How to Clean Velvet Shoes and Protect Them From Damage

Do you have an amazing pair of velvet shoes? Did you wear them out and get some dirt on them? You might now be wondering how to clean velvet shoes to restore them to their former glory.

We’ll detail how to clean stains, dust, and dirt from your velvet shoes. You’ll also get great tips on how to care for them and protect them from future damage.


What is Velvet?

Velvet is a soft, luxurious material with a short pile. Historically made from silk, once upon a time it was only affordable to royalty and wealthy aristocracy. With the advent of synthetic materials, velvet became more accessible to the masses.

Today it’s made from polyester, rayon, microfiber or cotton, in addition to silk. It is used for many purposes, including upholstery, clothing, and shoes.

The raised nap gives it a soft feel. It changes as it’s brushed in different directions, giving lighter and darker hues.


How to Clean Stains off Velvet Shoes

Accidents happen, no matter how careful you are. When someone spills wine or food on your velvet shoes, speed is of the essence. The quicker you can blot up any potentially staining substance, the better chance you have of preventing a permanent mark.

What You Need

  • Microfiber cloth (or paper towel).
  • Clean cloth.
  • Water.
  • Dishwashing soap.
  • Soft bristle toothbrush.
  • Small bowl.


The Method

  1. Using the microfiber cloth or paper towel, gently blot off any excess liquid that is on your shoes.
  2. Take your bowl and half fill it with water.
  3. Add a few drops of dishwashing soap.
  4. Mix them well until suds form on the surface.
  5. Take your soft-bristled toothbrush and scoop up some of the suds from the top of the water. You don’t want to get the velvet too wet, so use the soapy solution sparingly.
  6. Apply the suds to the stain and very gently scrub it with the toothbrush.
  7. Let the cleaning solution sit on the stain for a couple of minutes after scrubbing.
  8. Take a cloth or paper towel and wipe off the remaining cleaning solution.
  9. Dry the area with a clean microfiber cloth or paper towel by blotting gently to absorb remaining moisture.
  10. Repeat steps 5 – 9 above if the stain remains.
  11. Allow your shoes to air dry.
  12. Brush the velvet with a clothes brush like this one from Miscly. It has a lint remover on one side and soft natural bristles on the other.



Pro Tips

  • You can use lemon juice and baking soda as an alternative cleaning solution. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to some lemon juice in a bowl. Stir them vigorously until they foam. Use a toothbrush to clean the stain.
  • If you want to speed up the drying process, you can use a hairdryer on a cool setting. Alternately, you could place them near a fan.


If your stain removal has proved unsuccessful, enlist the help of an experienced professional shoe cleaner. Velvet is delicate and can be easily damaged if you are aggressive when cleaning it.


Cleaning Dirt and Dust off Velvet Shoes

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid dust and mud when you’re out. Despite your best intentions, your velvet shoes can get dirty. Here’s how to clean them.


What You Need

  • Clean cloth.
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush.


The Method

  1. If your shoes are wet, allow them to dry completely. Leave them to air dry before trying to remove mud or dirt. Attempting to clean them when wet might damage the velvet.
  2. Take your clean cloth and try to wipe off the dirt on the shoes, working in one direction all the time.
  3. If this doesn’t work, then gently brush them with your soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure you continue to work in the same direction all the time to avoid damaging the fabric.
  4. If any stains remain, use the method outlined above for removing stains.




Brush away dirt and dust every time you wear your velvet shoes. This will prevent the fabric from becoming clogged and crushed.


Protecting Your Velvet Shoes From Damage

There are sprays available that can help protect your shoes from staining and also waterproof them. Make sure the spray you choose is suitable for use on a delicate fabric like velvet.

This one from Nanoman is non-toxic and eco-friendly. This video highlights how water slides off after treatment.

When applying any protective spray, always patch test a small area first on an inconspicuous part of your shoes. You will want to make sure it isn’t going to change the color of the fabric or harden it.


How to Use a Protective Spray

Here are some tips for applying a protective spray to your shoes.

  1. Brush your shoes to remove dust or dirt from the surface.
  2. Hold the spray it at least six inches away from your shoes. If you are too close, you could damage the velvet.
  3. Coat the shoes evenly with a light mist.
  4. Allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area before wearing.
  5. Once the shoes are completely dry, give them a light brush to restore their appearance.


Pro Tips

  • Re-apply a protective spray after wearing your shoes every six to eight times. This will help minimize the chance of stains and keep them waterproofed.
  • Be careful not to saturate the fabric with the spray. This can lead to the nap getting clogged and appearing matted.


Caring for Your Velvet Shoes

Clean Velvet Shoes and caring for your baby shoes

In addition to brushing your shoes after every wear, storage is also important. Don’t just drop them in the bottom of your closet. Anything that leans against them for a period of time can leave indents in the delicate fabric.

Always choose somewhere cool and dry that isn’t subject to lots of temperature change. Ideally, place each shoe in a cotton shoe bag and store them on a purpose-built rack or in a shoebox.

Be careful not to leave them in a plastic container. This can retain moisture and mildew might grow, damaging your shoes.

There are also storage solutions like these shoe slots to keep all your footwear organized and save you space.



Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Wear Velvet Shoes in the Rain?

Even when weatherproofed, it’s best to avoid the rain. Velvet shoes can get water-stained and damaged. Try and wear them when the weather is dry or when you are indoors.


Can You Clean Oil Stains From Velvet Shoes?

You might need a professional to help, but there is one thing you can try first.

After blotting the stain with a microfiber cloth or paper towel, sprinkle the stain with baby powder or cornstarch. Use your fingers to gently work it into the fabric then sprinkle another layer of powder on the stain.

Leave it to sit for an hour or so. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove the powder, which hopefully has absorbed all the oil.


Can You Restore Velvet if it’s Crushed?

Applying steam can help restore the nap on velvet shoes. You could hang them in the bathroom with the shower on hot for about fifteen minutes. A steamer might also work to raise the nap again.

Once they dry, give them a gentle brush.


How Can I Remove Odor From Velvet Shoes?

There are two ways you can refresh your velvet shoes and remove lingering odors.

The first is to mist them lightly with a mix of vinegar and water, taking care not to saturate them. Leave them in a ventilated area to air dry overnight.

The second method is to sprinkle baking soda over and inside the shoes. Let them sit overnight then shake off any loose powder before brushing off the rest.


Check Out Your Clean Shoes

Now you know all there is to caring for and cleaning your velvet shoes. These simple methods will help you keep them looking new. Remember, prevention is better than cure – so be sure to apply a protective spray straight out of the box.

We hope you found our guide on how to clean velvet shoes useful. Please leave us a comment and enjoy wearing your clean velvet shoes. Don’t forget to share so others can also benefit.


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