Washing Instructions - Needlepoint
Needlepoint should not be washed in soap and water. Needlepoint canvas has a water soluble sizing that gives it body; washing in soapy water will remove the sizing.
Commercial dry cleaning is a better option. Your local needlework store can be a good resource to recommend a good dry cleaner to take your piece to. DMC suggests asking the dry cleaner to clean the piece, but not press it. The needlepoint will come back wrinkled, but this will come out when the piece is finished.
If you have an old needlepoint piece that is very dirty you can actually vacuum the dust off of it. Cover the end of your vacuum hose with a piece of nylon stocking or light mesh. Starting on the front of the needlepoint, vacuum keeping the nozzle just above the piece.
If your needlepoint has stains, try spot cleaning it with Orvus mixed with water. Orvus has a neutral cleaning agent and is suitable for needlepoint projects. Dab do not rub the stain, and try to lift the stain off the canvas.