How To Clean Corduroy

14 July 2021

how to clean corduroy

Corduroy is one of the most distinctive textiles in the world. The majority of modern corduroy is made of tufted cords, arranged in parallel with each other with a channel in between. The fabric is both soft and durable, making it a popular alternative to rayon and polyester. In this post, we look at how to clean corduroy upholstery, bean bags, cushions and shoes. Corduroy has some wonderful properties, but it can be difficult to know what to do after a spill. Not only does the fabric have deep grooves where stains can accumulate, but the material itself is quite exotic, so it isn’t always clear how you should clean it. Fortunately, there are tried-and-tested ways to clean corduroy which really work, many of which use purely natural ingredients.

How To Clean Corduroy Upholstery

Cleaning corduroy upholstery yourself can save you a tremendous amount of time and money. It prevents you from having to dispose of old corduroy or replace your furniture and window treatments entirely. What’s more, the tools that you need to do the cleaning are inexpensive items you probably already have lurking around in your home. Is it time to clean your bean bag sofa?

Step 1: Collect Your Cleaning Materials

Before you begin cleaning, check that you have all the materials that you need. These include:

  • A handheld vacuum
  • Woolite dry cleaning wipes
  • Woolite liquid
  • Cloth

Step 2: Vacuum The Upholstery

Once you have all of the materials, vacuum as much of the dirt and debris from your corduroy as possible. This will help you avoid rubbing dirt into the fabric later on.

Step 3: Test The Woolite Wipes

Next, test whether the Woolite wipes are suitable for your corduroy fabric. Test a small inconspicuous spot and leave it to dry for a couple of hours. Then return and see whether there is any change in fabric colour. (If you are using genuine corduroy, there shouldn’t be any change in its appearance). People mainly use Woolite wipes for getting rid of stains in clothing. However, corduroy upholstery material is often identical and so Woolite usually works here too.

Step 4: Brush Any Debris Away

Now brush the spot you tested with a clean toothbrush (or other soft-bristled brush) to see whether the wipes had the desired effect. You should notice that the upholstery is substantially cleaner than it was before. The wipes should not have changed the fabric’s colour. When brushing, always brush in the direction of the corduroy’s nap (the direction of the channels in the material). If you attempt to brush cross-wise, dirt and debris will remain in the grooves of the material and your attempts to clean it will be less effective.

Step 5: Clean The Rest Of The Upholstery

If your spot test was successful, you can clean the rest of your upholstery using the wipe cloth. Woolite, and other products like it, allow you to dry clean your items at home. The liquid they contain penetrates the fabric, removes stains and then dries naturally, without the need for any additional washing. If the wipes didn’t clean your upholstery to a sufficiently high standard, then do the following:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of Woolite liquid with a gallon of water.
  2. Soak a cloth in the solution.
  3. Apply the cloth to a test spot to see whether it is safe to use on the corduroy or not.
  4. If it is safe, apply to all stained areas.
  5. After that, allow the upholstery to completely dry. Then brush with a soft-bristled brush in the direction of the nap, as before.

How To Clean Corduroy Bean Bags

To clean corduroy bean bags, you should follow a similar approach to cleaning corduroy clothes. You can often safely wash corduroy covers using special settings, so long as you can turn them inside out to protect the nap during the wash.

Step 1: Turn Your Corduroy Bean Bag Cover Inside Out

Unzip your bean bag cover and completely remove it from the filling material. Then turn it inside out and zip it back up again, this time ensuring that the wales face inwards, not outwards. (Doing this will prevent the corduroy from matting down and looking flat when you take it out of the wash). Avoid mixing corduroy with other fabrics in the wash. The material has a habit of attracting lint which can be difficult to remove because of the shape of the fabric. If you can wash corduroy alone as a special wash. Don’t put it in the wash with lint-shedding items, such as towels, sweaters, jackets and so on.

Step 2: Read The Label

Corduroy bean bag covers will usually have a label telling you whether you can machine wash them (and how to wash them). If you cannot machine wash them, simply follow the how-to clean corduroy upholstery guide above. If you can wash them, either choose a specific delicate cycle. For dark corduroy, always wash in cold water. Do not wash any lights with darks.

Step 3: Leave To Hang Dry

Because of the complexity of corduroy fabric, it is prone to changing shape as it dries. It is essential, therefore, to leave it to hang dry. Don’t tumble dry (except if you want to quick-start the drying process for a few minutes). If you do tumble dry, switch to the lowest setting. If you use a dryer, the corduroy will come out looking quite creased. Simply shake the material and then leave it to hang dry. As it hangs, the creases will naturally disappear. Don’t iron the material.

How To Clean Corduroy Couch Cushions

Cleaning corduroy couch cushions follows a similar process as cleaning bean bag covers. Again, most fabrics will come with a label that tells you whether they are machine washable or not. Instead of simply repeating the above cleaning methods, this section describes a natural way you can quickly get stains out of couch cushions.

Step 1: Collect Your Materials

The first step is to collect the things you need. These include:

  • Sponge
  • Cloth and cleaning brush
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water

Sofas are particularly prone to stains because of the way that people use them. They see just about everything, from muddy shoes to food spills. Commercial cleaning products are available, but many people would prefer to take a natural approach to cleaning. As with the other cleaning methods outlined in this post, always test a small inconspicuous patch of corduroy first before moving onto cleaning the rest of your upholstery. Corduroy is highly prone to damage. Sometimes, cushion manufacturers will tell you which cleaning agents to use on their products. Baking soda may not be safe.

Step 2: Make A Thick Paste From The Water And Baking Soda

Mix a small amount of water with the baking soda to create a thick paste. It should look a bit like gritty glue. If you have a grease stain on your sofa cushions, add a little dish soap. (You only need a small amount. The dish soap will naturally attract any oil in the spill).

Step 3: Apply The Mixture To The Stain And Scrub

Take the mixture and apply it to the stain you want to remove. Then brush or scrub gently with your cloth or brush. If brushing, use a soft-bristled brush to protect the fabric.

Step 4: Dab The Stain

Next, take a clean wet cloth and dab the stain. This will help to remove any dish soap. After that, dab with a clean dry cloth.

Step 5: Vacuum The Area

Lastly, if you notice some baking powder residue as the cushion fabric dries, simply vacuum the area. This will remove any white dust that appears, leaving your couch cushions fresh and clean.

How To Clean Corduroy Shoes

Of all corduroy products, shoes are perhaps the most prone to stains. Being so close to the ground, they are a magnet for dirt and grime. Most people assume that they can’t clean their corduroy shoes. So when they start to look dirty, they simply buy new ones. But, as with all of the other fabrics discussed in this post, you can actually clean them using similar methods to those described above. However, corduroy shoes are a little different from regular corduroy products. The cleaning methods you use depend on the part of the shoe you’re cleaning. Regular shoe cleaning involves the following:

Step 1: Determine The Nap Of The Shoe

The first step is to wash your hands and then run them over the surface of the shoe to determine the direction of the nap. It should feel softer and smoother in the nap’s direction. Usually, you will be able to see the direction of the nap.

Step 2: Brush With A Dry Soft-Bristled Brush

Next, take a soft-bristled brush and gently move it in the direction of the nap. This motion liberates dirt and grime trapped in the channels that run between the piles.

Step 3: Vacuum Any Excess

As the last step, vacuum the excess. The suction action will lift both dirt and the pile itself. Apply the vacuum hose in the direction of the nap to retain the natural flow of the material. To deep clean the outside of the shoes, do the following:

Step 1: Remove The Laces

If your corduroy shoes have laces, remove them. You can usually wash these separately in a sink with some mild detergent.

Step 2: Add Mild Detergent To Warm Water

Next, prepare a bowl and add some warm water to it. Take a mild detergent, such as Woolite, and follow the mixing instructions on the label. Usually, you’ll add a teaspoon’s worth of detergent to the water. Stir the solution to mix it together.

Step 3: Brush Down Your Shoes

Next, brush down the shoe outers to remove any surface dirt that might be lurking with a brush or towel. Again, brush in the direction of the nap to avoid damaging the material and to remove as much dirt as possible.

Step 4: Use A Damp Washcloth And Wipe Down The Corduroy

Take a cloth and soak it in the warm water. Then wring it out so that it’s damp and then apply it to the corduroy’s surface. When wiping the surface of the shoes, avoid soaking them in water. Also do not rub them as this can damage the structure of the corduroy. Keep repeating this step until you clean the corduroy to your satisfaction. You should notice that with each successive wipe more dirt and grime comes off the deeper layers of the shoe.

Step 5: Soak Up Water With A Dry Towel

Next, soak up the excess water with a dry towel. Choose an absorbent product that can remove as much moisture as possible. Afterwards, allow the shoes to dry naturally. If you notice any lint on the surface, remove it with a lint remover. To clean the inside of a corduroy shoe, do the following:

Step 1: Spoon Baking Soda Into Each Shoe

Take around three tablespoons of baking soda and insert them into each shoe. Then move the shoe back and forth to get the baking soda to cover all of the interior surfaces.

Step 2: Leave The Baking Soda To Work

Once you’ve done that, leave the baking soda to get on with its job for about an hour. It should begin to react with the stain and odour-producing compounds in the shoe.

Step 3: Remove The Baking Soda

Get rid of any remaining baking soda in the shoes and then use a vacuum to clean up any additional mess. Don’t use hot water to clean the shoe as this can cause it to shrink.

Learning How To Clean Corduroy Upholstery

Learning how to clean corduroy upholstery and other products can seem a little daunting at first. But once you understand how to work with the material, you soon see that stains are not such a big deal. You may also be interested to know how to clean a bean bag.

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