blue Dawn soap for its ability to get out tough stains from one of our top-selling cotton velvets, Como. 

I don't know where velvet got this precious reputation, there's a reason it's been around for so long. Amazingly, I've gotten red wine out of Como "Snow," one of our white cotton velvets.

Gina Gunning

First, act fast! All stains will be easier to remove without letting a stain set. Gina said she set a clean white cloth onto the stain to show how to absorb as much wine as possible out of the velvet upholstery. She then created a diluted solution of blue Dawn dish soap (1:4 ratio) dipped a white cloth into it, and slowly dabbed it on the stain, turning over to keep using a clean side of the cloth, until it all came out. “Be patient and don’t add too much liquid,”  she said. 

This is a good place to start. White velvet would be the most difficult to clean, as it is the least forgiving. If the stain still isn’t coming out, gently brush the stain with a clean toothbrush dipped in the Dawn solution. Dab up the excess moisture with a dry cloth and repeat until the stain disappears. Then if any soapy residue remains, dab with a damp cloth, turning over to a clean side between pats, until removed. Then use a dry cloth, soak up any remaining moisture, and air dry. “After it dried, I just brushed the nap back in the opposite direction and it took a few days for the nap to come back, but I got it out absolutely, no problem,” Gina said. 

Fun Facts About Velvet:

  • The word velvet comes from the Italian word velluto which means “shaggy”
  • Velvet can be made from different fibers; silk, cotton, mohair, polyester and acrylic
  • The pile is cut, so pet nails and denim rivets can’t snag on loops
  • Many velvets are performance fabrics and are incredibly durable

Jb Martin velvets: care instructions


Velvet furniture is beautiful, luxurious, and long-lasting. In order to get the most from your velvet furniture investment, one must provide some attention to the care and maintenance of the velvet. Velvet, by virtue of being a three-dimensional fabric, has inherent properties that make it durable yet soft and comfortable. Velvet, like a fine carpet, can be cared for by occasional vacuuming which will ensure that dirt does not stay in the fibers.

Velvet, like a fine carpet can be cared for by occasional vacuuming which will ensure that dirt does not stay in the fibers.


Marking or bruising of the pile after sitting is normal. Almost all marks will recover by themselves with time and natural humidity. Bruising that does not recover, although infrequent, can be restored by minimal steaming. Gentle brushing, in the direction of the pile will also help align the pile to regain its original state.

Gentle brushing, in the direction of the pile will also help align the pile to regain its original state.

Some slight bruises or marks may never fully disappear. This should be considered an enhancement to your furniture. The natural antiquing of the velvet is in fact desirable. Like fine leather upholstery, velvet too, looks better with age.


Most stains can be blotted or wiped away with a damp cloth or paper towel. Many JB Martin velvets are treated with a silicone stain repellent finish to help prevent stains from setting in. Dried stains can be removed with spot cleaning. Always test in an inconspicuous area first. Using soap and water or a commercial dry-cleaning product, start from the outside of the stain, while working your way from the outside into the middle of the stain. Once dry, brush in the direction of the pile with a toothbrush, nailbrush or similar soft dry brush to restore the loft and direction of the pile. Repeat the process if necessary.


Can’t remember which velvet you ordered for your furniture, or want to learn more about our velvet selections? Read about more JB Martin velvets here: Why We Love JB Martin Velvet

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Cornelius Showroom
North Carolina

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Charlotte, our Cornelius showroom is worth the drive. Come see our latest collections in a beautifully restored cotton mill. Look through hundreds of leathers and fabrics and work with our dedicated team to get the details “just right”.

Exterior of COCOCO Home Charlotte

19725 Oak Street
Suite 5
Cornelius, NC 28031
+1 (704) 892-6680
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Our Cornelius location will be closed July 4th

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