How to Clean Velour Upholstery

How to clean velour and velvet

We can't help it, we love velvet and velour, especially nice grays or deep blues. But you struggle to help it retain its luster or keep from being a hair and dirt trap.  

The velvety appearance of velour (and velvet) makes it an elegant, beautiful choice for upholstery. But it does require some extra care to keep it looking beautiful and luxurious. With dirt and dust, the fabric loses its soft touch and becomes stiff and dull looking. You may also notice slicked wear spots over time where your head or face often sits.

There is some hope. Check out these tips on how to clean velour upholstery for new looking furuntire all the time. 

How to clean velour upholstery

What you need to clean velour

First thing is first. You need to round up some basic household supplies. Gather these items:

  • Soft brush
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild liquid soap (Ex: Woolite Upholstery Soap or mild dish soap)
  • Ammonia
  • Muslin fabric
  • Suede brush

Steps to cleaning velour upholstery

  1. Use your brush. Your starting point is to remove as much dirt as possible by brushing it away with your soft brush.
  2. Loose dirt and visible dust can be removed by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. 
  3. Fill up a bucket with warm water.
  4. Add a small amount of mild soap and stir the water. Do not agitate the water to form suds, just mix in the soap nicely to create a soapy liquid. Add a few drops of household ammonia for extra cleaning power if you think you need it. Up to you.
  5. Muslin fabric is a special type of material and is gentle to keep from damaging the soft fibers of the velour.
  6. Dip the fabric piece into the soapy water and wring it out completely. Wring it out until it just feels damp - excess water will not be your friend here.
  7. Rub the moistened cloth over the surface of the upholstery. Use a back and forth motion as you are cleaning. "wax on, wax off..."
  8. Repeat as necessary until the surface is clean.
  9. Change the cloth and water as necessary to keep working with clean materials.
  10. Once the surface is clean allow it to dry completely.
  11. Brush the surface with a suede brush to restore the soft texture.
Wring it out until it just feels damp - excess water will not be your friend here.


Velour tips and advice

  1. Do Not... clean velour with high heat cleaners. An example of this is a steam cleaner. The heat can (and will) damage the material and cause discoloration.
  2. Do ask advice... Velour is a sensitive fabric and is often best left to cleaning and color restoration professionals. If your piece is very soiled or you just don’t want to risk damaging the surface, hire a professional who is experienced with velour.
  3. Choose wisely. When choosing a liquid soap, avoid those with additives and color. A clear soap is the best option.
How to clean velour upholstery

Lastly, about your velour

If it's hairy and fuzzy...
Vacuum any accumulated dust or dirt with a special upholstery attachment for velvet - this may or may not come with your vacuum. This will also remove any fuzz that has formed on the surface of the fabric. Run your vacuum attachment back and forth until the surface is clean.

Remember the days of pantyhose trickery? It works here to. If you don't have the proper attachment for your vacuum, then place a piece of pantyhose over the nozzle and start lightly vacuuming your velvet or velour. Fuzz be gone!

If you've spilled...
The number one thing you should do in a hurry is blot. Find a clean, super-absorbent cloth or paper towel and let it soak up the excess liquid. Do not dab or rub the area - you'll just work it deeper into the fibers. Its very likely you can just leave the cloth in place and it will absorb most of the liquid and it can then air dry. A spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide may get any excess staining out just by spraying and letting it sit, but be warned, you should color test an area that is out of sight first. 

If your velvet or velour has lost its sheen...
Try directing a steamer at the reverse side of the matted areas to make the fibers fluffy again. Then dry brush the area, making sure the pile is going in the same direction.

Need to hire a professional?