With their soft sheen, rich color and elegant flair, velvet shoes add a luxurious touch to any woman’s wardrobe. But with such a fine fabric, special handling is required. The material is particularly vulnerable to inclement weather and spills, which can leave behind unsightly marks and cause the fabric to become crushed and matted — leading to bald spots over time.
Thankfully, it’s actually quite easy to get them looking like new despite water, mud and any other random stains you may encounter. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to avoid wearing velvet shoes in rain or snow, as they’ll be harder to salvage in this case. However, there are ways you can make them more resilient against the elements, such as using a protective spray. Read on to learn our simple tips for cleaning velvet shoes and preventing future wear and tear.
For Dirt and Mud Stains
1. Let your shoes dry out.
If your shoes are caked with mud, it’s important to let the velvet dry completely before trying to clean the stain. Mud is much easier to remove from the surface when it’s dry.
2. Use a brush to remove dirt.
When your shoes are completely dry, use a toothbrush or other soft brush to remove excess dirt or dust. Make sure to brush in the direction of the nap to restore its sheen. Brushing the shoes after every wear is also a great way to keep dirt to a minimum and prevent the nap from getting crushed.
For All Other Marks and Spills
1. Blot excess moisture.
Lightly dab at the wet stain to soak up excess moisture. Do this as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting.
2. Make a gentle cleaning solution.
For an easy DIY-solution, mix water and dish soap in a small bowl. Alternatively, you can try a combination of lemon juice and two tablespoons of baking soda. Fill the bowl with lemon juice until you get a considerable amount of foam on the top (this is important for the next step).
3. Use a soft cloth to the apply the solution.
Once you get a foamy consistency, skim a soft cloth over the suds or foam — so as not to get the velvet too damp — and gently wipe the affected area. Avoid rubbing the solution into the velvet and stick to long straight movements to keep the nap in place. Let the shoes air dry.
5. Protect against future stains with a protective spray.
While it won’t make your shoes completely waterproof, it’s a great idea to apply a protective spray to your velvet shoes to prevent future stains. Scotchgard’s top-rated Fabric & Upholstery Protector is safe to use on velvet (you can find this out by checking the manufacturer’s instructions on products designed for leather or suede).