How to clean a fabric sofa properly

How To Clean A Fabric Sofa: 3 Basic Tips That You Should Know

Having a sofa in the living room is undoubtedly amazing, but cleaning it is a real hassle. With just one wrong move, your thousand-dollars worth sofa will turn into a complete mess. Therefore, to prevent that scenario from happening, here are 3 very simple sofa cleaning tips that you can apply to make your sofa – the heart of your living room – look like new with ease.

How to clean a fabric sofa properly
How to clean a fabric sofa properly

Get Rid of Surface Debris Before Deep Clean

Dust, grime, pet hair, food crumbs, etc. are some of the main causes of your sofa being unsanitary, and they can cause persistent allergic diseases such as rhinitis or bronchitis.

These surface residues when in contact with water will become more difficult to remove, so you need to deal with them first before performing the deep cleaning process.

Remove the sofa upholstery and carefully vacuum both the interior surface of the sofa and the upholstery. A handheld vacuum can help you get rid of dust and crumbs from every nook and cranny of your sofa. You can refer to these vacuum cleaner coupons to get the best price.

Clean Sofa Based On Fabric Types

During the deep cleaning stage, different types of detergent will be applied to the upholstery. Each type of fabric has certain cleaning regulations and detergent requirements. You need to identify and understand your sofa fabric in order to find the right type of detergent.

Know your sofa fabric to use the right detergents
Know your sofa fabric to use the right detergents


Cleaning leather upholstery is actually quite simple because leather is resistant to stains. Simply vacuuming or wiping the sofa with water is enough to keep common stains and surface debris at bay. For stubborn stains, instead of using harsh detergents, you can utilize nail polish remover or baking soda to avoid damaging the leather.

Natural Fibres

Fabrics made from 100% natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk, velvet, or linen are often relatively demanding in terms of cleaning methods. For these fabrics, handwashing with water-based detergents is recommended. There are a lot of laundry detergent coupons that can help you save on the best products.

Natural fibers tend to bleed color, so you should wash each upholstery fabric separately. Besides, avoid drying the fabric in direct sunlight as it can cause color fading.

Synthetic Fibres

Acrylic, polyester, nylon, or olefin are some of the most common synthetic fibers used to make sofa upholstery due to their ease of cleaning. They are machine washable and can withstand most water-based cleaning products on the market. However, before experimenting with different cleaning products, you should consult the washing instructions first to avoid shrinking or discoloration.

Combined Fabrics

Combined fabrics are blends of natural fibers and synthetic fibers using different ratios. Because of the variety of fibers, there is no exact washing method for combined fabrics, making them really complicated to clean. For this type of fabric, you’re better off seeking the help of professional upholstery cleaners or referring to the specific cleaning method provided by the sofa label.

Clean Sofa Based On Common Stains

Not all stains are the same, and there is no correct way to remove all types of stains. Each type of stain can only be removed by using certain detergents or tricks, and that’s what you need to know before deep cleaning your sofa.

Identify the type of stain and use the appropriate cleaning techniques
Identify the type of stain and use the appropriate cleaning techniques

Coffee/wine/sauce Stains

These types of stains should be removed as soon as possible, or they can become permanent over time. Use a paper towel to blot the stains, then soak the fabric in cold water and rub with laundry detergents.

Grease Stains

To remove grease stains, you can apply water-based detergents or baking soda and leave them there for about half an hour. Then, use a toothbrush to gently scrub the stains and rinse with hot water.

Blood Stains

For blood stains, using regular detergents is not enough to remove them. You need to soak the stains in cold water, then add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide or ammonia and rub the stains with soap.

Ink Stains

Ink stains bleed through the fabric very easily, so before cleaning them, you should place a paper towel behind the fabric. Apply rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and dab the stains gently until they disappear. Then, use a clean towel soaked in cold water to wipe the fabric.

Wrapping Up

If you are struggling with how to clean a fabric sofa, then the above tips are the best answers to your question. By consulting the above tips, you will be armed with enough knowledge and confidence to cope with stubborn stains on any fabric. Remember, before doing anything on your own, always check the washing instructions first.