How to Clean Sofa Upholstery a home

Are you trying to clean your sofa upholstery at home? Let me guess, you do not know what you are doing or you are just not sure of exactly what to do next. Well lucky for you I have a few tricks up my sleeve that will definitely help you with your problem.

colourful upholstery sofa

Now unlike cleaning out your clothes, or your jeans, sofas are more delicate and need precise care. Messing it up with just a splash could ruin the whole look. I know that’s scary, but look on the bright side I am here to guide you through the process of it all. 

Cleaning a sofa may be a bit tricky if it’s your first time or if you are used to hiring the services to do it for you. At a time like this when most businesses are closed down, it would be best to set yourself and learn to do it on your own.

So firstly cleaning a sofa is not even hard, tricky yes, but hard no. You just have to know what you are dealing with. So for example, you can’t be using bleach on a leather sofa. At the same time, you cant be wiping out on a fabric sofa. You just have to know the right tricks when dealing with it.

So we have four stages that we are going to follow through. You will find that within stage 2 your sofa will already be looking different. So let’s start off, shall we?


Stage 1: Identify sofa fabric

Now before you even try anything you have to at least know what you are dealing with so that you know the right methods to use. Failing at this stage will result in unpleasing results that will probably make you wonder why you ever thought about cleaning the sofa in the first place. 

lady carrying a mop

So the first thing you should do is to determine what type of material you are dealing with beforehand. This will help you figure out the best method to use when cleaning and will likely avoid damaging fibers and fabrics on your sofa. We have different types of fabrics and fibers from the natural ones such as cotton, linen, silk, synthetic materials like polyester, microfiber and vinyl; lastly, we have all-time classics; leather and suede.

Different fabrics require different cleaning methods and detergents. So you can follow the care instructions below. You will find these normally on the cushion tags if your sofa has them. Or you might as well have them in the instructions booklet under maintenance. 

1. S: Clean only with a dry cleaning solvent. Do not use water;

2. W: Use only water-based upholstery cleaner. Do not use solvents;

3. WS: Use water or mild dry cleaning solvent. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned;

4. X: Use vacuuming or light brushing only. Do not use water or solvent.

Stage 2: Pre-cleaning the sofa

When it comes to pre-cleaning the sofa we are mostly removing unwanted physical dirt like lint, pet hair, dust and so forth. This Is quite easy as there are a number of things you can use for this. Firstly you can use a sweeping broom. This is to just remove particles like breadcrumbs or dust and hairs from the sofa. 

vacuum cleaner, broom and bucket drawing

You can use a Vacuum cleaner to make sure that all hairs and dust and swoop right off your sofa leaving it dainty and sparkly. Using a vacuum is faster as more effective as you can use it to suck dirt right from the inside of the couch in case there were a few pieces that fell in.

Lastly, you can use a duster or a cloth to just wipe off all the other stuff. Maybe a few remainders from the vacuum. Using a cloth will help as you can use a scented swab to leave a sweet or fresh smell on your sofa. And lastly, we move to stage 3 where we now do the real work.

As I had said before, around stage 2 your sofa will already be looking better than before so if you are satisfied with how it is right now there is no need for you to move to stage 3. However, if you feel like you just want to, then be my guest. 

Stage 3: Stain Removal

When it comes to removing stains it is a bit tricky. Some stains become permanent while others just require a quick dab. The best tip to follow for future cases is that whenever you spill something on your sofa, deal with it immediately it will save you so much time and effort. 

vector of cleaning supplies

However, let’s say your kid or your pet left a stain on the couch and you didn’t see it. Could be blood, vomit, pee, coffee or juice. If it dried out and left a mark it is going to be slightly harder to remove but it is not impossible. The good news is that removing the unwanted stains is entirely possible when using the right tools and cleaning solutions. 

One thing to remember is that the sooner you tackle the stain, the higher the chance of successfully removing it and saving the cushion covers you have.

The best way to clean stains out of a couch is to make your own sofa cushion cleaner from natural ingredients you have in the kitchen. But be careful, some household products can be dangerous if you use them in the wrong way. To be safe make sure to always test the solution on the invisible piece of the material, to make sure it does not damage or discolour your furniture upholstery. 

Solutions you can use

When removing vomit, blood, urine or any stain with a stench:

1. Use a clean rag to soak up as much of the stain as possible.

2. Apply a mixture of 4 parts water and 1 part distilled white vinegar on the stained area.

3. Use a cloth to scrub the stain out of the couch.

4. Sprinkle some baking soda over the urine spot and cover the area with a cloth for at least 6 hours to let the stain dry completely.

5. Spray your favourite fabric freshener on the affected area to remove any unpleasant odour.

When removing beverage and fruit stains

1. Soak up the excess liquid with a towel or a clean piece of cloth while the stain is still wet.

2. Mix two cups of cold water with one tablespoon bleach-free liquid dish soap. Using a white towel apply the cleaning solution on the spot and scrub it gently.

3. Wet a clean towel with cold water and blot the area to remove the soap.

4. Apply a dry cleaning solvent on the stain if the above method does not fully remove it.

When removing food and greasy stains

For old oil stains or those greasy stains on your cushions, the first step is to try to absorb them from the fabric as much as possible. You can do this by using baking soda or cornstarch. Place any of these items onto the stain, and let them soak out the grease for about 15 minutes and voila, just rub it out and your cushion is as good as new.

Final Thoughts 

Voila, it was and is easy right. Cleaning a sofa doesn’t even require an algorithm. Most times a little dusting is good enough. Hitting the stains maybe a little bit of trouble but a lot of home remedies can work. So good luck with your sofa!! If your Sofa is Squeaking we have a guide for you. We also have a guide on How to Clean Microfiber Couch.

Best Upholstery Cleaner

Are you looking for the best upholstery cleaner?

The furniture we use today has come a long way from when it was first invented. Take for example chairs. In times past, a chair was whatever you could sit on and not much thought went into the comfort involved. Attempts were made but not all were successful or appealing to the eye. As the years have gone on, people have found ways to make hard furniture soft and luxurious, by way of upholstering it. Upholstery is a way of covering furniture with padding and fabric. 

This padding that makes the furniture so comfortable, needs to be cleaned and taken care of. Whether it is a sofa, a car seat or a carpet, you need to get rid of dust mites and germs that tend to inhabit your favourite seat. Regardless of how clean you may think your environment is if you do not clean it often and thoroughly enough, then you are simply harbouring germs. 

Different fabrics are used in upholstery and each one needs to be taken care of differently. Some fabrics do not do well excess moisture or some that need to be hung out to dry. However, if you know you can not hang it out to dry then you will need to find a way to clean the piece of furniture without water. There are various ways to clean upholstery and that is what we will explore in this article.

In A Hurry

Do you need a quick guide to finding the best upholstery cleaners? There are a few factors you will need to consider before you commit to a brand. Firstly, if you are not sure about the cleaner you have gotten, then you will need to test it on a small piece of the fabric that is in an inconspicuous place. This way you avoid using a cleaner that may ruin your fabric. 

You may also want to read the label on the fabric and see if there are any precautions that you need to take. Be careful to follow these instructions. The manufacturer may not be spot on with everything but when you know the exact fabric used, it is easier to avoid mishaps whilst cleaning.


Our top pick is the Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine, 86T3 ​



Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine, 86T3


The big green machine is exactly what this is. This is a cleaning machine that was developed to give your upholstery a deep clean. The aim of the manufacturer when developing this project was to create a cleaning machine that would be ahead of the rental carpet cleaners the word currently on the market. 

One of the first things to change was the placement of more powerful motors. The brush was also in largest. Instead of going with a small brush they’ve gone with a much larger brush that he is able to get rid of that that is deeply imbedded.

They’ve also couple go on with at tooting system. The allows you to have two separate containers of water. The first one is the clean water one which filters through to the dirty water once it has cleaned your upholstery. It is easy to empty the containers ones you use the map. You can empty it into your sink all the toilet. Durability also came into play. The manufacturer wanted to ensure that this product will be stronger than the previous product that they made.

Another touch of class is the fact that it comes with To complimentary bottles of deep cleaning formula. This puts you in a position where you can use your cleaner as soon as you get it out of the box. There is also a five-year warranty on the product.


  • Does a great job on deep cleaning carpets
  • Has a hose connection for upholstery cleaning.
  • Can be used straight out of the box.
  • It comes with 2 bottles of deep cleaning formula.
  • Comes with two tanks.
  • It is easy to empty the tanks.


  • Some users have reported issues with the overflow indicator.
  • Not made for collecting dirt.
  • One of the units does not perform as well as rental version when it comes to spraying.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner


Perhaps you after something a little more portable. This may be the right one for you. According to the manufacturer, the components used on this project are all of the premium quality. It is a very fast and efficient little machine. It’s incredibly easy to set up. 

They are various little pieces that you can connect to do various things. All in all, you get nine pieces of accessories that all can be added or removed according to the task that you are tackling. The mechanics behind this product is that of a hot pressurised steam cleaner. This ensures that you will not need any chemicals for your cleaning process.

The results that you get from the steamer include the cleaning of grime, Greece, stains, bedbugs and other unsavoury items. The steam is so hot that most bacteria and germs are eliminated. I would say all but, I cannot say that with full certainty. What we like the most about this cleaner is that it is lightweight and portable. You can clean high surfaces are as well as the low ones. There is a 9-foot long cord that allows you to connect this device and use it from a distance. Heating up the steam doesn’t take much time either. You only need about 3 to 4 minutes to achieve steaming heat. 

There is no restriction as to what you can use this for. You can use it to clean your upholstery. You can use it for floor cleaning. You can use it for cleaning your carpet and other pieces of furniture. You may also take it outdoors and use it for cleaning things such as the barbecue.


  • This is a lightweight and portable cleaner.
  • It has an exhaustive range of uses.
  • It comes with a very long cord.
  • There are 9 useful accessories included.
  • Only takes up to 4 minutes to heat up.
  • It is very easy to set up.


  • There are several cases of malfunction reported.
  • Durability is questionable.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Cleaner with 18 Accessories


Perhaps the previous selection wasn’t quite professional looking for you. As much as we might deny it looks do matter. After all, this is something that’s going to be in your home for a while. The list you can be is good looking. This is another heavy-duty cleaner that comes with 18 accessories. 

He delivers and all-natural cleaning that does not require the use of chemicals. Instead, you get to use pressurised steam. You can use it for cleaning floors counters appliances windows your car. In all honesty, The only limitation to what are use this for is your imagination. What is useful for really is getting rid of grease grime, stains as well as mould. This is part of what makes it very useful when it comes to dealing with your upholstery.

The pressurised steam is effective at getting rid of bacteria and all sorts of other nasty things that tend to grow in upholstery. You’ll also be pleased to find that this comes with a 48-ounce water tank. With the size of the tank, the heating speed is not quite as quick as the one above it. However, eight minutes is not much of a wait for a good clean. Once it is heated up you can use it for cleaning for up to 45 minutes. This is where the large tank size comes handy. With all the accessories that you get with this, a new world of use cases is open to you.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is the fact that you can use this to reach up to 15+ foot due to a very long barcode it also has a 9-foot steam hose which allows you to manoeuvre and get to places that would’ve been otherwise impossible to reach. The pressure that the steam cleaner produces is 43 psi. 


  • This is a very powerful cleaner.
  • It comes with a long hose
  • The power cable is also very long.
  • It requires no chemicals for cleaning.
  • There are 18 accessories included.
  • It has a very large water tank.
  • Comes with scrub pads.


  • The steam can be very dangerous.
  • Some parts feel a bit fragile.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Vacuum


Did not many cleaners on the market that that is well known as the rug doctor. This could be down to some incredible marketing can distribution. On the other hand, it could also be a testament to a very good product. The design is one that is made for speed and efficiency. There is an emphasis on a quick cleanup that is easy to set up. There is also an option for spraying onto services which also comes handy for speed and accuracy.

Whether you are cleaning up after the kids or a pet having such a cleaner makes your life a lot easier. There is a motorised rubber that makes the scrubbing part a lot easier. Unlike other cleaners, we would need to use some chemicals or grease, this one what is quite smoothly. It is also very quick which gets you about 1200 scrubs per minute. 

The suction power is also very strong. It is great for getting rid of stains and nasty odours. It is not really as big as photos may make you believe. This is quite a portable machine. One of the better parts about it is the fact that it injects water they soapy out of its tank and then satin back in with stains nasty odours and other particles. There is also the aspect of ease of movement. They are two wheels and then he said that makes it very easy to move from one spot to the other. The tank is removable, which makes it easy to empty and refill it.


  • It is a very portable machine.
  • The tank is easy to remove for emptying or refill.
  • There is a wheel to facilitate ease of movement.
  • It is very easy to store away after use.
  • It has impressive suction power.
  • There is a motorised brush for scrubbing.


  • It is quite loud.
  • The tank cannot stand alone without support.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Bissell Spotlifter Powerbrush Handheld Deep Cleaner


Our final pick is a sport lifter. It comes with a power brush and a code handheld extractor. One of the things that you will appreciate immediately is the 18-inch power cord that allows you to keep cleaning as if you were on a cordless cleaner. There is a Joel motorised brush roll that allows you to clean with twice that action and power that you would get from most cleaners. The average cleaning weeks of this cleaner is about 3 inches. That Allows to you cover A lot of ground is very little time. There is a rotating brush that works to loosen a bit of dirt that may get stuck on the upholstery and other surfaces.

There is a manual spray trigger that you can press to release liquid to softer noon or moisture some of the services that you be cleaning. You can use the brush cartridge to get rid of what you’ve just cleaned up as well as to maintain it. It goes without saying that this is a portable deep clean are based on all of the characteristics that with already mentioned. The suction power is fairly good. The size of the water tank is just about 12 ounces which is where your water will collect as you clean. You may then empty this water once done.


  • It has great suction power.
  • This is one of the top brands in this space.
  • It is portable
  • Comes are a reasonable price point
  • It has a ridiculously long cord.
  • There is a power brush for lifting up dirt.


  • Some water suction issues have been reported.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide

How can I clean my upholstery in 3 steps?

Cleaning your upholstery may be because you want to preserve your piece of furniture or perhaps you want to rejuvenate it and restore it to its former glory. There are different ways to do this, and it does not have to be a daunting task or a complicated one either. 

The first step is to suck it all out. Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum in short strokes from one end to the other. If the fabric is delicate, then set the suction to low. The left to right suction technique is especially effective for nappy materials that hold on to dirt. Materials such as suede, velvet or corduroy. Vacuum thoroughly in all the crevices then uses a can of air to blast dirt from tufting and button nooks.

The second step is to removes spots and stains on the fabric. This is where you may sprinkle some upholstery cleaner on the spot as per instructions. Be careful of cleaners with silicone, they clog the pores in vinyl and leather.

The third and final step in your easy routine will be to pour about half a teaspoon of clear dish soap in a small bucket. Then run warm water into the bucket to create a lot of suds. Dip a soft upholstery brush in the suds only, make sure you do not submerge. Sweep the fabric in small sections, with a light touch. Do not soak the fabric. When you are done with the entire piece, wipe it down with a clean damp cloth. Allow the upholstery to dry completely before using it again. 

Can I use a steamer to clean upholstery?

Steam cleaners are used to get germs out of impossible places and some places we tend to forget may be harbouring them. The power of steam is responsible for this. Your upholstery is no different and also needs some help in the cleaning department. Good steam will help you sanitize the piece properly and also deodorize it. 

How often should I clean my upholstery?

Upholstery should be vacuumed or surface cleaned as often as you clean your carpets. Cleaning is important to get rid of the daily dirt, dust, and allergens. Cleaning the surface of your upholstery regularly can go a long way in preserving it.

Can I deep clean my upholstery myself?

Before you think of deep cleaning your upholstery there are a few things you will have to keep in mind. For example, you will need to think about the type of wear and tear it is subjected to. How dirty does it get and how often does it need a thorough clean. If it is in a space where it gets dirty often and needs a deep clean then it means you will have to be doing this more often. Surface cleaning is something you can handle on your own, but when it comes to deep cleaning, its best to hire professional cleaners with the necessary machinery and products for the job.

Final Thoughts

There are various ways to keep our upholstery cleaners. We have reviewed the top ways suggested and recommended by experts and everyday users alike. Each cleaner is compatible with a certain fabric type. You need to stick to the recommended way of cleaning your fabric, which means you need to know the type of fabric you are cleaning.

We hope our reviews have helped you find the best cleaner for your upholstery. Let us be honest, cleaning is not everyone’s favourite hobby but it has to be done. When it comes to your upholstery, not doing it right can cause a horrible stench. The only way to ensure this does not happen is to make sure your upholstery is always clean and given enough time to dry. Happy cleaning and shopping!

Comfy Sofa Studio