Chris said, “How do I remove a water stain from a velvet chair?”
There are a number of reasons why water can damage some fabrics. Velvet is prone to water damage in general unfortunately, and using hard water can cause even more problems. If the stain is white from hard water, follow the guide How to Clean Velvet to remove the mineral deposits. For all other water stains, use the steps below to remove them.
Removing the Stain
You Will Need:
- Distilled water
- A cloth
- A hair dryer
- A fan
- A steam cleaner
- A tea kettle
- An iron
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Brush the velvet with a soft-bristled brush¹ to remove as much of the stain as possible, as well as any dust or lint. It’s possible that the water ‘stain’ is really just a shadow caused by the pile drying in an unusual way.²
- Pour some distilled water on a soft cloth.
- Wring out the cloth so that it is damp, not dripping.
- Gently rub the cloth over the water-stained area to dampen it. Do not soak the velvet, only dampen it.³
- Immediately use a hair dryer or fan on a low setting to dry the damp velvet.³
- Repeat the process as many times as needed to fully remove the stain.
- If the stain remains, try steaming the area instead. If you do not have a steam cleaner, use the steam from a tea kettle containing boiling water⁴ or from a steam iron. Apply the steam to the water-stained area, then let it dry.⁵
Additional Tips and Advice
- It may help to use this process on the entire area surrounding the water stain, such as the entire arm of an upholstered chair or the entire top of a seat cushion.³
- Dry cleaning may also work to remove a water stain on velvet. If the item cannot be taken to a dry cleaner, you can try using an at home dry cleaning kit that is safe for velvet, which can usually be found in the laundry aisle of major supermarket stores. If the kit requires the item be placed in a dryer, that means heat is needed to activate the dry cleaning solvent. In that case, a hair dryer can be used instead.³
- Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
- The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg
- Natural Stain Removal Secrets by Deborah L. Martin
- The Complete Household Handbook by Good Housekeeping
I have a lovely velvet bench that had three stains that I tried to remove with Dove and water. I rubbed the area with circular motions and then removed the soap with clear water. I’ve ruined the area. Is there anything I can do to revive the fibers?
Reviving the fibers will depend on what exactly they need.
1) If they are matted or flat, try brushing the velvet with a dry towel as you would suede (circles like you used before but hopefully to soften and lift the fibers). If that doesn’t work, try using a soft bristle brush, such as a fingernail brush.
2) If the fibers are coarse, try rinsing the area again with water. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a little hair conditioner, preferably spray leave-in conditioner: spray it onto a cloth, then use the cloth to rub it into the velvet.
3) If the fibers are stained from the water, the steps in the article should work to revive them.