How to Clean a Fabric Sofa: Essential Tips

The best way to keep your sofa in good condition, is by regularly cleaning it. Cleaning a fabric sofa isn’t as hard as you may think and can be done in less than an hour. We will discuss essential tips that will help you get the job done quickly and easily!

It’s important to note that every fabric sofa is different, so there are a couple of key points to remember before starting the cleaning process.

Check the manufacturers recommendations.

Before you start check the manufacturers recommendations, if there are any special instructions in regards to your specific fabric, they should be clearly marked on the label.

Check the Cleaning Codes:

These will also be found on the labels of your couch and will explain what is safe to use for your sofa. Cleaning codes are usually classified with a letter (e.g., W), and the number afterward indicates how many times you can clean that spot before it becomes unsafe to do so.

  • W – Use a water-based cleaner
  • S – Only use a special solvent-based cleaner on this material
  • W/S – You can use either a water-based cleaner or solvent-based cleaners
  • X – Vacuum cleaner only

Before you bust out the cleaning supplies, remember to remove any throws or pillows from your sofa and give them a clean too.

One thing to note when using a vacuum, do not clean close to any zippers or buttons as this will cause faster wear and tear after repeated use. Cleaning around these parts should only be done by hand.

Equipment needed:

Vacuum Cleaner: It’s important to vacuum your couch before trying to remove any stains or dirt so that you don’t spread them around the entire surface.

Cleaning Supplies: You’ll need some type of cleaner for the fabric, dish soap, a bucket of hot water, rags, paper towels and cloths- we recommend using micro-fibre cloths because they are more gentle on delicate fabrics.

As well as any specific cleaning solution that your sofa may call for.

How to clean your fabric sofa.

1 – Wipe down your Sofa

Before doing anything else, take the time to wipe down your sofa, removing any loose dirt, hair and dust before you start tackling tough stains.

For this you can either use a dry microfibre cloth, or there are specific cleaning brushes you can purchase online.

Don’t forget to wipe down under the seat cushions and in any cracks! There’s always a few dollars and lost remotes to reward your efforts.

2 – Next up, the Vacuum!

Once you have removed any loose dirt, hair and dust from your fabric sofa with dry microfibre cloths or your specific cleaning brushes, vacuum in small sections until you’ve vacuumed over all of its surfaces including underneath the cushions and the armrests.

Don’t forget to take time when vacuuming the fabric sofa’s back, where you might have missed some dirt.

It is also important not to use a motorised head on your vacuum cleaner as this will cause excess wear and tear which can lead to fraying or tearing of the upholstery.

If your Cleaning Code is X (Vacuum Only) – This is where you stop!

3 – Spot cleaning and stain removal

After the first two steps, you may happen to come into contact with a stain that has withstood the initial light clean.

After consulting your cleaning codes again, apply some gentle detergent onto the affected area of your fabric sofa and use a clean, soft cloth to gently work the detergent into the fabric.

Clean an area of at least 5 square centimetre and let it sit according to the instructions before wiping off with a damp cloth or towel. Repeat this process until all traces are gone.

Be sure to do a spot test first in a subtle area to make sure your cleaning solution is safe for your upholstery

4 – The overall clean

Once the stubborn stains have been taken care of, it’s time to use your cleaning solution and gently clean the rest of the couch. Make sure your work from Top to Bottom and Front to Back to avoid having to clean sections of your sofa twice.

Whether you chose an environmentally friendly cleaner off the shelf, or make your own at home, you can be sure to find the right cleaning solution for your needs.

5 – Sit back and enjoy your freshly cleaned fabric sofa!

Remember to look after your sofa and it will provide you with comfort and style for years to come. If you see any stains or dirt act quickly, as our grandparents used to say: “A stitch in time, saves nine.

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