Between late-night Netflix binges, movie marathons, and the buckets of popcorn and chips we snack on, our couches experience a lot of wear and tear over the years. If you don’t know how to clean upholstered furniture, your sofas, chairs, benches, ottomans, and other cloth furniture age much quicker than those that do get regularly cleaned.
Cleaning fabric furniture from old crumbs and red wine stains is a big chore when you don’t know the best ways to approach it. Do you use a cleaning solution and a clean cloth, or does vacuuming alone do the job?
The answers to your questions are all dependent upon the type of mess you’re trying to clean up and if your furniture is hiding dirt in an inconspicuous spot. Let’s not forget about worrying about how often you should clean cloth furniture.
To remove allergens, toxins, bacteria, and dirt particles, experts recommend that you clean your upholstery every six months, but should be more frequent than that if you have kids and pets.
There is a lot more that goes into cleaning upholstery than people usually think. This article shares some of the most creative tips for cleaning cloth furniture in your living room.
- How to Clean Upholstery Furniture
- Frequent Upholstery Cleaning
- Duct Tape Dirt Removal for Upholstery
- Clean Cloth Furniture with Baby Wipes
- Removing Odors from Upholstery with Baking Soda
- Steam Cleaning Your Upholstery
- How to Clean Upholstered Furniture with Stains
How to Clean Upholstery Furniture
Cleaning fabric furniture requires you to consider a variety of factors. The best upholstery cleaner for couch or sofa relies mainly on the type of fabric your furniture has. Clean upholstery only looks its best when given the proper treatment.
Upholstery fabrics always come with the manufacturer’s instructions. Look for a tag placed in an inconspicuous area, like under the couch or its cushion. The label provides you with cleaning instructions and a cleaning code letter.
For cleaning codes safe for water-based agents, never use tap water, as it contains minerals that may damage the fabric.
Frequent Upholstery Cleaning
Cleaning upholstery is as simple as taking an extra ten minutes to remove debris from your furniture after you vacuum the floors. Frequently vacuuming your furniture is an effective way to freshen up the room and keep your favorite chair looking like new.
Vacuuming is also one of the best methods for cleaning dirty microfiber furniture. Make sure to empty your vacuum’s bag or container that catches the dirt. Use a clean upholstery attachment or a bristle brush attachment to loosen dirt.
The crevice tool works wonders for reaching into nooks and crannies. Vacuum all over the couch – cushions, arms, back, etc. There is often dirt in places you wouldn’t expect. Unfortunately, vacuuming doesn’t work on a job that requires a deeper clean.
Duct Tape Dirt Removal for Upholstery
If you lift the cushions of your couch, you’ll likely find thousands of crumbs too small to be picked up or that the vacuum missed. A simple way to rid your furniture from these tiny crumbs is with tape.
Wrap heavy-duty tape like Duct tape around your hand with the sticky side facing out, so it forms a circle around your hand. Run the tape back and forth over the problem area. The sticky tape grabs onto the small particles and lifts leftover debris for a thorough clean.
Clean Cloth Furniture with Baby Wipes
One of our favorite cleaning tips is to use baby wipes for spot cleaning. Perform a spot test on an inconspicuous spot to make sure the wipe doesn’t damage the fabric. The cleaning solution on the wipe acts quickly to lift spills and prevent stains.
You no longer need to wonder what to clean leather couches with either. This cleaning method is especially useful for leather, polyester, and cotton upholstery.
Removing Odors from Upholstery with Baking Soda
One of the numerous benefits of baking soda is its ability to absorb nasty odors left lingering from old food, pet dander, and skin cells. Make this method part of your regular vacuuming routine.
Start to freshen and clean cloth furniture by wiping down your couch with a microfiber cloth to lift dust from the sofa. Sprinkle baking soda thinly over the entire couch.
Let it sit for up to an hour and vacuum it up with the fabric attachment. Don’t add water of any kind to the baking soda, or it may clump and clog your vacuum.
Steam Cleaning Your Upholstery
It’s not usually possible to take an entire piece of furniture in for dry cleaning. Sanitizing your upholstery with an upholstery steam cleaner is a great way to get a professional cleaning on your couch or chairs.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions and cleaning code to guarantee the fabric is safe to clean with water. Vacuum the piece of furniture before steam cleaning and test a small, hidden area to check that it doesn’t damage the fabric.
Pick a warm day to steam clean so that open windows air out the room and help dry the material. Gently move the steamer back and forth across the fabric, making sure not to focus on one area for too long. Once steamed, let the upholstery furniture air dry.
Steaming allows homeowners to deodorize and sanitize their furniture without using other ingredients or chemicals.
The high temperatures loosen the dirt while brightening the color of the fabric. Upholstery steam cleaners also come with attachments designed for hard-to-reach places.
How to Clean Upholstered Furniture with Stains
Life happens, which means stains happen. Knowing how to clean upholstered furniture plays a significant role in how often you replace your furniture.
Avoid scrubbing stains found on your couch, or else it might push the stain further into the fabric and damage the fibers. Stain removal is simple when you make your own upholstery cleaner.
Vinegar-Based Upholstery Stain Remover
White vinegar is a homeowner’s secret weapon. The acid in the vinegar breaks down leftover grime and dries clean, so there are no water stains.
To make this disinfectant spray for fabric furniture that is a whiz at removing most stains, mix warm water, dishwashing liquid, and vinegar in a small bucket or in a spray bottle. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution and ring it out so that it is damp or spritz it on the stain.
Using a white cloth ensures that no color transfers to the upholstery. Gently dab the damp cloth on the stained area.
Moisten a second microfiber cloth with clean, distilled water and blot at the spot to lift remaining suds. Use paper towels to blot the area a final time and point a fan at it or let it air dry.
Incorporate this cleanser into other cleaning projects, like on tile or backsplash grout. Vinegar is safe to use on a lot of fabrics and makes a great leather upholstery cleaner as well. However, always remember to test a small spot, regardless of how confident you are.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is also a great stain remover.
Combine the dish soap and peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray a small hidden area and let it sit for 24 hours to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric. If safe, lightly spray the furniture on the stained area.
Do not use this on the entire couch because the process would take hours. Gently blot the stain with a clean rag. Then, dampen a new cloth with distilled water and let the spot air dry. Repeat as necessary.
How to Get Rid of Grease Stains
Sometimes, all you need are products from the kitchen to eliminate furniture stains.
Sprinkle the salt on a stain from grease or oil. Let sit for ten minutes. While you wait, mix warm distilled water and dish soap in a small bowl. Dab the salted area with a clean cloth. Repeat if necessary.
Purchasing Upholstery Furniture Cleaners
There are hundreds of cleaners explicitly designed for specific types of upholstery fabric. A speedy trip to the local grocery or hardware store usually provides you with the cleaners you need to get the job done.
If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, try searching for the cleaning product on the internet. The oils and dead skin cells from our skin and hair are often more damaging to upholstered furniture than anything else.
Taking a quick shower after coming in from outside or throwing on a new pair of clothes helps prevent too much dust and grime from building up too quickly.
The most important thing to remember when cleaning cloth furniture is that the more you take care of it, the longer it lasts you. Give your upholstered furniture a deep clean at least once every six months and vacuum off your couch every time you vacuum the floors.
With pets, kids, family, and friends always coming over, there are many different spills and messes that wind up on your furniture.
Knowing how to clean upholstery furniture saves you money because the better care you give your upholstery, the less likely you’ll have to replace it.
If learning how to clean upholstered furniture from this article has made a difference in the life of your couch, please share these upholstery cleaning tips on Facebook and Pinterest.