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How To Clean Upholstery?

woman vacuuming upholstery sofa
April 4, 2023

Cleaning upholstery isn't a task you will need to deal with often. But if in your ideal home, you have a nice leather sofa it makes sense to spend a few hours to remove stains and refresh the entire couch. Having the skill to clean a couch is especially useful when you have pets around and pet danger is a problem.

All fabric sofas and soft furnishings require a deeper clean every once in a while or spot cleaning when the need arises. Sometimes you will even need to rely on professional cleaning services to deal with the more complicated matters like removing stains on leather couches and doing a more thorough cleaning of the furniture - learn more about how to clean sofa or couch in our detailed guide.

Considerations Before You Get Started

There are two things you need to do before you get started.

Check the upholstery cleaning label

Before you start mixing up cleaning solutions and approach your fabric couch for cleaning you need to do one very important thing: check the label. Your fabric couch should have a care tag somewhere. It is usually located under the unit. On the tag, you will find a code that tells you the best way to clean the entire couch.

  • If it has W - what this means is that you can use water based cleaners on the furniture and a cleaning solution will hardly damage it.
  • If it has S or P - this means the upholstery should only be cleaned with solvent based cleaners, i.e. dry cleaning solvent.
  • If it has SW - using both water and a solvent based cleaner is fine with this sort of label, but without too much water.
  • If it has X - for this kind of upholstery you need to use only your vacuum's upholstery attachment, as another cleaning solution may lead to damage. You should have that sort of upholstery professionally cleaned.

Prepare the couch for cleaning

  • Pick up the couch cushions, as those will be cleaned separately. You can throw the covers of the removable cushions in the washing machine, or just give them a good shake outside to remove loose dirt.
  • Whip out your vacuum's upholstery attachment to tackle the couch fabric. Use gentle sweeping motions with the brush attachment and go over the entire couch. You can also use a handheld vacuum and a crevice tool to get to those hard-to-reach spots where crumbs and other small particles tend to accumulate.
  • Use baking soda to get rid of unpleasant odours, such as cigarette smoke. Cover the entire surface with baking soda and let it sit for 30 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly afterwards. Baking soda is well known for its odour-absorbent qualities. You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to introduce a pleasant smell to the area.
  • If the upholstery label allows it, mix the baking soda with carpet cleaner and apply that solution. Works well on leather sofas as well. To be sure, you can do a small spot test on a hidden spot of the upholstery, just so you have peace of mind the solution will not damage the material.

How to clean upholstery without a machine

If you lack a steam cleaning machine, you should focus on vacuuming your upholstery on a weekly basis. Don't allow crumbs and dust to accumulate. You can dry brush the area before that to loosen up the dust particles. You can remove stains with various household items, such as laundry cleaner and vinegar. As long as your upholstery care instructions are clear that you can use such products, you should employ the cleaning methods yourself. You should always test any new solution on a small hidden area of the upholstery, just to be sure.

How to clean upholstery yourself

If you are cleaning a leather couch or other type of upholstery yourself, you need to remember that vacuuming is paramount. It is the best way to remove dust and other debris from the surface.

It is also important to know how to spot treat your upholstery. Gentle baby wipes are your best friend when it comes to tackling immediate spills and stains. After consulting the label, you can also employ other means, like rubbing alcohol and upholstery cleaning solutions.

How to clean sofa upholstery at home

Always vacuum your upholstery well. You can clean it with your own solution by mixing 1/2 tbsp. laundry detergent and a bucket of water. Create suds and apply the solution to the fabric. Then, absorb moisture with a towel and rinse with just water. Apply direct heat or let it air dry.

How to clean upholstery with baking soda

Bicarbonate of soda is a secret ingredient that can do a lot of good for your upholstery. Smoking, pets and just everyday use of the furniture can leave it smelling bad. But baking soda can change that. As a neutral product, you don't need to worry it can damage the fabric. Just sprinkle a generous amount over the upholstery, let it sit to absorb the smell and then vacuum it up. Add a few drops of essential oil to the mix, if you want to introduce a pleasant smell to the area.

If you require help with your upholstery or carpet cleaning, do not hesitate to give us a call and we'll take care of it for you quickly and efficiently.


What is the best way to clean fabric upholstery?

Vacuum up dust particles on a frequent basis. Blast out the hidden dust with your hair dryer. Mix up equal parts water and white vinegar and gently scrub stains. Leave the area to air dry to remove the vinegar smell.

How do you clean upholstery on a couch at home?

Mix up a quarter cup of vinegar and 3/4 water. Spray it on the soiled area, let it sit and then absorb as much moisture with a paper towel by blotting it up.

What is the best homemade upholstery cleaner?

You can make your own leather cleaner by mixing 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup vinegar and 2 cups of water. Shake it up and test it on a small area of your upholstery.

can you steam clean velvet upholstery

You can absolutely steam clean your velvet upholstery at home. It is in fact one of the best methods for cleaning this kind of upholstery.

does shaving cream clean upholstery / does shaving foam clean upholstery

You can spray a bit of shaving cream on a stain on the upholstery, let it dry and then vacuum it up or rinse it with water.

how to clean upholstery chair

First, vacuum the chair or dry brush the area to remove pet hair and dust. Treat any heavily soiled areas with the appropriate cleaner and let the area air dry.

can a clothes steamer clean upholstery

It is safe to say that a clothes steamer is a great tool to use on upholstery because it can break down stains, remove odours and sanitise the overall area.

can baking soda clean upholstery

One popular method of cleaning upholstery is baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda all over the fabric, let it sit and then vacuum it up. Works like a charm instead of air fresheners.

can you dry clean upholstery covers

Yes, you can dry clean your upholstery, along with your carpet, cushions and drapes.

can you steam clean linen upholstery

Linen upholstery can be different so always consult the care instructions on the label. It may be so that it only allows dry cleaning.

how best to clean caravan upholstery

Brush off any dust and debris. Then, soak up stains with a clean cloth and mist the area with an appropriate cleaner.

how do you clean velour upholstery

Start by filling a bucket with warm water. Add in a little bit of soap and stir, but be careful not to agitate the water too much. Use a damp cloth to clean the velour or a soft-bristled brush. Adding in a little bit of rubbing alcohol can enhance the cleaning power.

how do you clean velvet upholstery

Start by running the vacuum cleaner over the area to clean the velvet upholstery. use an absorbent paper towel to tackle spills and stains. Always make sure to test any cleaning agent on a hidden area of the upholstery before trying overall cleaning.

how much does upholstery cleaning cost

The average cost to clean a couch by professionals is about £60 for a 2-seater couch. The price for dry cleaning is higher than for steam cleaning. If there are any stains the cleaner might need to address, the price can go up.

how to clean antique furniture upholstery

Vacuum the upholstery every week to keep dust, pet dander and other impurities away. When you deep clean, make sure you read the label. If you need to treat stains, don't rub or scrub but use gentle circular motions with a dry brush.

how to clean armchair upholstery

Begin by using the vacuum cleaner with the upholstery brush attachment. If you get it vacuumed weekly, you may not need to use a steam cleaner. This cleaning method works well for keeping the armchair free of dust and dirt.

how to clean blood from upholstery

Cleaning instructions for blood vary depending on the upholstery type. You can use ammonia if the material allows it by mixing 1 tbsp. of it with one cup of lukewarm water. Do some spot cleaning with an upholstery brush or a microfiber cloth. Blot the liquid until it is completely dry.

how to clean bird poop off upholstery

Make a cleaning solution of 2 cups of warm water with 1 tbsp. dishwashing liquid. This mix serves as a stain remover that you can apply with paper towels to gently dab the stained area. Blot up with a dry cloth and repeat if the stain persists.

How to Clean a Cloth Couch

Start by using a dry scrub brush as prep work. Then apply baking soda and vacuum clean it. Mix an all-purpose cleaner with warm water and equal parts white vinegar. Spray it on the couch and gently wipe it. Let the fabric dry completely and repeat if there are any stubborn stains.

How to clean a microfiber couch and cushions

The best way to remove stubborn stains involves rubbing alcohol. Spritz some of it from a spray bottle on the stained area and blot it with a soft brush or a sponge. When cleaning upholstery like that always check the label of the fabric.

How to remove odour from furniture fabric

Mix some water and baking soda and apply the mixture on the surface of the upholstery. Allow it to do its job for about 10 minutes and wipe it with a damp cloth. This is a good way to remove the smells, but you may need to repeat it more than once.

How to clean a leather couch and cushions

Lukewarm water and mild dish soap are more than enough to clean stains from an entire sofa with leather upholstery. Use a clean microfibre cloth to gently rub the leather surface and then remove the soapy residue with a clean cloth.

How to clean a suede couch and cushions

You can remove stains from your suede couch, armchair or cushions by using a suede cleaning block or perhaps even a rubber eraser. When the stains are gone, remove smells and dirt with a soft bristled brush.

How to Clean Couch Cushions

Get a spray bottle and mix warm water with vinegar in a 10:1 ratio. Boost the mix with grease-fighting power by adding a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. You should first test the mix on an inconspicuous spot on the couch. Apply on the cushions and blot with a microfiber cloth.

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