How Can One Clean a Velvet Sofa?

Updated March 23, 2017

Ideally, your velvet sofa would be dry cleaned by a professional, but if that is not possible, another option exists. It involves the use of a soft brush, handheld vacuum or other vacuum with upholstery attachment, water-free dry-cleaner fluid and a clean rag. Staying on top of cleanups to your velvet sofa can add years to its life.


Use a soft brush to gently brush away crumbs and other debris from your velvet sofa. A baby's brush works well. Brush in the direction of the nap to prevent fibre damage, and brush the entire sofa, including sides and back. You don't want to leave anything on the fabric that might be ground in during cleaning.


Use a handheld vacuum or the upholstery attachment of another vacuum to clean every inch of the sofa surface. Don't forget to get into the crevices to suck any dust and dirt from the fabric. You may find at this stage that your velvet sofa already looks better. Ideally, you can stop with this step.

Apply Dry-Cleaner Fluid

If you find spots on the velvet sofa that need to be lifted, test a water-free dry-cleaner fluid in an inconspicuous area of the coach to confirm it won't mar the colour. If your fabric responds well, apply a small amount of the fluid to a clean rag. Begin on one end of the sofa and cover as large an area as you can to prevent rings from forming where you started and stopped. If possible, work one sofa cushion or complete section of the sofa at a time. Work in the direction of the nap and be gentle with the fabric. There's no reason to scrub, and adjust your rag so that there is always a clean portion working along the fabric of the sofa.


Let the velvet sofa air-dry for several hours without any people or pets sitting on it.


Use the soft brush or a suede brush to brush the sofa down one final time. Again, work in the direction of the nap in order to protect the fabric.

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About the Author

Dana Sparks has been a professional writer since 1990. As a staff reporter, she has written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and she is also the author of two published novels. Sparks holds a Bachelor of Arts in business.