how to wash velvet

How Do You Wash Velvet Clothes

Velvet, with its rich texture and luxurious appeal, has been a preferred choice of fabric for many over the years. While its plush and soft touch adds elegance to any outfit, cleaning velvet can be a bit tricky. Ensuring its proper care is essential to maintain its sheen and prevent damage. With the right techniques, cleaning velvet can be effortless and effective.

Velvet garments, known for their luxurious appeal, require specific care when cleaning. Hand washing with a gentle detergent is ideal, while machine washing should be approached with caution. For ornate pieces or stubborn stains, professional dry cleaning is recommended. Always air dry and avoid direct ironing to maintain the fabric’s plush texture.

Let’s now look in detail at all the methods to wash velvet clothing, including stain treatment and how to store.

Hand Washing Velvet Clothes

Hand washing stands out as an optimal method for those who aim to provide gentle and thorough care to their velvet garments. This technique ensures that the fabric’s integrity is maintained while effectively cleaning it. Let’s walk through the steps for this meticulous process.

  1. Preparation: Turn your velvet clothing inside out to safeguard its outer surface.
  2. Water and Detergent: Fill a basin or tub with cold water. Mix in a gentle detergent designed for delicate fabrics.
  3. Soaking: Immerse the velvet clothing in the water mixture, gently moving it around for a few minutes to ensure thorough cleaning.
  4. Rinse Process: Drain the soapy water and refill with clean, cold water. Move the garment around again to rinse off the detergent.
  5. Excess Water Removal: Press the garment gently to remove water. Avoid wringing as it might damage the fabric structure.
  6. Towel Drying: Spread out a clean towel and lay the garment on it. Roll the towel with the garment inside, which helps in absorbing more moisture.
  7. Air Drying: Unroll and reshape the garment. Place it in a shaded area, ensuring it’s laid flat for even drying.

Machine Washing Velvet Clothes

Machine washing offers a convenient alternative for cleaning velvet garments. It’s essential to approach this method with caution to avoid any potential harm to the delicate fabric. Here’s a systematic way to achieve this:

  1. Label Guidance: Before proceeding, read the care label. This will give insight into whether machine washing is suitable for the garment.
  2. Protection: Always turn your velvet piece inside out. This minimizes the chance of surface damage during the wash.
  3. Mesh Bag Use: Encase the garment in a mesh laundry bag. This provides an extra layer of protection against the machine’s rough movements.
  4. Washing Setting: Set your washing machine to a delicate cycle using cold water. Incorporate a mild detergent to ensure the fabric gets a gentle wash.
  5. Immediate Removal: Once the washing cycle concludes, remove the garment promptly. This step helps in avoiding unwanted creases or wrinkles.
  6. Moisture Absorption: Instead of wringing, press the garment softly between two towels. This action will help in soaking up the excess moisture without causing strain to the fabric.
  7. Drying Strategy: Position the garment in a cool, shaded area, ensuring it’s spread out evenly for optimal drying.

Dry Cleaning for Velvet Clothes

When dealing with exquisite or ornate velvet pieces, dry cleaning emerges as a trusted choice. This professional cleaning service ensures that even the most stubborn stains or soilings are addressed without compromising the fabric’s charm. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Selecting the Right Cleaner: Opt for a dry cleaner with a reputation for handling delicate fabrics such as velvet.
  2. Highlighting Problem Areas: Before handing over the garment, point out any specific areas or stains that need attention. This ensures they receive the right treatment.
  3. Discussion on Chemicals: Engage in a brief conversation with the cleaner regarding the chemicals they plan to use. This ensures that only velvet-friendly products are employed.
  4. Collection Time: Inquire about the estimated time for cleaning. It’s best to collect the garment as soon as it’s ready to avoid it staying packed for long.
  5. Inspecting Post-Cleaning: Once the cleaning process is done, inspect the garment for any missed spots or issues before leaving the store.
  6. Storage Recommendations: Dry cleaned velvet should be stored away from direct sunlight. Ask the cleaner for a breathable cover or bag suitable for velvet.
  7. Regular Maintenance: Even if the garment isn’t visibly dirty, it’s wise to get it professionally cleaned periodically. This helps in maintaining its sheen and prolonging its life.

Storage and Maintenance of Velvet Clothes

Proper storage and regular maintenance of velvet clothing ensure the longevity and preservation of its luxurious feel. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Storage Instructions: Use velvet hangers to store your garments. They are designed to maintain the shape of the clothing and prevent any unwanted creases.
  2. Protection Against External Factors: Always store velvet garments in protective garment bags. This shields them from dust, light, and other potential damage.
  3. Refresh the Appearance: Occasionally, velvet may lose its sheen or get compressed. A velvet brush or a soft bristle brush can be gently run over the fabric to restore its natural luster and softness.
  4. Ironing Considerations: If you need to iron velvet, always use a steam iron and ensure the garment is inside-out. It’s essential to avoid direct contact of the iron with the fabric’s surface. Alternatively, you can steam the garment to get rid of wrinkles.
  5. Vintage Velvet Care: Vintage velvet garments are especially delicate. Always opt for hand washing or professional cleaning for these pieces.
  6. Avoidance of Prolonged Sunlight: Keep velvet garments away from direct sunlight as it can cause fading.
  7. Pilling Prevention: To prevent pilling, avoid rough surfaces and heavy agitation. It’s also recommended to wash velvet items separately from other fabrics.
  8. Restoration Tips: For velvet pieces that seem to have lost their touch, specialized velvet care products can be used to rejuvenate their appearance.
  9. Specialized Cleaners: Some velvet garments, especially upholstery velvet or unique pieces, may require specialized cleaners for effective and safe cleaning.
  10. Professional Cleaning Advice: When in doubt, always consult a professional cleaner who can provide insights and recommendations on how best to care for your velvet items.

Stain Removal and Spot Cleaning Velvet Clothes

Accidental spills or stains on velvet can be a cause of concern. But with the right approach, they can be addressed efficiently:

  1. Immediate Action: If there’s a spill, use a lint-free cloth to blot out as much of the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing as it might spread the stain.
  2. Spot Cleaning: For localized stains, pre-treatment sprays or mild detergents can be used. Gently dab the area and then rinse with cold water.
  3. Dry Clean Only Labels: Some velvet garments come with a “dry clean only” label. In such cases, it’s best to take the piece to a professional cleaner for stain removal.
  4. Maintaining Color Integrity: To preserve the color of the garment, avoid bleach or harsh chemicals. Instead, opt for mild detergents and cold water.
  5. Air Out: After spot cleaning, it’s essential to air out the garment to ensure no residual moisture remains, which could lead to mold or odor development.


How do you remove stains from velvet clothes?

Addressing stains promptly can make a world of difference. For fresh spills, gently blotting with a clean cloth is recommended. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the stain deeper into the fabric. For older or more stubborn stains, a mild solution of water and detergent can be dabbed onto the affected area. After applying the solution, use a soft brush in the direction of the velvet’s grain. If the stain still remains, seeking the expertise of a professional cleaner is advised.

What is the best way to dry velvet clothes after washing?

When drying velvet, it’s essential to ensure the fabric doesn’t lose its natural lustre. While air drying is the most suggested method, using a clean and dry towel to pat down the garment helps speed up the drying process. Remember, velvet should be kept away from heaters, radiators, or any direct heat sources during the drying process to prevent damage or shrinking.

Can you use fabric softener on velvet clothes?

Using fabric softener on velvet isn’t generally recommended. The residues from softeners can dull the fabric’s natural glow. Instead, if you’re looking to maintain the softness and sheen of the velvet, ensure you’re using a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics when washing.

Can you dry velvet clothes in a dryer?

Using a dryer for velvet garments isn’t a preferred method. The intense heat and tumbling action can potentially harm the fabric’s texture. If you find yourself in a situation where you must use a dryer, make sure it’s set to the coolest and gentlest setting, and the garment is inside a protective mesh bag.

Can you iron velvet clothes?

Ironing velvet directly can lead to the plush texture becoming flat. If wrinkles appear on your velvet piece, it’s better to use the steam from an iron. Hold the iron a few inches away from the garment and let the steam flow over it. Always ensure the garment is inside out during this process.

Can you steam velvet clothes?

Yes, steaming is an effective method for removing wrinkles from velvet without compromising its texture. When using a handheld steamer, keep a consistent distance to avoid water spots. Always steam in the direction of the velvet’s grain for best results. If you don’t own a steamer, hanging the garment in a steamy bathroom can also help in reducing minor wrinkles.


Velvet, while luxurious and elegant, requires special care to maintain its beauty. Whether you choose hand washing, machine washing, or dry cleaning, it’s crucial to be gentle and avoid common pitfalls like direct ironing or machine drying. With proper care, your velvet clothing can remain plush and vibrant for years to come.