July 23, 2021 / RJ Living

How To Clean A Fabric Sofa

In many homes, the sofa is the piece of furniture that takes on the most wear and tear, including collecting dirt, grime, and even food. If your designer couch consists of materials rather than leather, you should know how to clean a fabric sofa the right way.

By cleaning off your furniture regularly, you can avoid any stains setting into the material or causing long-term damage to your fabric couches. Keep your couch clean, and it will continue to be an attractive and comfortable spot in your home for years to come.

There are many elements to consider when you learn how to clean sofa fabric. Materials can require special cleaning methods to ensure that it does not sustain any damage during this process. By recognizing the correct way for sofa cleaning, you can keep your furniture looking great and long-lasting.

If you want your cushions to last, you should follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid damaging the material. Following our tips will help you keep your sofa clean even when those spills and stains occur.

Additional stains can come from grease, sweat, cosmetics, dirt, grime, crumbs, water, and more. We'll give you the right instructions, tools, ingredients, and attention to detail you need to keep things clean in the living room.

Common questions we're asked:

  • How can I remove a stain from my fabric sofa?
  • How do I deep clean a sofa?
  • What type of cleaner should I use on my sofa?
  • Where do I start when cleaning my sofa?

Rest assured, we've got you covered and ready to answer your most important questions throughout our instructions.

modern sofa style

Essential Supplies You Need for Sofa and Upholstery Cleaning

Several everyday items around your home can help your regular couch cleaning process. Make it a habit to give your furniture the maintenance and care it needs, and you can save yourself time and money later.

Some essential supplies you will require for cleaning your sofa include:

  • A good quality vacuum with furniture attachments
  • Three lint-free, light-colored microfiber cloths
  • Bucket of distilled water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar

Depending on the condition of your couch and the material, you may need to use specialty cleaning agents that the manufacturer recommends.

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa at Home

how to clean a fabric sofa at home

Step 1: Check the Tags for Care Instructions For Upholstered Sofas

Many furniture pieces will include care instructions on the attached tags. These tags will often list special codes that will depict how to wash and care for your furniture without causing damage. If you use products that should not be in contact with the materials, not only will you damage your couch, but it could also void your warranty.

You will find letters on your furniture tags that will indicate how to take care of the material. These letters include:

W - you can use water to clean this material

WS - you can use water or a solvent cleaner on the material

S - you can only use solvent cleaners, no water

X - vacuum the material only

You must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning care. You do not want to risk damaging your couch when you are just trying to keep it clean.

Step 2: Vacuum Upholstered Furniture First To Remove Dust

Before you do anything, you should give your sofa a good vacuum to remove any loose dirt, food remnants, or other matter. Clearing the surface with a vacuum can help keep any dust from becoming worked into the fabric deeper once you use water or solvents.

With some sofas, this will be the only maintenance that you can perform to care for your furniture.

Step 3: Treat Any Stains

If you have children or pets, stains could be a regular occurrence in your home. If you need to know how to clean fabric sofa stains easily, the process is not complicated.

How to clean fabric sofa with vinegar

Some care instructions will allow water or solvents, so you should treat any visible stains carefully using a blotting method. Use a premade mixture with 2 cups of distilled water, 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or a manufacturer’s recommended solvent to dab the stains lightly with a moist microfiber cloth.

You can repeat this process multiple times for hard-to-treat stains, such as ones you will find on the armrests or common touchpoint areas. If your couch allows using water, follow up with a damp microfiber cloth of only water to help remove any cleaning solution or solvents from the fabric. Blot gently until you do not notice any soap or solvent residue.

How to clean fabric sofa naturally with baking soda

Baking soda is the best ingredient for homemade cleaning. Simply create a paste-like mixture by combining baking soda with just enough water for a DIY solution to remove stubborn stains. Using a clean cloth and working gently, rub the solution in with a circular motion around the stains. Avoid pressing or dabbing in too harshly to prevent the dirt from going deeper. After 15 minutes or once the soda has absorbed the stains, wipe and brush it off completely.

Step 4: Dry Fabric Sofas and Sofa Covers Completely

It is essential that when you learn how to clean a fabric couch, you allow it the necessary time to dry completely. If you sit on your furniture when it is still wet, you risk any oils from your skin or dirt and grime from your clothing soaking into the material, creating a stain.

Take a dry microfiber cloth and blot dry any treated areas with your cleaning solution or solvent. Try to soak up as much of the cleaning agent as possible, then allow the sofa to sit and dry thoroughly. You can turn on a fan or open a window to circulate the air better and promote a faster drying time.

Step 5: Vacuum Sofa Again

Once your sofa has dried completely, it is always a good idea to run your vacuum over the material again. This last step will remove any dust or dirt that may have come loose during the cleaning process.

With some materials, using the vacuum as the last step will also help freshen up the surface fibers if they have become stiff or flat from blotting and cleaning.

contemporary sofa

Conclusion

By knowing how to clean a fabric sofa and couch the right way, you can extend the life of your upholstered furniture and keep it looking great for years to come. You must follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid inadvertently damaging the material.

Summary of our Tips:

  • Fabric sofas should be vacuumed regularly to remove dust and dirt.
  • Fabric sofas should be protected from sunlight to prevent fading.
  • Fabric sofas should be vacuumed with an upholstery attachment to avoid damage.
  • Abrasive cleaners or scrubbing should be avoided when cleaning fabric sofas.
  • Fabric sofas should be allowed to air dry after cleaning to prevent water damage.
  • Fabric sofas should be vacuumed in the direction of the nap to avoid damaging the fabric.
Products mentioned
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