How To Clean Chenille Sofa? 2 Best Techniques

If you want to know how to clean chenille sofa correctly, you need to master two techniques. First, the general maintenance with a vacuum cleaner. The second is the proper treatment of the stains on the chenille material. 

But what is chenille? Chenille is essentially a fuzzy fabric that can use different types of fibers. Therefore, please check your sofa tag before cleaning. 

How To Clean Chenille Sofa


How To Clean Chenille Sofa At Home


General maintenance

  • Chenille is a fuzzy and durable material, which makes maintenance for a chenille sofa convenient
  • Your general chenille sofa maintenance can be as simple as rotating and turning your couch cushions weekly to distribute the wear and tear
  • To keep the texture of chenille, brush the sofa occasionally with the proper upholstery brush
  • If you don’t have an upholstery brush, any soft-bristled brush will do to help loosen the dirt build up on the couch without damaging the chenille fabric
  • You can also vacuum the chenille sofa weekly to prevent dust, dirt, and dander from collecting 
  • Install the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to help you reach the crevices and clean the couch thoroughly 

Spot cleaning

  • Check the tag typically found on the sofa cushions
  • There are different cleaning codes for upholstery and chenille furniture often use code S or X
  • Code S requires you only to clean the chenille sofa with a dry solvent or dry cleaning solution, while code X means you must have the furniture vacuum cleaned or brushed only unless you can get it professionally clean
  • If the tag indicates code X, you can’t spot clean the chenille sofa, or you risk it getting ruined
  • In the case that the chenille sofa requires deep cleaning and it is coded X, have it handled by a professional
  • If the tag indicates code S, you can spot clean the chenille sofa but only with the solvent-based chenille-appropriate cleaner
  • Recent spills must be blotted immediately with a cotton towel to prevent the liquid from sinking deeper
  • Dab the spill without wiping as it may spread and use gentle pressure to keep it from getting absorbed 
  • For dried stains, brush the chenille upholstery with a soft comb
  • The direction of the brushing is towards the nap to make it easier to lift the stains toward the surface
  • Follow the label instructions of the solvent-based fabric cleaner and target the affected spots
  • Never saturate the chenille sofa or use water when cleaning because it can cause shrinkage
  • Dab the stain until it’s removed and then dry the treated surface with another cloth

Is Chenille Upholstery Fabric Washable?

Never wash your chenille upholstery because this material is prone to shrinkage and stretching. However, some materials allow washing, but only on a delicate cycle with warm water and drying on low heat, as seen on Marc Jacobs MasterClass. If you’re unsure, refer to the care tag because the use of the washing machine can cause pilling. 

Another practice to be avoided with chenille upholstery is hanging it to dry. If your particular chenille fabric is washable, make sure to wash it by hand with the proper soap and then lay it flat for drying. Hanging can cause chenille to stretch. 


Can You Steam Clean A Chenille Couch?

Avoid steam cleaning a chenille couch unless you are sure and it is indicated in the tag. Another instance where steam cleaning might be possible is if the upholstery fabric is coded W, meaning you can clean with a water-based cleaner. However, water is rarely used, even for spot treating a chenille couch. 


How Do You Clean Polyester Chenille Upholstery?

The proper method for cleaning polyester chenille depends on the tag. Commonly, polyester chenille is coded W, meaning you can use a water-based soap. Follow the instructions for mixing it with water and use the suds and soft cloth for spot treatment. 


With soap and water

Dab the stains until you remove them, but remember not to use a colored cloth since it can transfer the dye onto the chenille. Once done, remove the soapy residue with another damp cloth and dry with a dry cloth thoroughly. Some polyester chenille might also be compatible with a vinegar solution if the stains are stubborn. 


With a vinegar solution

Mix a teaspoon of white vinegar, a teaspoon of laundry detergent, and four cups of warm water. Test a small amount of the solution on a hidden spot of the upholstery to see if the upholstery color will transfer. If not, proceed to treat the stains. 


How Do I Protect My Chenille Sofa?

It would be best to slip cover the sofa because even dyes, inks, and paint can permanently stain the chenille. This is the best way to protect the chenille sofa as you can wash the slipcover more often. Having a cover will also prevent damage and wear on the couch to help it last longer. 

Is it too late, and your sofa already has ink stains? Then, read this guide on how to remove ink from the couch.



Chenille makes excellent upholstery because of its durability and texture. However, it would help if you remembered how to clean chenille sofa correctly using the two techniques we discussed. Preferably, vacuuming the couch as part of maintenance will prevent dirt build-up.

And when it comes to stains, it will depend on your chenille’s cleaning code. You might need to use a solvent-based cleaner or have it professionally cleaned. 


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