How To Clean Velvet Dresses

Is there even a dress fabric out there that says "winter luxury" more than velvet? Not in my book! To properly take care of your favorite velvet dress so it lasts for many winters to come, I've scouted out how to clean velvet dresses correctly every time. I took a deep dive into figure skating forums to find the best results, because who better to ask than girls (and guys!) rocking velvet on the daily?

Velvet itself is a pretty crazy material, and there's no one-way-cleans-all strategy since the fabric can be made up of so many different components. How many? According to, velvet "is formed from silk, cotton, nylon, mohair or wool." To say the least, the way you safely wash wool is hella different from how to clean cotton!

Given the assortment of fabrics that can go into velvet, it's incredibly important to read your dress label before you try to wash it so you don't accidentally wreck it! Some velvet dresses (like knit velvet or those with fine velvet weaves) absolutely have to be dry-cleaned. However, crushed velvet is generally safe to machine wash or apply other DIY cleaning methods. If you're 100 percent certain your dress is made of crushed velvet, read on for how to clean it!

1. Vodka

Yes, vodka. According to "Ice Mom" blog, a spritz of vodka will kill all the odor causing bacteria on your velvet dress and it dry without any sort of funky alcohol smell. Freaking cheers to that!

2. Hand Wash With Gentle Detergent

Delicate Laundry Wash, $6, Planet Inc.

WikiHow broke down a really simple way to hand wash a velvet dress. All you need is gentle detergent, a bowl of warm water, and a flat rack for it to dip dry. Doesn't get much easier.

3. Washing Machine

Some ice skaters on swear by using a washing machine for velvet dresses on the cold, short cycle, and then hanging to dry. As long as you check your label before this and it's okay, go for it!

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Image Credit: Fotolia (1, 2, 3); Courtesy of Brand