How to Clean Felt


Felt is one of the most ubiquitous fabrics in day-to-day life. However, due to its rough and absorbent texture, it's also one of the worst fabrics for attracting stains. It also has a tendency to pill or shed, making it difficult to clean without damaging the quality of the fabric. But though it takes special care to keep your felt looking as good as new, with just a few common household items, you can remove even persistent stains.

Things You'll Need

  • Wool-safe laundry detergent, such as Woolite
  • Clean, dry towel
  • Damp, smooth dishcloth (not a terry washcloth)
  • Soft-bristle brush (baby hairbrushes work well)
  • Pot
  • Vacuum cleaner

Machine-Washing Felt

  • Set your machine's water temperature to cold wash and cold rinse. Set the agitation speed to delicate.

  • Add wool-safe detergent and place your felt in the washing machine.

  • Run the machine.

  • Lay a clean, dry towel on a flat surface. (The top of your washing machine or dryer works well for this purpose.) Lay the felt flat on top of the towel and let it air-dry. Do not put felt into the dryer. This will warp and shrink the fabric.

Cleaning Shaped Felt Articles

  • Wipe the stain gently with a damp cloth to begin to lift the stain and draw it to the surface.

  • Brush the stain very gently with a soft-bristled brush, such as a baby hairbrush. Alternate between rubbing with the damp cloth and the brush until the stain lifts.

  • For particularly persistent stains, boil a pot of water and hold your felt object over the steam. Alternate between holding it over the steam and brushing it with the soft brush until the stain lifts.

  • Let your felt object air-dry if necessary.

  • Brush gently to align the fibers after drying.

Cleaning Felt Surfaces

  • Vacuum the surface before starting to clean, to remove any loose particles that might be embedded further in the felt during the cleaning process.

  • Wipe any prominent stains gently with a damp cloth. Brush with a soft-bristled brush. Alternate between rubbing with the cloth and the brush.

  • Brush the surface after cleaning to align the fibers of the fabric.

  • Keep felt surfaces covered when not in use if possible. Felt is particularly susceptible to collecting dust.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a particularly bad stain, felt can also be dry-cleaned.

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  • Photo Credit gray fabric image by Dmitry Grishin from store display of fabric image by Joyce Wilkes from fedora image by Jeffrey Sinnock from billiard table image by terex from
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