Lou asked: How do I clean food spills from velvet seat covers on our dining room chairs? Our dining room chairs have had food spilled on them over the years. The stains are dried on and we are hesitant to experiment with attempted cleaning. Short of having them reupholstered, are there any methods you can suggest for safely cleaning them?
Velvet upholstery is delicate and requires special care. However, it is not so difficult that it requires professional service. Here are some cleaning steps to clean your velvet upholstery and remove stains.
You Will Need:
- Dishwashing detergent
- Dry cleaning solvent.
- Soft cloths
- Hair dryer
Steps to Clean the Velvet:
- As soon as spills happen, soak them up with some paper towels or soft cloths.
- For more persistent stains, mix some dishwashing detergent with water and agitate vigorously until suds fill the top.
- Use a soft cloth to apply only the suds to the stained area.
- Blot the suds onto the stains until they start to fade.
- Blot with a clean cloth to remove the remaining stain and any residue from the suds.
- Allow the area to dry completely, or dry with a hair dryer or fan.
- A second method involves using dry cleaning solvents to remove the stains.
- Apply the solvent to a moist cloth and blot it on the stain as before.
- Allow the solvent to dry on the fabric.
- A hair dryer can be used to speed up the drying process.
- Brush the surface of the fabric to restore the nap after it has completely dried.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Allowing stains to set on velvet not only affects its appearance, but it also affects the durability of the material. The food left on the fabric causes the fabric to weaken which takes away even more from the beautiful appearance.
- When blotting stains, avoid using to much pressure as this can actually push the stain further into the fibers.
- Use a steamer to restore the luster and shine of the velvet. Keep it moving in the direction of the nap.