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How Do I Care for a Velvet Couch?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Since the nap, or pile, on a velvet couch is high, it's important to keep soil from penetrating the fibers and ruining its plush look. Vacuuming or brushing your velvet sofa once a week can help accomplish this to keep the pile fluffed up. To keep pet hair from ruining the look of a velvet couch, placing a large throw on one side of the furniture piece for pets may help. For regular cleaning, look for an upholstery cleaner that is safe for velvets.

Velvet furniture pieces may be silk, cotton or synthetic. Check for a label under your velvet sofa that mentions what the fabric is so you can be sure to find an upholstery cleaning product that won't destroy the material. If you're not sure whether your couch is made of natural or synthetic fabric, look for an upholstery cleaner safe for all velvets. Always test any product you use on a velvet sofa underneath in an area where it won't show. Since velvet is usually quite dense in its construction, it may take some time to dry, so cleaning it early in the day in warm weather may be best.

A steam cleaner may be used to care for a velvet couch.
A steam cleaner may be used to care for a velvet couch.

Hiring professionals to steam clean your couch, perhaps at the same time you also get your carpets steam cleaned can be another option that you may want to consider semi-annually or annually. Cleaning companies may charge more for a button-tufted velvet couch cleaning over a plain one, so be sure to mention the details to get an accurate estimate. If recommended by trustworthy experts, you may want to consider adding a stain guard invisible coating to your velvet sofa. Make sure you do your research beforehand though to make sure it's safe for kids and pets. A cut or crushed velvet sofa tends to stand up better to pets and kids than solid velvets.

To keep pet hair from ruining the look of a velvet couch, place a large throw on the furniture.
To keep pet hair from ruining the look of a velvet couch, place a large throw on the furniture.

Whether the velvet on your sofa is crushed, cut or solid, never rub in stains with water or stain remover, but rather blot them. It's a good idea to have stain removers recommended for velvet on hand in case of a food or beverage spill. Never use harsh solvents of any kind on a velvet couch, as these are likely to damage the luxurious fabric. Mild detergents or upholstery shampoos that are always worked in the same direction as the velvet's nap are usually best. A soft, rather than a stiff-bristled, brush should always be used on velvet.

Discussion Comments


@bigjim - What I do is get the fabric protection warranty from the store when I buy my couches, velvet or not. It's probably overpriced, but the thing is they have to come and clean your stuff if you get anything on it, and if they can't they have to replace it.

That way, you know it will stay looking nice with minimal effort on your part. And eventually, you may get a new one if they can't keep up with the stains.


I would bet these days you can get some kind of chemical treatment, Scotch Guard or something like it, that would make it way easier to take care of your velvet couch.

Your best bet it not to spill anything on it in the first place, to be sure, but a protective treatment ahead of time would at least make it easier to clean up.


What's even better are those people who have the plastic on their furniture to keep it nice.

Okay it looks nice under there but how can you ever get comfortable? You stick to it, it constantly makes crackling noises, and when you aren't sticking to it you are sliding off.

Velvet can be a pain to take care of, sure. But if you're that worried about it, maybe get some other kind of couch, don't entomb your furniture in plastic.


@manykitties2 - I always thought it was so odd that people have furniture you aren't allowed to sit on. It's like they take up a whole room in a house with thousands of dollars worth of stuff that has no purpose whatsoever.

I guess your grandma probably used it for company every so often for nicer events. That's what mine did, she would use the living room pretty much only when her "lady friends" came over for a few hours in the afternoon. Just seems like a huge waste of a room for me.


To keep my brown velvet couch clean, I will vacuum it every week when I am doing the rest of my vacuuming. This helps keep the hair and lint off of it.

If there are any stains on it, I use a special cleaner I bought from the furniture store where I purchased the couch. This works pretty good for spot cleaning.

The most important thing I have found is to make sure you get it dry after using any kind of liquid cleaner on it. I will use a towel to soak up any any extra moisture, but always try to use as little liquid as possible to remove any stains.

Sometimes velvet couches can be tricky to keep clean, but I love how they feel and have had one for a long time.


I have a black velvet couch in my living room, and even though I like the look and feel of it, I don't know if I would get another one again.

Of all the furniture I have in my house, my cats seem to like this one the best and it can be a real hassle trying to keep the cat hair off of it.

Every time I have my carpets cleaned, I make sure and have my velvet couch cleaned at the same time. This helps keep it looking and smelling fresh.

I will spot clean it will a natural product that does not have any bleach in it between steam cleanings.


@Watson42- I didn't realize you could make velvet out of anything other than silk either, but recently a new neighbor moved in next door to me. I went over to introduce myself and saw that she had a gorgeous purple velvet couch. When I complimented it, she admitted it was synthetic- it's apparently both far less expensive and a lot easier to take care of. Admittedly the fabric feels a little less luxurious, but it still looks as nice.


I just wanted to say that I had a velvet sectional that I loved but taking care of it was too much for me with my young children and all.

I decided to replace it with a microfiber sectional because the fabric was really soft like velvet but it was really easy to clean. The fabric is also supposed to be very durable.

I really love microfiber,for me it is easier to have around than velvet is. It is not as fancy as velvet but you can’t beat the comfort of the material and it is also a lot cheaper.


No one in my family has ever had a velvet couch, because both my parents think it is a lot of work to take care of velvet, and they never had them growing up either.

I wonder, though, if there's a difference in care depending on the type of velvet- I didn't realize it could be made with different materials, including synthetic.


@manykitties2 - That is too funny that your grandmother wouldn't let you sit on her velvet couch, mine did the exact same thing! I remember I used to sneak up to the couch when I was little and pet it when no one was looking.

Nowadays I have my own lovely set of velvet couches and they really aren't too hard to take care of. I find that vacuuming them once a week isn't hard and as far as steam cleaning goes, well it really depends on the size of the couch that you have.

For my set of couches I rent a steam cleaner and do it myself. It costs around $50 to rent the steam cleaner. For yourself you really need to check and see what it is made out of and do some research before you try anything.


I have always loved the look and feel of velvet couches, but was wary of buying one after considering the amount of care required to keep them clean. I think that as long as I don't decide to have any pets or children the velvet couches could be a good investment, as I would hate to see my couch scratched up or doused in chocolate milk.

Can anyone give me an estimate of how much it would cost to have your velvet couch steam cleaned on a annual basis?

I have a nonsmoking home so I think that I should be able to keep the velvet couch I buy in pretty good shape. My grandmother used to have a velvet couch and she kept it looking gorgeous for many years. Though us kids weren't allowed to sit on it, so I am sure that helped its longevity.

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    • A steam cleaner may be used to care for a velvet couch.
      By: TMakotra
      A steam cleaner may be used to care for a velvet couch.
    • To keep pet hair from ruining the look of a velvet couch, place a large throw on the furniture.
      By: fotosmile777
      To keep pet hair from ruining the look of a velvet couch, place a large throw on the furniture.