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How to wash velvet in 6 steps

Velvet is a luxurious fabric cherished for its soft texture and sheen. It is often used for high-end clothing, upholstery and accessories. Cleaning velvet can seem challenging, though, as the fabric is delicate and can easily become damaged if not treated properly. 

Read this comprehensive guide to learn how to wash velvet, including the necessary tools and techniques to help you preserve its delicate texture and beauty. Whether you have a velvet dress or cushions, proper care can help keep your velvet items looking and feeling good. 

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Can you wash velvet?

Velvet requires special care and attention to avoid damage. Depending on the velvet type, you may be able to wash it at home. Before doing so, it's important to read the care label on your velvet item to determine the recommended cleaning method. 

When washing velvet, follow specific guidelines, which typically first recommend dry-cleaning as the best option, followed by using a gentle detergent, washing by hand if necessary, refreshing with a steamer and avoiding wringing or twisting the fabric.

If you’re looking for a gentle detergent to care for your delicate items, Swash®1 is designed with zero phosphates and 8x the concentration. With Swash® detergent you can care for your belongings by using only what you need—no more, no less. Compatible with HE and non-HE washing machines, you'll use one squeeze of Swash® detergent for regular loads, two squeezes for large loads.

Can you wash velvet in the washing machine?

Dry-clean pure velvet to avoid any damage to the fabric. Polyester or crushed velvet items may be machine-washed in a mesh washing bag using cold water.

Whirlpool® washer and dryer set Whirlpool® washer and dryer set

How often should you wash velvet?

It is not typically necessary to wash your velvet clothing after every use. Frequent washing can cause fiber degradation, so by spacing out washings, you can extend the lifespan of your velvet garments. 

If you’re opting not to wash, you can revive your velvet items between wears with a handheld steamer or a brush.

How to wash velvet clothes

Keep your favorite velvet garments looking and smelling fresh by following the steps below. Remember to always check your garment’s care tag before washing. 

  • Dish soap

  • Vinegar

  • Mild detergent

  • Butter knife

  • Clean cloth

  • Padded hangers

  • Canvas storage bags

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Step 1: Determine your fabric

If your velvet is synthetic, you may be able to machine-wash it in a mesh laundry bag as long as the care tag indicates it is machine-washable. If your item is pure velvet, it should be dry-cleaned.

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Step 2: Treat stains

Like many other fabrics, you will want to treat stains as soon as they happen. Use a butter knife to remove any solids and gently blot the stain with a clean cloth. Then, blot the stain gently with a mixture of 1 cup of cool water and 1-2 drops of mild dish soap until it disappears. Rinse well before washing, ensuring all dish soap has been removed.

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Step 3: Wash

Whether hand-washing or machine-washing your velvet item, use the gentlest cycle possible, cold water and mild detergent.


Select washing machines like this model from Whirlpool brand, come with features like Adaptive Wash technology with Active Bloom™ wash action. This feature allows your washing machine to sense the size of each load and then adapt water levels and wash actions, based on the type of load being washed, for optimal cleaning.

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Step 4: Air dry

Gently squeeze any excess water from your velvet item and lay it flat to dry. Be sure to air-dry velvet items indoors, as they can be prone to color fading. Take care not to wring or stretch the item while removing excess water.

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Step 5: Store properly

Hang your velvet clothing on padded hangers and cover them with a breathable bag. If you can’t hang your velvet items in the off-season, you can try rolling them and storing them in canvas bags.

Tips for washing velvet

  • Know your fabric. Determining if your velvet is synthetic or pure before washing it is essential. 

  • Consider refreshing your velvet to extend the time between washes.

    • Steam: A handheld steamer is a great way to help eliminate wrinkles and rejuvenate crushed pile. Avoid ironing as it may cause permanent damage to the nap.

    • Brush: To lift the pile and help eliminate dirt, lint and pet hair, use a soft-bristled clothes brush to clean gently.

  • Air dry velvet indoors and store it out of direct sunlight. 

  • Blot or gently dab stains; never rub.

Person carrying towels in a laundry room Person carrying towels in a laundry room

How do you wash velvet fabrics?

Like velvet clothing, how you wash other velvet items will depend on whether the items are pure or synthetic velvet and what the care tags indicate. Continue reading to learn more about cleaning velvet blankets, upholstery and curtains.


Machine washing may be possible if your velvet blanket is made of polyester velvet or other plush materials. However, if the blanket has a down fill or intricate embellishments, it may be best to dry-clean it to prevent damage. Check your blanket’s care tag for specific instructions.

If you don't have any care instructions for your velvet blanket, it's better to be cautious and use spot cleaning to remove any stains or spots.


To clean your velvet curtains, you have a few options. You can vacuum them with a soft brush attachment or wand, ensuring the suction setting is low and brushing the fabric in the same direction as the fibers.

You can also periodically use a chamois cloth dampened with hot water to brush your velvet curtains. Remember to check the care tag for any specific instructions. If the tag recommends dry-cleaning only, then it is best to take the curtains to a professional cleaner.

Person removing garment from the dryer Person removing garment from the dryer

How do you dry velvet?

Always air-dry velvet items by laying them flat or hang drying. Avoid direct sunlight to keep your velvet items from fading.

Can you put velvet in the dryer?

Some machine-washable velvet items may be safe to tumble-dry on a low setting, but it is generally recommended to only air-dry velvet. As always, check your item’s care tag before you wash or dry it.

Can you dry clean velvet?

Pure velvet items should be dry cleaned to ensure proper care. However, for polyester or crushed velvet items, machine washing in cold water may be suitable. It is essential to check the care tag before laundering velvet items to determine the best method.

Explore Whirlpool® washers and dryers

Whirlpool brand has a washing machine for every home. With convenient features on select models like the Load & Go™ Dispenser and Intuitive Controls, Whirlpool® washing machines save you time while helping you get the right type of fabric care. Features like the Wrinkle Shield and Static Reduce Options on select Whirlpool® dryers can give your clothes an optimal dry.

Learn how to wash more items with Whirlpool brand

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1. Swash: Swash and the recommending brands are owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.