How do you clean a couch – which one? (2023)

Whether you're banishing food and drink from your couch or eating dinner on it every night, here's some advice to keep your couch clean.

We asked over 2,900 which ones? Members how regularly they clean their sofas. Nearly a quarter cleaned their couch once a month and the same number cleaned it once every few months.

One in ten have never cleaned their couch - we can only assume they handle spills better than the rest of us.

If, despite all your cleaning efforts, your couch is looking a little sad and worn, it might be time for a new one. Go to our guide to thebest sofa storesto find out which stores offer the widest variety of sofas, the best service and the best value for money.

sofa cleaning tips

Sofa stains can be annoying to look at, especially if your sofa is upholstered in a light fabric. Food (12%), hot drinks (8%) and pets (6%) are the most commonly reported culprits.

And some fabrics are easier to clean than others. Our members found leather (18%) and velvet (6%) the hardest to clean.

Start with these general tips for best results.

First, you should always check the label and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Common cleaning codes below:

CCan be cleaned with water-based solutions
SMust be cleaned with solvent-based cleaners
WSCan be cleaned with both
xvacuum only

Another rule of thumb: deal with spills immediately to avoid disaster. Use a paper towel, clean, soft cloth, or sponge to immediately soak up any spills and gently dry. Don't rub over the stain, as this will only push it deeper into the fabric - and, of course, make it harder to clean.

If the label says you can use water, lightly wipe the stain with a damp (not wet) cloth and immediately dry with a soft, dry cloth.

(Video) How To Clean Your Sofa / Couch With Oxi Clean

When trying out a new product, always apply to a small, hidden area first to test and check for discoloration.

discover theThe best stain removers for textiles, including name brand stain removers and home remedies.

executive sofa

Known for their durability, leather sofas are considered luxurious pieces that never go out of style. Leather sofas are among the most popular, with 29% of respondents owning one. It's much better to take care of it regularly than to give it a thorough cleaning every now and then.

Always start by reading the manufacturer's instructions, as different types of leather have different requirements.

With its soft and natural touch, aniline leather is considered a more sensitive type of leather and therefore requires special care. It needs to be treated differently than other more durable types of leather such as cowhide. B. Leather with corrected grain.

Light colored sofas require special care as certain clothing dyes can transfer to the sofa.

Natural elements can damage any sofa, especially leather sofas. Avoid direct sunlight or too close to a heat source: place your sofa at least 30 cm away from a heater or fireplace.

How do you clean a couch – which one? (1)

Clean your leather sofa

Start vacuuming to remove dirt and sand. Use a soft brush (or an old toothbrush) to reach into crevices and corners. These steps are essential to keep your sofa in good condition.

Then wipe the sofa with a clean cloth or microfiber to remove dust buildup. Some types of leather can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but distilled water should be used. Minerals contained in tap water can cause stains.


Use a leather cleaner every four weeks. Nearly a quarter of our sofa owners use a specialty leather cleaner. Gently wipe the entire sofa in a circular motion.

Finally, using a leather conditioner will help your sofa retain moisture and shine. Experts recommend using it twice a year.

velvet sofas

Known for its elegance and exuberant touch, velvet sofas have become more and more fashionable in recent years. Although most are no longer silk-based, they still need your care and dedication to maintain their shine.

As with other materials, gentle vacuuming is also important here. You can also use a lint roller to pick up dirt and dust.

Use a soft wire brush designed for velvet and brush well in the direction of the pile. It will keep your sofa shiny.

Check the manufacturer's label and use a handheld steam cleaner if the code is not X to avoid staining and wrinkling. Use on a low setting and do not steam any spot for too long to avoid fabric damage. Gently brush in the direction of the pile to lift and restore.

How do you clean a couch – which one? (2)

fabric sofas

For most fabric sofas, the routine is similar to the previous ones.

After vacuuming the couch, start wiping the cushions with a clean, damp cloth (if the couch fabric allows for it) to remove dust and grime and prevent stains.

Fabric sofas tend to sway, so a little weekly maintenance will keep them from looking prematurely aged. A fabric razor is the best option for doing this job.

(Video) Clean your Couch and Carpets easily in minutes with a pot lid

To remove bad odors from your sofa, use baking soda. Dust lightly over area, leave for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum.

How do you clean a couch – which one? (3)

How to take care of your sofa

Prevention can be easier (and cheaper) than cure. Top tips for making your sofa look showroom-worthy include:

  • To prevent fading, place furniture out of direct or prolonged sunlight and away from heat sources.
  • Avoid contact of cosmetic products, such as sunscreen or body lotion, with the upholstery
  • Watch out for sharp objects such as rivets, belt buckles and toys that get caught in the fabric. Nearly a quarter of respondents whose leather sofas were damaged said their sofas were scratched. It's also best to avoid velcro coming into direct contact with the sofas.

Taking care of your sofa

To care for your couch, you should vacuum or brush it weekly, as dirt buildup can wear down the upholstery and dull the color. A thorough cleaning every 12 to 18 months should keep your sofa looking its best longer. learn more abouthow to vacuum furniture.

Regularly stuffing the pillows will prevent them from falling out as it will bring the air back into them.

If the pads are removable, inflate them and shake them aside. When you're done, remember to twist and turn the seat and back cushions, if they're reversible, so they wear evenly.

If you have firm pillows, it's important to flatten them to redistribute the fillings and bring them back to shape. Start with your hands in the center of the pillow and smooth outward in opposite directions - first left and right, then up and down, then diagonally.

Sofa protection plans are often offered at the point of sale. If you think it's worth it, you can take a plan with you when you buy your sofa or buy it separately. These range in price depending on the level of coverage, from sheer accidental stains to accidental damage and structural imperfections.

You can also check your sofa for accidental damage – like B. Spills – are covered by your home insurance.

Home insurance typically doesn't cover wear and tear, but it can help pay for a new sofa if a major spill causes significant damage.

(Video) Pour baking soda on your COUCH & WATCH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!

upholstered sofa

If you've had your sofa for a while and no amount of cleaning can get it looking like new, it might be worth reupholstering it rather than putting in a new one.

There are different upholstery options depending on whether you want to restore the entire sofa or just the cushions or armrests. Pillows generally tend to sag: 38% of those who reported a defect in their sofa had this problem.

You can simply stuff the sagging seat cushions with fresh feathers and extra foam to plump them up and keep them firm for longer.

Another option is to get arm covers for worn or worn arms. If you like the idea of ​​a brand new look but like the shape of your existing sofa, it may still be cheaper to reupholster the entire sofa instead of buying a new sofa.

Depending on the upholsterer you use, you may need to order and purchase your own fabric. Others will handle the entire process for you from start to finish.

Also, don't forget about the inevitable shipping costs. And do not forget that for a short time you can do without a sofa.

How do you clean a couch – which one? (4)

Consider a sofa with loose or removable covers

Loose covers help sofas look like new because they are easy to clean. You can also buy an extra set of covers - handy if a set is in the laundry or if you just want to try a new look.

Always follow the specific care for upholstery with loose covers; After the first cleaning, there is usually a 3% tolerance for shrinkage.

If all your damage prevention and cleaning efforts have failed and it's simply time for a new sofa, take a look at ourReviews about sofa storesto discover the best places to buy a sofa.

(Video) Couch Deep Clean! | Skylar Toth | #clean #cleaning #cleaninghack #cleanwithme #shorts #cleaningtips


How do you clean a couch – which one? ›

One most certainly can use a carpet cleaner to clean a couch. Carpet cleaners usually come with an upholstery attachment that is gentle enough to clean the sofa and get into all the nicks and folds. The same cleaning solution can be used; the only determining factor is the sofa's material.

What do I need to deep clean a couch? ›

What supplies will you need to deep clean your couch? (depending on your fabric code)
  1. Clean white cloth and/or white absorbent towel.
  2. Cleaning solution (see different type of cleaners)
  3. Soft brush.
  4. Spray bottle.
  5. Vacuum with hose and additional attachments (crevice tool, etc.)
Dec 6, 2021

How do you clean different fabric couches? ›

How do you deep clean a couch
  1. Brush the couch to remove crumbs, dirt, and hair.
  2. Use the brush attachment on a vacuum to clean more thoroughly.
  3. Remove the cushions and clean them separately, if possible.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda across the sofa and leave for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Vacuum up the baking soda.
  6. Spot treat stains.
Jul 14, 2021

Can I use carpet cleaner on couch? ›

One most certainly can use a carpet cleaner to clean a couch. Carpet cleaners usually come with an upholstery attachment that is gentle enough to clean the sofa and get into all the nicks and folds. The same cleaning solution can be used; the only determining factor is the sofa's material.

How do you clean couch cushions that Cannot be removed? ›

Use a slightly damp sponge that has been soaked with a very small amount of detergent and give your cushions a brief once over. You can then follow this by giving your cushion cover a quick spray with an air freshener product such as Febreze.

Is it possible to deep clean a couch? ›

Deep cleaning a couch is an integral process which helps you remove the nasty odor eminatting from your furniture. This is the preferred method of course as it is more sanitary than simply brushing your couch. It is also a multi-step process.

How do you clean a sofa without soaking it? ›

  1. Vacuum the Sofa. Regular vacuuming removes dust and dirt that will eventually settle into the upholstery leaving it dull and dirty. ...
  2. Improve Air Circulation and Eliminate Hazards. ...
  3. Do a Test Spot With the Dry Cleaning Solvent. ...
  4. Spot Clean Stains and Heavily Soiled Areas. ...
  5. Dry the Upholstery.
Aug 14, 2022

What cleans a fabric sofa best? ›

Vacuum your couch so you're not rubbing in dirt or debris while cleaning. In the bucket, mix about 2 cups of distilled water with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Dampen a microfiber cloth with your cleaning solution. Gently blot any stained areas with the cloth.

How can I clean my fabric sofa without removable covers? ›

Take a teaspoon of washing-up liquid, white vinegar, baking soda and warm water and mix together into a lather (the mixture should froth up as the baking soda and vinegar react with one another). Then, apply directly to any stains or smudges that you can spot on your fabric sofa. Leave to dry out for around 10 minutes.

How long does it take a couch to dry after shampooing? ›

Once you're done sofa cleaning, you will need to let it dry. There are a few factors that speed up or slow down dry time, so each case is different, but we recommend waiting 4-6 hours before sitting on your couch.

Can a steam cleaner clean a sofa? ›

Steam cleaning removes stubborn tough stains, dirt, grease and more while also sanitizing surfaces by removing allergens and pathogens. One of the most useful applications of steam cleaning units is to clean upholstery, fabric furniture and mattresses.

How long does a couch take to dry after carpet cleaning? ›

Upholstery will take 4 - 5 hours to dry on average. Curtains, leather and mattresses can be ready for use almost immediately following the cleaning. Drying times can vary due to soling and staining levels, humidity, ventilation and temperature.

What is the best cleaning solution for couch cushions? ›

Mix warm water and distilled white vinegar in a 10:1 ratio in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of mild dish detergent as desired for a grease-busting boost. After testing the cleaner in an out-of-the-way spot, lightly spray the entire sofa. Gently blot the cushions with a dry microfiber cloth.

How do you wash fabric that Cannot be washed? ›

Fill the tub with cold water and add a small amount of a mild detergent, like Woolite. Mix until the water appears sudsy. Dip your clothing in and out of the mixture until it's saturated, then gently agitate it in the water, rubbing any soiled areas softly with your fingers to spot clean them.

How do I know if my couch cushions are washable? ›

On each label, you should find laundry symbols that will tell you not only whether you can wash your couch cushion covers, but how, whether by hand or, if in a washing machine, at what temperature.

Can you use Windex to clean couch? ›

Everyone knows what it's sold for: cleaning glass and clear surfaces of stains and streaks. Did you know that Windex also is great for getting out liquid stains on fabric like sheets, clothes and those affordable sectional sofas we love so much? It even works on carpet!

How do you deodorize a couch? ›

To get rid of smell in couch, sprinkle baking soda generously on cushions, in crevices, and especially on areas with a stain. Give the baking soda some time to work –about an hour or so — then vacuum up the remains.

Can I clean my couch with Dawn and water? ›

Dish soap + water

If your couch has a W or W/S tag, you can simply scrub it with dish soap (we like Dawn) and water. First, conduct the quick clean. Dry brush and vacuum loose debris.

Does vinegar clean sofa? ›

If pure water hasn't removed the stain, cleaning with vinegar is a great natural stain remover and is suitable for most types of upholstery. Begin by mixing equal parts water and vinegar and then blot the stain with a clean microfibre cloth before using gentle circular motions.

What detergent to use to clean sofa? ›

Mild laundry detergent and warm water, mixed well to create suds. White vinegar: This is a good choice for removing surface stains, but you'll want to use a soapy solution afterwards to give the area an intensive clean.

What is the easiest to clean couch fabric? ›

Polyester, leather, nylon, and acrylic are a few fabrics that are both durable and easy to clean.

How do you clean a light fabric sofa? ›

Make a solution that is equal parts water and white wine vinegar. Use a clean white cloth that is slightly damp and rub away the stain. Make sure you rinse the cloth in clean water regularly. Another effective way to remove stains is by using a steam cleaner, which utilises hot water to remove any dirt or grime.

What stains Cannot be removed from sofa? ›

Upholstery Cleaning: 4 Hardest Stains to Remove
  • Chocolate. Chocolate, particularly if melted or in the form of hot cocoa, can cause a huge headache when it lands on your upholstery. ...
  • Blood. ...
  • Tomato Sauce. ...
  • Red Wine.
Aug 24, 2022

How do you make a dirty couch look good? ›

There's more than one way to disguise that ugly old sofa and each of these tips will help give your room the decorating facelift it so desperately needs.
  1. Use a slipcover. ...
  2. Cover it with a blanket. ...
  3. Adorn it with colourful pillows. ...
  4. Get new cushion covers. ...
  5. Use upholstery paint. ...
  6. Some more tips for ugly old sofas.
Oct 24, 2020

How can I make my sofa look expensive? ›

“Just add a few oversized, overstuffed pillows with different prints, colors and textures to give it some depth and coziness. Think leather, linen, and fur. Also, try draping a lightweight neutral throw blanket over the arm of the sofa.”

How do you refresh couch upholstery? ›

Top 4 Tricks To Refresh Your Upholstery
  1. Vacuum Regularly.
  2. Clean Spills Fast.
  3. Make Your Own Upholstery Cleaning Solution.
  4. Hire Professional Upholstery Cleaning Services.
Jul 16, 2021

Can I shampoo my couch with laundry detergent? ›

Place a laundry detergent pod in a bowl, then pour over boiling water to dissolve it. Wrap a microfiber cloth around a pot lid, tying the opposite corners together, to use as an oversized scrub brush. Dip the lid into the detergent solution, then use it to scrub your couch cushions and frame.

Why does my sofa feel rough after cleaning? ›

Let it dry properly after cleaning

If you sit on the couch or place any kind of object on it before it completely dries out, the material can become rough. Always give enough time to your couch to get dry properly.

Is it better to steam clean or shampoo a couch? ›

Steam cleaning is one of the best ways to clean upholstery because the warm moisture lifts stains without releasing too much moisture into the fabric and padding. The main elements of steam cleaning that make it so effective are: Moisture.

Should I shampoo or steam clean my couch? ›

Upholstery cleaning is a good option for removing tough dirt and stains and thorough disinfection, while steam cleaning is a good option for killing germs and disinfecting surfaces quickly and efficiently. Yearly steaming is recommended for furniture to keep them clean and disinfected.

Where does the dirt go when you steam clean? ›

So, where does the dirt go when you steam clean? Actually, it doesn't go anywhere. Instead, the heat and vapour of steam cleaning ensure that all the unwanted substances or stains are fully broken down and easy to get rid of.

How can I dry my couch fast? ›

Drying Couch Cushions

Instead, hang them inside your house or on a clothesline – as long as it is out of the sun. To speed things along, hang the covers near a portable fan or use a blow dryer (low heat only). Drying cushion covers can take a while, so make the most of this time by cleaning the rest of your couch.

Can I use Bissell carpet cleaner on my couch? ›

If you have a Bissell carpet cleaner, you might be wondering whether it can be used to clean your upholstery. The short answer is that it certainly can, and this is much simpler if you have the proper attachments on hand.

Is it OK to walk on carpet after cleaning? ›

It is recommended that you try to stay off the freshly cleaned carpets until they are dry – about 6 hours. If you MUST walk over your damp carpet before it is dry use EXTREME caution. Where you transition from carpet to another hard surface, like tile or hardwood, can be very slippery.

Can you steam clean a couch? ›

Steam cleaning removes stubborn tough stains, dirt, grease and more while also sanitizing surfaces by removing allergens and pathogens. One of the most useful applications of steam cleaning units is to clean upholstery, fabric furniture and mattresses.

How long does it take to deep clean a couch? ›

How long it takes to clean your upholstered furniture varies by the method your professional uses as well as how dirty the fabric is and how much upholstery needs to be cleaned. The average time for upholstery can range from 30-60 minutes or longer in rare cases.

How do you deep clean down couch cushions? ›

How to Deep-Clean Removable Couch Cushions
  1. Vacuum Sofa Cushions. ...
  2. Fill Tub with Water and Detergent. ...
  3. Submerge Cushions in Detergent Solution. ...
  4. Agitate and Soak Cushions. ...
  5. Rinse Cushions. ...
  6. Extrude Excess Water. ...
  7. Allow Cushions to Air Dry.
Jan 19, 2023

How do you dry a couch after steam cleaning? ›

There are a few factors that speed up or slow down dry time, so each case is different, but we recommend waiting 4-6 hours before sitting on your couch. You can also point a fan at the couch to help speed up the drying time or consider moving a dehumidifier into the room until the sofa is dry.

Where does the dirt go when you steam clean a sofa? ›

So, where does the dirt go when you steam clean? Actually, it doesn't go anywhere. Instead, the heat and vapour of steam cleaning ensure that all the unwanted substances or stains are fully broken down and easy to get rid of.

What is the cheapest way to deep clean a couch? ›

Create a cleaning solution by combining equal parts water and white vinegar in a small bucket. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution so that it is damp but not wet, then wipe the couch, rinsing the cloth regularly. Dry the couch with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

How do you dry a couch fast after cleaning it? ›

After the cleaning/extraction stage, here are steps to further accelerate your drying times:
  1. Increase the temperature. The warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. ...
  2. Move the air. The more warm, dry air you can move across wet surfaces, the more you'll speed up evaporation from those materials. ...
  3. Reduce the humidity.

How do you get pee out of foam couch cushions? ›

Mix a 1:3 parts vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle, and spray generously on the stain. Scrub lightly before letting dry. It's important to note that a dried stain will require more spraying to re-wet the stain. Vinegar's disinfecting properties will target the bacteria as well.


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