How To Clean Furniture

Vacuum your couch weekly

If you have to clean the sofa in general, you can basically do the same steps you would do to remove stains once the dusting is done. While you should vacuum your couch every week, stain removal and overall upholstery cleaning should happen every quarter or as needed. Before using any products for upholstery cleaning, vacuum the sofa or chair first to remove as much surface soiling and dust as possible. When in doubt, vacuuming and scrubbing spots with a dry brush is the most effective method for cleaning surface soils off nearly all upholstery fabrics.

You can brush your surfaces, or bring them into the care of a professional cleaning service, but trying to clean using products can cause your fabrics to shrink or bleed. Whether you are cleaning it by hand or using steam cleaners with upholstery attachments, the choice of cleaning products is important in order to prevent any additional stains or degradation to the fabric. The best tool to use to clean microfiber fabrics is a brush attachment to a vacuum, and performing one pass through your brush every week will eliminate the gunk so that the fabric looks its best. Use the cleaning, dry-cleaning attachment for your upholstery, or any brush that has stiffer hair, to dislodge dried dirt and debris.

Once these stains are removed, use a clean, dry cloth to absorb any remaining liquid. Use clean water and another clean cloth to rinse off and remove any soapy residue. Once you get a spill, immediately spray it down with vinegar-soapy water solution.

Make Your Own Solution

To make your own, use a spray bottle and mix a solution of three parts white vinegar to one part water, with one drop of dish soap.

For deeper cleaning, use one drop of dish soap mixed with water, but clean off any soap residue afterward by wiping it away with water and drying it off with a clean microfibre cloth. To clean heavier soils and stains, scrub furniture with a soft microfibre cloth moistened with warm water, or add a drop of dish soap. To clean your leather furniture deeply, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, wet the microfibre cloth with the solution, and rub it over the leather.

Cloth Furniture

For general cleaning, you can scrub your suede with a cloth wetted with water. For cloth furniture, mist areas with a 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon dish soap in a spray bottle, then wipe down with a soft cloth until stains are removed. For synthetic upholstery, use a mixture of one cup of hot water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon of dish soap. Using a white cotton cloth, soak the cloth in warm water and swabs up these stains.

If you are cleaning with water, mix some dish soap into cool water, then using a wrung-out sponge, dab stains with the soap mix. Warm water and an old, soft-bristle toothbrush may be used for deeper cleaning. Warm soapy water and a clean sponge should suffice, but do not hesitate to add a splash of white vinegar for more intense cleans.

Rub with a soft, clean sponge, then wash with a clean, wet washcloth. Try using a clean microfibre cloth to scrub small amounts onto stains, watching as stains are also removed while disinfecting the area. Then, just use a clean, microfibre cloth (open in new tab) (every house should have one) and wipe the stain lightly across the fabric.

Using soapy water and the microfibre cloth, gently scrub your couch with the solution, allowing it to absorb into the fabric and work on dirt below the surface. Follow up this with a cloth dampened with clean water, and then allow your whole couch to dry thoroughly before using again.

Then, using an upholstery attachment, use the upholstery attachment to brush up all the visible parts of your couch seats and back cushions in one slow, circular motion, working from left to right, using the upholstery attachment for cloth couches, and the brush attachment for leather couches, so you do not scrape it. Vacuum your sofa using your brushes upholstery attachment, as well as the sides of all cushions, to get rid of any embedded dirt or stains. Take care to lift the cushions up and clean in all crevices to make sure that you are getting as deep of a clean as you can on your sofa.

Once you have removed your throws and blankets, cushions, and any stains, it is time to dust the furniture. While your throw pillows and cushions are washing/drying, go through your furniture looking for any stains. Before you tackle cleaning your entire piece of upholstery, you will want to address any particular stains.

The best way to clean your poly sofa is by sticking with a lightly wet sponge, gently brushing it along the stains areas. For couches that you can wash with water, such as many fabric couches, you can target hard-to-remove stains with products such as, which are top-loaded with a brush to help loosen and remove dirt. Most couches should be cleaned thoroughly once or twice per year, but fabric furniture sometimes needs a bit more TLC, including a once-monthly vacuuming and addressing spills and stains immediately after they occur. When you are using cleaning agents, avoid brushing or rubbing on fabric, because that could harm it.

Microfibre Fabrics

Most microfibre fabrics are resistant to stains and water, but if you really have to clean spills, check your manufacturers recommended cleaning instructions first to ensure that your fabric is safe for water-based cleaning agents. Using a soft, damp cloth with a light soap and water is sufficient for cleaning up most stains, surface soils, and contaminants. If the stains are grease stains, or ones that do not clean up using water alone, you will benefit from diluted small amounts of dish soap to help break down the stain.

Then, you can either use hot water with a white microfibre cloth, or — if you want something a bit stronger — a white or clear dish soap. Next, mix in some gentle detergent such as Dawn in some warm water, then wipe it off with the help of the cleaning cloth once more. The detergent residue left behind from washing may actually attract more dirt than on fabrics that were not cleaned before, so removing any detergent in the wash with clear water is a crucial step.

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