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.

Elissa Smith
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