Easy Sofa Cleaning

by Carolanne Strong
(last updated August 2, 2021)

Your sofa is often the focal point of activity in your home. It is where you relax after work, where your cat likes to sleep, and your in-home movie seat. Not only can a dirty couch be an eyesore, it will wear out faster than a clean one will. Over time, trapped dirt will rub and grind the fibers in your upholstery and cause them to fray, and that will shorten the life of your couch. To avoid costly maintenance or even replacement, follow these tips to give your sofa a little tender loving care.

  • Check your tags. Every furniture piece is different. To make sure that you don't shrink, stain or otherwise damage your fabric, check for cleaning instructions on the tags. Often these instructions are found on a cushion, on the support underneath the cushion (you know, where all the remotes, cheerios and pennies collect) or sometimes on the underside of your sofa.
  • Vacuum. Before you can attack the gunk accumulating inside your fabrics, get the dirt on the outside first. A hand vacuum works really well for this purpose, but you can use an upright as well. Most vacuums come with an upholstery attachment, but if you don't have one, an open hose will do the job too.
  • Use your washing machine. If your cushions have removable covers, pull them off. If it is safe for your fabric, spot treat with an upholstery cleaner or laundry spot treatment and throw them in the wash with a gentle detergent. You may want to check for color fastness on an inconspicuous spot before you apply any cleaner. Once washed, most fabrics can be tumble dried on a low setting, but if you are worried about shrinkage you should opt to air dry them.
  • Steam clean. For the rest of your sofa, use a steam vacuum. If you don't have a steam cleaner on hand, borrow one from a neighbor or rent one. Most home improvement stores and even some grocery stores have rentals available. Steam Cleaning will make a big improvement on the looks of your sofa because the moisture and heat break down the dirt particles clinging to your upholstery and then removes them. You may want to do several dry passes at the end to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • When you are done and your sofa is dry, sit down and admire your fresh, clean sofa!

Author Bio

Carolanne Strong

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