How To Clean a Chenille Couch?

Updated April 17, 2017

Chenille is a delicate fabric and should be handled with care. Because of its tufted construction, care should be used to not over agitate the fabric while cleaning. Also, light-coloured chenille has a tendency to "brown" if over-wet. Therefore, the cleaning techs at Nutley, New Jersey-based Elegant Cleaning Services recommend a low moisture method when cleaning chenille.

Pick speciality upholstery shampoo; it's available at most home improvement stores. You should take care to purchase shampoo for hand or foam cleaning. Avoid purchasing upholstery shampoo that will need a steam machine. Read the recommended fabrics for the shampoo, making sure to choose one that specifies itself as safe for chenille.

Mix the shampoo as per the manufacturers recommendations. Always pretest in an inconspicuous area to make sure the cleaning solution will not have an adverse reaction with the fabric.

Agitate the solution to form lots of suds. Wring out the sponge. Scoop up some suds. Gently apply them to the chenille fabric. The key here is to lightly and evenly wet the fabric with the shampoo foam.

Blot excess moisture and soil from the fabric with a clean terry cloth towel.

Repeat steps two and three, working small sections of the couch at a time.

Stand up any cushions or pillows to dry. Keep pets and children away from the couch until it is fully dry.


Clean a cushion and allow it to dry before attempting to clean a chenille couch. Make sure your solution is compatible with the fabric. If water rings or brown spots persist after cleaning, purchase a brownout or anti-yellow concentrate from a carpet cleaning supplier.


Avoid excessive agitation, as this can damage chenille while wet. Avoid over wetting chenille, it can dry with water rings. Before attempting to clean any upholstery, check for a cleaning label with the following codes: S means solvent only (dry cleaning). S/W means the fabric can be either solvent cleaned or wet cleaned with a water based shampoo, as described above. W means that wet based cleaning is the preferred method.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery shampoo
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Gloves
  • Terry cloth towels
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About the Author

Thomas Ferraioli began writing in 1993. His work has been featured in national publications like "Parents" and "U.S. Catholic." Ferraioli owns a cleaning service and is a Catholic youth minister. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications and business from Seton Hall University and was a recipient of the Pope John Paul II Award from the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. for his work with youth.