It’s no doubt that the 90s are back. Instagram is flooded with bloggers rocking choker necklaces, nude lips, and lots and lots of velvet. While velvet clothing is the ultimate cool-girl fashion trend of this fall, it’s notoriously difficult to wash. In fact, you shouldn’t wash it at all. You should always check the label before you buy a velvet item. Is it pure velvet? If so, you’ll need to dry clean it. It’s not ideal, but if you want to keep your expensive velvet pieces in excellent condition, dry cleaning is a must.
If your item isn’t pure velvet, you can probably get away with washing it at home. Chances are, if you purchased your “velvet” item at somewhere like Zara or Forever21, it’s a velvet blend. According to Bustle, blends like crushed velvet and polyester velvet are usually able to withstand hand-washing or the gentle cycle of your washing machine. Which is good, because no one wants to dry clean a $12 Forever21 top.
In order to hand wash velvet, start by filling a sink or bin with cold water. Make sure the water isn’t too hot. Warm water can shrink velvet or cause it to lose elasticity. As a precaution, use a detergent for delicate fabrics. Add a small amount of detergent to the water. With your hands, gently move the velvet item through the sudsy water (wikiHow). Don’t scrub or twist the item, as this can damage the fabric. When you are done, empty the sink and fill it with clean, cool water. Rinse the item until there is no more soap. You can also spot clean your velvet clothing by using a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda. This mixture can be used to get rid of tough stains. All you need to do is dab the mixture on the spot until is gone. Be sure to dilute this mixture with water before using it, as it is very strong.
When washing items like velvet, try using The Laundress Delicate Fabric Detergent ($19). This special formula is made for washing “dry clean only” items. It removes oils and stains will preserving the fabric. The brand also makes a spray that’s great for spot cleaning delicate items. A steamer is also a good way to remove wrinkles from velvet without having to wash it. However, you always be cautious with your velvet items. If you have any doubts, get the item dry cleaned.