The best way to clean a sofa.
We spend a lot of time on our sofas, so they can get dirty and stained from time to time. Knowing how to clean sofa stains is a skill we should all have up our sleeves. Whether it's an emergency red wine spill or just a mess from the pet that lays on the couch every day, we've got the answers to teach you how to clean a couch effectively!
First, be sure to read the manufacturer's cleaning tips. Sofas always come with a cleaning tag, just like your favorite clothes. Check that label for clues about cleanliness. Here are some codes you are likely to encounter and what they mean:
- W — There is no problem cleaning this material with water.
- S — Do not use water to clean this material. Use a solvent based cleaner.
- WS: It's okay to use water or solvent based cleaners on this material.
- X — Vacuum only this material. Do not use water or solvent based cleaners.
As many tools have been developed to make carpet cleaning easier, many people wonder if they can be applied to sofas. So can you use a carpet cleaner on your sofa? The answer is yes if you use a suitable accessory from your carpet cleaning device and test the solution on a less visible area of your sofa. Don't forget to check the label to confirm the cleaning instructions.
How to clean sofa stains
Sofa cleaning strategies vary, but generally speaking, you should clean your sofa with the right cleaning product. Focus on rubbing the stained areas, then allow the area to dry completely before evaluating your success in removing the stain.
How to successfully clean a sofa usually comes down to using the right cleaning solution on the specific fabric of the sofa. Here are some things to consider when cleaning each type of fabric.
How to clean a fabric sofa
Learning to clean a sofa takes practice and patience. What works best for one fabric sofa may not work well for another. So, use these tips the next time your fabric sofa needs a deep cleaning, but be sure to adjust your technique based on the specific color and type of fabric.
- Brush the sofa.Prepare the sofa by brushing it with a clean white hand towel or a stiff brush. Brushing should help loosen anything that has dried on.
- Apply baking soda.Sprinkle the entire sofa with baking soda and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. (You can leave it there for up to an hour.) Using a brush, vacuum the sofa to remove the baking soda.
- Make an All-Purpose Sofa Cleaner. While the baking soda sits on the couch, make this simple cleaner to remove any remaining stains. Combine 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 1 cup of warm water in a small spray bottle. Then add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and quickly screw the cap onto the spray bottle. Best to create this solution over a sink to avoid mess (baking soda and vinegar create lots of bubbles when combined!)
- Clean the sofa.Spray a clean white cloth with the cleaning solution and gently wipe and rub the stains on the fabric. Alternatively, wipe down the entire sofa with the good cleaning solution.
- Let the fabric dry.Do not sit on or place objects on the sofa for a few hours or until the fabric is completely dry.
How to clean a microfiber sofa
When it comes to cleaning sofas, rubbing alcohol can be a real lifesaver, especially when it comes to microfiber sofas. As we mentioned earlier, check that label and test the solution on a small area before using it to clean the entire sofa. The cleaning code "S" (for "solvent") means isopropyl alcohol is an excellent choice.
- Rub with isopropyl alcohol.Working section by section, spray an area with isopropyl alcohol, then scrub with a white or light-colored sponge (so you don't transfer color from the sponge to the sofa as you scrub). You should see the spots move up the sponge as you go.
- Brush in circles.The sofa must dry quickly, since alcohol evaporates quickly. Once dry, use a dry brush to fluff up the fabric. It is best to brush in a circular motion.
- Repeat the process with distilled water.. If there are water spots on the sofa (and solvent and water cleaning is acceptable), follow the same cleaning process above, but substitute distilled water for the alcohol.
How to clean a leather sofa
Learning how to properly clean a sofa usually comes down to trial and error. For example, leather sofas offer a whole list of cleaning options, since leather comes in a variety of finishes. When determining how to clean a leather sofa, keep in mind that the methods can vary significantly from one sofa to another.
The following instructions are specific to cleaning protected leather, which is more common and easier to clean than other types of leather. If you have an unprotected leather sofa, check with the manufacturer for suggested cleaning methods. And just in case you forgot, be sure to check the label and test cleaning products in an inconspicuous spot on your couch before attempting to clean everything.
- Start by vacuuming the sofa, including all the nooks and crannies.
- Wipe down the entire sofa with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
- Create a cleaning solution by combining equal parts water and white vinegar in a small bucket. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution so it's damp but not wet, then wipe down the sofa, rinsing the cloth regularly.
- Dry the sofa with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
- Be sure to use a leather conditioner on your sofa every six to 12 months to keep the leather soft.
How to clean a suede sofa
If you've ever wondered how to clean a suede sofa, we've got some tips that can help restore its original shine. Suede is a popular choice for sofas because it looks good and is very comfortable. Unfortunately, the suede material also has a reputation for being difficult to maintain. Therefore, a little more care is needed when cleaning and removing stains from your suede sofa. These are our tips for cleaning a suede sofa:
- Refresh your suede sofa with a damp cloth. Avoid getting the suede too wet. Squeeze as much water out of a cloth as possible before applying it to the sofa. The damp cloth will remove dirt and debris from the surface without damaging the suede material.
- Find a product specifically designed to clean suede. As we have recommended many times before, always test any new cleaning product on a small, less visible area of the sofa before using it again. Dampen a small area of the sofa with the solution and wait about 20 minutes to see how it reacts with the material. If you can't find special suede cleaners, try some white distilled vinegar.
- An eraser can be used to gently clean stubborn stains. This is especially helpful for paint and crayon stains that have embedded themselves in the suede over time.
- For wet spots, squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Apply an anti-stain treatment suitable for suede and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse the sofa with a clean, damp cloth. Dry the area with a hair dryer.
How to clean a velvet sofa
If you're curious about how to clean a velvet sofa, patience is the key. Velvet has a well-earned reputation for being high-maintenance. While velvet sofas don't require any special equipment or materials to clean, they do require a lot of attention and care. Velor should be vacuumed weekly to keep it in the best possible condition. If your velvet sofa requires a more thorough cleaning, follow these steps:
- First, spot clean with paper towels. Absorb as much moisture as possible. If the stain is solid, use a butter knife to remove as much of the material as possible. Then mix a few drops of dishwashing detergent with a little warm water and gently blot the stain; never rub.
- To remove folds and wrinkles in fabric, try using a steam cleaner (used for clothing). Start with the lowest temperature setting and slowly increase to remove wrinkles.
- After the sofa is dry, use a soft, dry brush to keep it looking like new.
How to clean sofa cushions
How to successfully clean sofa cushions depends on the material from which they are made. So you'll need to choose a cleaning method that works well on the pad material you have. Removable pads are a bit easier to clean since you can throw them right into the washing machine as long as they are dishwasher safe. If not, here are some best practices to keep in mind when cleaning any type of sofa cushion.
- If you have pets, try wearing a pair of rubber gloves to begin your cleaning efforts. Rubbing your pet's fur with gloved hands is a quick and easy way to remove fur from the pads.
- Then vacuum the entire sofa, paying attention to the little nooks and crannies where crumbs and other things can fall.
- Use a solvent-based cleaner recommended for the fabric you own. Don't forget to test a small area before using the cleaner on all pillows.
- If you can't find a recommended cleaner, try mixing a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water. Add a little to an upholstery brush and gently scrub into spots. If this method is effective, apply it to the rest of the pads.
Cleaning removable sofa cushions is one thing; how to clean sofa cushions that cannot be removed is a bit more challenging. So it's time to bring on the heat, in the form of steam! Steaming specific areas of your pillows is a great way to remove those tough stains. Because most garment steamers are portable, you can get into even the hardest-to-reach spaces.
Let Molly Maid help you with the cleanup.
Using the tips we have provided should help you successfully clean your sofa and cushions. But keeping your couch and cushions clean, especially if you have pets and kids, can be a full-time job. And with all the other things you have to do, you may need a little help. Molly Maid's local cleaning professionals can help you keep your furniture and the rest of your home spotless.
Whether you choose oursregular cleaning services,occasional cleaning, ospecial event cleaning, we tailor all of our services to accommodate your schedule. So instead of cleaning your sofa, hireprofessional cleaning aid, so you can sit back and relax on your nice, clean sofa. call orrequest a free quote online¡hoy!
How To Clean a Sofa | maid molly? ›
For fabric upholstery: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 warm water and 1 tablespoon of dish soap or Castile soap. Put in a spray bottle. Mist the soiled area. Scrub with a soft cloth until the stain lifts.What is the best thing to clean a material couch? ›
For fabric upholstery: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 warm water and 1 tablespoon of dish soap or Castile soap. Put in a spray bottle. Mist the soiled area. Scrub with a soft cloth until the stain lifts.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.How do you clean a fabric couch without washing it? ›
To help remove odors and brighten the fabric, sprinkle the upholstery with dry baking soda. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently work it into the fabric. Allow the baking soda to work for at least one hour or up to overnight. Then, vacuum away the baking soda and the soil it has collected.Can you use Dawn to clean couch? ›
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.
Mix 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and about 1 cup of water. Make sure to give it a good shake before applying it to your upholstery. If you're dealing with tough stains, you can add a little less water to your mixture.What is the best disinfectant for fabric couch? ›
We recommend using something like Clorox's Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner & Disinfectant. This product, which is available as both a spray (for fabrics) and a wipe (for hard surfaces), will kill pathogens on both hard and soft surfaces and can eliminate bacteria and viruses like COVID-19 in 30 seconds.Can I use a carpet cleaner on my 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 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.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 shampoo 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.Can you use Dawn to clean a microfiber couch? ›
The combination of Dawn dish soap and vinegar is well known to be a miracle cleaning solution. You can use this cleaning mix on your microfiber if it is safe for water-based cleaners. Simply fill a bucket half full with warm water. Add 2 cups of vinegar and 3 tablespoons of dish soap.Does Windex clean microfiber couch? ›
Cleaned microfiber couch with Windex and it worked amazing!What is the easiest way to clean a cloth couch? ›
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.Can you use Fabuloso on sofa? ›
The multi-purpose cleaner can be used for just about any hard surface in just about any room of your home because it has a neutral pH, so bring it out anywhere you want to cut grease or remove dirt and grime. It's even safe to use on sealed wood!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.Can I use Windex to clean my sofa? ›
Spray the Windex lightly on the fabric and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Don't let it sit too long as the ammonia can bleach out the fabric if you do. Wash it (if clothes or sheets) or blot it dry (if carpet or sofa). Repeat until the stain is removed.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.Can I use laundry detergent to clean my couch? ›
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.Is Windex a good upholstery cleaner? ›
Windex is a great cleaner for inside your car, getting rid of built-up gunk on windows, dashboards, steering wheel, and upholstery. It's non-greasy, so it won't leave everything slippery nor damage the upholstery and faux wood surfaces.
What is a good substitute for upholstery cleaner? ›
- Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol by pouring both into a spray bottle. ...
- Spray the mixture onto a stain and let it soak in for 1 or 2 minutes. ...
- If odors persist, apply baking soda and leave it on the fabric for 30 to 60 minutes before removing it with a vacuum cleaner.
Most fabric upholstery should do fine with the following cleaning mixture: Vinegar and Soap Solution: Mix one cup warm water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and a tablespoon of Castile soap. If you don't have Castile soap, use mild dish detergent. Put the mixture inside a spray bottle or a bowl.How do you clean and deodorize a fabric 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 use Clorox wipes on fabric couch? ›
Clorox wipes are sudsy enough to use for scrubbing, but it's not a good idea to use them on upholstered surfaces like sofas or mattresses. The alcohol in Clorox wipes can stain or fade fabrics. If you use these wipes on your sofa, you may end up ruining a perfectly good piece of furniture.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.How do you shampoo a couch without a shampooer? ›
- Use a firm-bristled brush to remove any crumbs or loose dirt.
- Vacuum the couch using the brush attachment.
- Spot treat stubborn stains with a suitable cleaning solution.
- Allow the couch to air dry.
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 stains Cannot be removed from sofa? ›
- 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.
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.How do you dry couch cushions after cleaning? ›
Once it's clean, wrap the cushion in towels to help it dry faster. You may need to switch the towels a few times as well. Make sure the cushion is completely dry before putting the cover back on and returning the cushion to the couch.
Should I shampoo my couch? ›
Just like cleaning your bedding, cleaning your couch can help remove dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. According to Wirecutter, sofas can also become dingy over time if they aren't cleaned regularly — so cleaning them is important for both hygiene and aesthetics.What is the best DIY microfiber couch cleaner? ›
Clean a Microfiber Couch with Gentle Liquid Soap. You'll clean your microfiber couch using a frothy bath made from 1/2 cup liquid dish soap and 2 cups of warm water. Whisk liquid soap into a foamy lather and apply it to the sofa using a soft-bristled brush.Can you use Clorox wipes on microfiber couch? ›
Never use bleach, acetone, carpet cleaner or upholstery cleaner on microfiber couches.How can you tell if a couch is microfiber? ›
Step 2- Located the manufacturer's fabric care tag and double-check your couch's fabric. Microfiber is polyester, so it should have a tag that says “S” for solvent.What is the best cleaner for microfiber? ›
Use undiluted rubbing alcohol to clean a microfiber couch that features an “S” care tag. Always do the cleaning of a microfiber couch in small sections so the fabric does not become saturated at any point.What cleaner to use with microfiber? ›
Microfiber cloths only require water to clean. If desired, chemical cleansers that do not contain bleach can be used in conjunction with the cloth without damaging the material.Can you use Lysol wipes on microfiber couch? ›
Lysol can be used on pretty much every piece of furniture, whether you have a leather couch, microfiber couch, or simply feel it's time to do some upholstery cleaning. If you would prefer to use disinfectant wipes instead, Lysol offers multi-surface disinfectant wipes, too! Click here to shop disinfectant wipes!Can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean microfiber couch? ›
Here's an effective and inexpensive way to clean microfiber couch. Combine hydrogen peroxide and dish soap! The exact amounts are not listed, but it's worth a try!What not to wash with microfiber? ›
Since microfiber towels are a magnet for lint, don't wash them with clothes or towels made from natural fibers that tend to shed, like cotton.How do you clean dirty microfiber? ›
- Run the dirty microfiber cloth under cool or warm (not hot) water, and rub the microfiber between your fingers to help release the dirt and grime.
- Rinse well and leave to air-dry.
How do you clean and disinfect a couch? ›
Most fabric upholstery should do fine with the following cleaning mixture: Vinegar and Soap Solution: Mix one cup warm water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and a tablespoon of Castile soap. If you don't have Castile soap, use mild dish detergent. Put the mixture inside a spray bottle or a bowl.Can you steam clean a sofa? ›
Steam cleaning a couch is a great way to sanitize our most commonly used pieces of furniture. So long as the materials are fit for steaming, this is the quickest and most efficient way to treat any upholstery.How do you deep clean a sofa upholstery at home? ›
- Steam the couch. Use a handheld garment steamer or bursts from your steam iron to kill surface dust mites. ...
- Vacuum the upholstery. ...
- Test a hidden spot. ...
- Spot clean stains. ...
- Clean dingy arms and headrests. ...
- Sanitize the couch.
- Step 1: Vacuum up dust and dirt particles. ...
- Step 2: Blast out hidden dust with compressed air. ...
- Step 3: Soap suds are your upholstery's friend. ...
- Step 4: Leave it to dry. ...
- Step 5: If it's still not clean, try steam.
If you are looking for a couch sanitizing solution that can do it all, Lysol Disinfectant Spray should be your first choice! Lysol can be used on pretty much every piece of furniture, whether you have a leather couch, microfiber couch, or simply feel it's time to do some upholstery cleaning.What kills germs on couch? ›
The best disinfectant spray for a couch is Lysol Disinfecting Spray. Lysol will kill up to 99% of germs, viruses, and bacteria and is safe for most fabrics. To sanitize with it, you'll need to spray your couch thoroughly (but not saturate it) and allow the spray to air dry.Does Lysol spray disinfect couches? ›
For areas like your couch and carpet that can't be wiped down, you can use a disinfectant spray, like Lysol, to go after unseen germs. I suggest spraying in a sweeping motion to cover the entire surface, then let it completely dry before sitting down or walking on the surface.Can you use laundry detergent in a couch cleaner? ›
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.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.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.
How do you refresh a smelly 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.