Keep your sofa looking fresh and spotless with these simple cleaning tips. Discover the right approach and supplies to make sofa cleaning a breeze.
Today, I am going to show you how to clean a sofa, whether you have a fabric sofa, or a leather couch. I am sharing my best tips that you can use to clean a couch.
Sofas are more than just furniture – they’re the heart of our living spaces, providing comfort for relaxation, socializing, and even sleep.
Therefore, keeping your couch clean not only maintains its appearance but also prolongs its lifespan while creating a healthier environment in your home.
There are several cleaning methods and products you can use based on the fabric and specific care instructions for your sofa. It’s essential to check the furniture manufacturers guidelines to ensure that you approach the cleaning process appropriately and avoid damaging your couch.
By following a few simple steps, including pre-cleaning preparations, deep cleaning techniques, and taking preventive measures, you can effectively maintain and protect your sofa for years to come.
- Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before cleaning your sofa.
- Use appropriate cleaning methods and products based on sofa fabric.
- Maintain and protect your couch through regular cleaning and preventative measures.
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How to Clean a Sofa the Right Way!
Assemble Cleaning Supplies You Will Need
Get ready to clean your sofa with ease by gathering the essential supplies beforehand. Having everything you need in one spot will save you time and make the cleaning process more efficient.
In this section, we’ll cover two options for cleaning solutions: commercial products and DIY natural cleaners.
When it comes to most sofa materials, you will want to use a water based cleaning agent. You can find them at a local store or online easily enough.
Before using any cleaning solution, always check the cleaning tag on your sofa to make sure it’s compatible, if you can’t find, look online.
Some commercial cleaners to consider include:
Although these products are designed specifically for furniture, remember to test them on a small, inconspicuous area of your sofa to make sure they don’t cause discoloration or damage.
DIY Natural Cleaners
Discover how to create your own homemade cleaning solutions using everyday household ingredients. Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and hello to eco-friendly alternatives that are not only better for the planet but also easier on your wallet. Kickstart your DIY cleaning journey with these ready-to-use recipes.
- White vinegar and water: Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water in a spray bottl, this solution works well for cleaning and deodorizing fabric upholstery.
- Baking soda and water: Create a simple and effective paste by combining three parts baking soda with one part water. This paste is effective at removing stubborn stains. Then, use an old toothbrush to scrub the paste onto the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes before you wipe it off with a damp cloth.
- Castile soap and warm water: Clean your upholstery effortlessly with just a few drops of liquid Castile soap mixed with warm water! Grab a cloth or sponge and watch the magic happen. Castile soap is gentle and safe for most fabrics.
Now that you have all your cleaning supplies, you’re ready to to start cleaning. As always, make sure to check your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to make sure you’re following what they are telling you to do.
When it comes to cleaning your sofa, always be patient and gentle, this isn’t a rush job!
Set yourself up for success when cleaning your sofa with these essential pre-clean preparations. Ensure a thorough and safe cleaning process by following these important steps.
Now we are ready to begin cleaning your sofa.
Vacuum the Sofa
The first thing you need to do is to grab your vacuum cleaner, hopefully you have a brush attachment or an upholstery attachment on it. If you don’t, I highly recommend that you get one. Give your couch a really good vacuum to get rid of any pet hair, loose dust, food (if you have kids), and any other debris.
Take the time to give it a really good vacuum, this will help significantly with the next stage of cleaning. Make sure to give your couch cushions a good vacuum too, and get into crevices where crumbs and dirt like to hang out.
Remove and clean cushion covers
Refresh your sofa by removing the cushion covers and giving them a deep clean. Check the care label to determine if they can be machine washed or need special care like a professional cleaning.
I have removable couch cushions for my sofa and they are so easy to clean and keep them looking like new!
Follow the specific cleaning instructions and let them air dry before reattaching for a fresh and clean look.
Test cleaning solution
Before you start to clean a sofa with any cleaning solution, safeguard your sofa from damage by testing cleaning solutions on a hidden area first. Apply a small amount of solution to an inconspicuous spot and wait a few minutes for any possible reactions. Once the test spot shows no adverse effects, you can move onto the actual cleaning of your sofa.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Sofa?
Here’s a rough guideline to help you determine how often you should clean your couch:
Regular Maintenance (Weekly to Bi-weekly):
Lightly vacuum your couch’s surfaces and cushions using a brush attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and crumbs. Fluff and rotate the cushions to even out wear.
Surface Cleaning (Every 1-3 Months)
Depending on usage, give your couch a more thorough cleaning by using a fabric-appropriate upholstery cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area first. Spot clean any spills or stains as they occur to prevent permanent damage.
Deep Cleaning (Every 6-12 Months):
Consider a deep cleaning session to remove deeper dirt and grime. You can use a steam cleaner designed for upholstery, rent one, or hire a professional upholstery cleaning services.
This helps refresh the fabric and revitalize its appearance.
Pet Owners (More Frequent Cleaning 1xweek):
If you have pets that frequently use the couch, you may need to clean it more often to remove pet hair, dander, and potential odors. My dog doesn’t shed, but if yours does, I would recommend cleaning your couch at least once pwe week.
Allergy Concerns (1xweek)
If your family suffers from allergies, I would recommend that you clean your rouch on a weekly basis to reduce the buildup of allergens
Deep Cleaning Your Sofa
When it comes to deep cleaning your sofa, different materials require different approaches. In this section, we’ll cover the methods for deep cleaning fabric, leather, and suede couches.
Fabric Sofa Cleaning
To clean a fabric sofa, first remove any loose cushions or pillows. Vacuum the entire fabric couch thoroughly, making sure to get into those nooks and crannies.
Want to know how to clean a fabric sofa and easily remove stains from your fabric sofa with this simple solution!
Combine 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of warm water, and 1/2 tablespoon of liquid dish soap or Castile soap in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the soiled areas, gently scrub with a soft microfiber cloth, and watch the stains disappear.
Let the fabric sofa air-dry completely before enjoying it again.
- Vacuum your fabric sofa well.
- Mix your cleaning solution.
- Spray and scrub stained areas.
- Let the fabric couch air-dry.
Other Ways to Clean a Fabric Sofa
These 4 methods work really well when you need to clean your fabric couch.
Baking soda works well to get rid of so many different stains. Sprinkle baking soda all over the surface of your sofa. After finishing this step, let the baking soda sit for about 20-30 minutes.
Baking soda works really well on wet stains.
Then, all that is left now is to vacuum the entire sofa thoroughly.
Make sure you do not use any wet cloth to remove the soda. The vacuum cleaner should remove all the stains and make your sofa look brand new!
Hydrogen peroxide and soap
Sometimes, your fabric sofa has nasty stains that might not go away with mere soda. For something as hard as, say, a red wine stain, you need some extra materials to completely eliminate it.
You need to create a solution with one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts of liquid soap and mix them.
Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it over the stain. Leave it on for a few seconds and then rub it off with a cloth.
Make sure to test it on an inconspicous area to make sure it works first.
Not everyone has hydrogen peroxide lying around at home. However, you may have vinegar in your kitchen, which is also a great tool to remove tough stains from your sofa.
This mixture works well to clean a fabric sofa. Just mix vinegar and water in equal parts with a bit of liquid soap and spray it over the stains. After a few minutes, wipe off the area.
Vinegar works like magic for coffee, tea, or juice stains.
Alcohol can come in very handy to remove ink stains or markings from your couch. It can also be used to remove grease stains, like lipstick.
To clean a couch with alcohol, simply dab the stained area with a dry microfiber cloth. If the stain persists, you can rub the stain gently with a stiff brush to remove the excess stain from the fibers. Wipe the stain with a white cloth or dry paper towel to see if any residue still remains.
Leather Sofa Cleaning
Leather couches require a gentler approach.
First, vacuum the sofa, taking care to get into crevices and underneath cushions. Use a leather cleaner, available at most furniture stores, and apply it to a soft cloth.
Next, gently buff the surface of the couch with the cloth, focusing on any stained areas. After cleaning, use a leather conditioner to keep the material soft and supple.
- Vacuum the sofa.
- Apply leather cleaner to a soft cloth.
- Buff the surface, focusing on stained areas.
- Use leather conditioner after cleaning.
Suede couch cleaning
Suede couches can be a bit more challenging to clean.
Start by vacuuming the entire couch, paying special attention to grooves and seams. Purchase a suede cleaning brush or sponge, and gently brush the stained areas.
Avoid rubbing too hard, as this can damage the suede. If the stain persists, use a commercial suede cleaner following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Make sure to brush the suede again after it dries to restore its nap.
- Vacuum the couch.
- Gently brush stained areas with a suede brush.
- Use a commercial suede cleaner if necessary.
- Brush the suede again after it dries.
Rinse and Dry
After cleaning your sofa, it’s essential to rinse and dry it properly. In this section, we will discuss the correctdrying process, ventilation, and air circulation to ensure your sofa dries quickly and effectively.
Once you’ve finished cleaning and rinsing your sofa, gently blot the excess water using a clean, dry towel. Avoid rubbing the fabric, as this may cause further damage or spread the dampness.
If possible, use a wet-dry vacuum to remove any remaining moisture from the sofa’s cushions and fabric
Ventilation and air circulation
Proper ventilation and air circulation play a crucial role in the drying process. Open the windows or doors in your living room to allow fresh air to flow through the space.
Additionally, turn on any ceiling fans or portable fans you have available to get your sofa to dry faster. Position these fans to direct the air towards the sofa, but not directly at the fabric to prevent potential damage.
Remember that the drying time will dpend on the type of fabric you have and how damp it is.
Be patient, it’s uper important that you let your sofa dry completely, this is crucial to maintain its quality and cleanliness.
Ongoing Protection and Maintenance
One of the best ways to keep your sofa looking clean and new is to prevent spills in the first place. Avoid eating or drinking on the sofa, or use a tray to catch any spills.
Look at the end of the day, this is your home! Accidents and spills are going to happen, steam cleaning is a wonderful way of bringing your couch back to life.
You also have to be comfortable in your home.
If accidents do happen, be sure to act quickly by blotting the spill with a clean cloth to prevent stains from setting in.
A few weeks ago, I was enjoying my morning tea….on the couch!
Something in my brain told me I shouldn’t be doing that or I at least needed to be careful.
Within 2 minutes, I went to put the cup down and it slipped, fell out of my hand and went all over the couch cushion.
I screamed for the husband, who came flying into see if I was dead (Yes, it was a blood curdling scream)
We sprang into action and got the couch cushion off the couch and ran outside and we were able to hose off the stain.
Thank god for removable couch cushions!
As soon as an accident happens, take care of the stain immediately, this can be a game changer!
Use a sofa cover
If you are nervous about setting stains on your couch, think about buying a sofa cover. This might work well if you have toddlers in the house, especially for a fabric couch!
Elevate and safeguard your sofa with a stylish cover that shields against spills, stains, and odors. Opt for a washable, durable fabric that can be effortlessly removed and cleaned whenever necessary.
In this way, you can experience the benefits of both protecting your sofa from daily wear and tear and easily transforming your living space with a simple cover swap.
Maintain a Cleaning Schedule
Routine cleaning and maintenance can go a long way in keeping your sofa looking its best. Vacuum your sofa at least once a week using a hand vacuum or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
This will help remove dirt, debris, and pet hair that accumulates on the surface and in the crevices (check if you have a crevice tool on your vacuum, these make this task simple).
To keep the fabric looking fresh, it’s also a good idea to occasionally spot clean with upholstery shampoo or a mild detergent
How to Spot-Clean Stains?
The length of time a stain has been there, the fabric, and the type of spill all affect whether it will come out.
Absorb excess moisture from the upholstery as soon as you spill something or stain it. If you don’t get every last bit of residue off, the cleaning solution can actually spread the stain. Additionally, stains that are neglected have a higher chance of adhering to fibers and producing permanent stains.
Use white paper towels or a dry, white, absorbent cloth to dab the stain. Semi-solids can also benefit from the use of a plastic scraper. To remove the residue, you can alternatively use a wet-dry vacuum or a portable upholstery steam cleaner.
Once all the leftover material has been eliminated, dab the stain with the cleaning solution and carefully blot the spill from the edges to the center to prevent further spreading. But be careful not to scrub.
To avoid discoloration, rinse the affected area with cold water and wipe it dry before removing as much of the cleaning agent as you can. If your home has hard water or well water, use distilled water for cleaning solutions and rinse water. Mineral deposits from tap water may cause unintentional shading on the upholstery.
Allow the couch to dry completely to avoid mold growth and a bad odor completely. You can suck away liquid if you have a wet-dry vacuum or a portable upholstery cleaner. Consider sandwiching an absorbent towel between the fabric of the cushion and the large, wet stain to absorb any more moisture (if your cushion allows this).
The drying process can be sped up by opening windows and turning on fans.
Consult a professional cleaning specialist for assistance if you have deeply embedded stains. They frequently have more potent industrial cleaning supplies on hand, so those might be effective. An expert cannot, however, guarantee that a stain will be removed.
Other Couch Cleaning Tips
Keep a lint roller on hand that you can only use for your couch if the fabric of your couch is one that often accumulates lint, hair, or dust. This works best for a couch that only needs a little de-linting, but it can also be used for bigger jobs.
Try using an upholstery steam cleaner to remove dirt and stains if your couch is composed of a fabric that can be cleaned with a water-based solution.
If you don’t own a steam cleaner, take out your iron, set it to “steam,” and move it around the stained areas of your couch to steam clean it. Hot steam is not only an effective cleaner but it can also be used to eliminate odors by killing bacteria.
Leather Soap and Conditioner
If you own leather couches, you can keep them looking clean and new by using a leather cleaner and conditioner. You can also clean leather furniture once a week with a clean, slightly wet rag.
Remember to always do a spot test by applying the cleaning product of your choice to a small inconspicuous area of the stain to see how the cleaner reacts with the fabric. If it works well with the fabric, move on to the larger stain.
Other Cleaning Articles You May Like:
- How to deodorize your carpet.
- Deep cleaning your living room.
- How to clean ceiling fans with vinegar
- Clean your window sills like this
- Benefits of a clean home.
- How to keep a clutter free home.
Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.