This dense fabric is one of the oldest fabrics in the world, dating all the way back to around 6500 BC, and still has a wide variety of uses today. Felt is traditionally made from wool, though modern blends often incorporate synthetic fibers as well. Regardless of how much wool is in your felt, the information below can help you to clean it and remove stains.
- Gently brush the surface with a clothes brush to remove any surface dirt or lint.
- If you don’t have a clothes brush, use a piece of white bread. Simply rub it over the felt and it will absorb the dirt from the surface.
- For a more thorough freshening, use a clothing or upholstery steamer, then brush the felt. If you don’t have a handheld steamer, you can move the item over the spout of a steaming teapot instead, but be very careful not to get burned. Only lightly steam the surface to avoid shrinking.
Some types of felt can be washed. However, it is important to test it first to ensure that the dye doesn’t bleed or fade. To test, wet a white cloth with plain water and rub the felt in a small hidden area. Look for any dye on the white cloth.
- Felt is prone to shrinking. If you decide to wash it, only use cold water (not hot).
- For best results, hand wash the item.
- For exceptionally dirty areas, use a mild detergent like Woolite and a soft bristle brush like a nail brush or an old toothbrush.
- Never place it in a dryer or use any other direct heat source (such as a hair dryer). Instead, place it in a cool, dry location and allow it to air dry.
- Any oil-based stain, such as salad dressing or fingerprints, can be removed with an absorbent powder like salt or baking soda. Simply cover the stain with a small pile of the powder, let it sit for about an hour, then shake off the powder. Repeat the process as many times as needed for the stain to be removed.
- A dry cleaning sponge, which can be found at craft stores or in the wallpaper section of hardware stores, can be used to remove some stains from felt.
The Dryel home dry cleaning kit is available in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets and contains a spray that can be used as a stain remover. Follow the instructions on the label.
- Cleaners for felt hats can also be effective on stains.
- Try not to touch your felt item without first washing your hands as the oils on your fingers can easily be absorbed, leaving fingerprint stains.
- If your felt item has attracted stubborn lint, try using a sticky lint brush, or piece of masking tape—lint should stick to the brush or masking tape without any damage to the felt.
- As felt often contains wool fibers, it can attract moths. Be sure to store it in a moth-safe area or with moth repellents. A sachet of dried lavender works well to repel moths.
- 99 Cent Solutions by Reader’s Digest
- Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook by Martha Stewart
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
- Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
- Stain Removal by Stephanie Zia
- Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond