How to clean and remove stains from furniture

Daily wear & tear means furniture needs regular cleaning. Use this how to clean upholstery guide for top tips on what products and methods to use.

Updated April 26, 2019

How to clean and remove stains from furniture

Finding a Good Upholstery Cleaner

You can buy upholstery cleaners from most of the stores, but there are other products that you can find around the home that will also help in getting your sofas and chairs clean.

1) Mild laundry detergent and warm water, mixed well to create suds – something like Surf excel’s liquid detergent is ideal. A very small dab of the neat liquid can help pre-treat stains before you rinse out the fabric.

2) White vinegar: This is a good choice for removing surface stains, but you’ll want to use a soapy solution afterwards to give the area an intensive clean. You’ll also want to air the sofa as much as possible afterwards; by opening windows or by using a fan to help reduce the smell of the vinegar.

3) Baby wipes are ideal for spot-cleaning upholstery. They’re very gentle, so they won’t damage the material, and they’re relatively dry, so there’s no chance of over-saturating your furniture.

If any parts of the sofa or chair are removable, make sure to wash them regularly. A handy hint is to replace covers while they are still slightly damp, so they can dry around the shape of the sofa.

Leather Sofa Cleaning

If you’ve got a leather sofa or other furniture, you’ll have to use a different method for treating and cleaning upholstery:

1) Stay away from water as much as possible, as this could stain the material.

2) If possible, try using a steam cleaner

3) Apply cleaning products made with oils and waxes, like saddle soap – this cleans while also moisturizing the furniture, preventing it from drying out and cracking and protecting it from future dirt and stains.

Everyday Furniture Cleaning and Maintenance

Sofa upkeep and maintenance means you’ll need to thoroughly tackle cleaning upholstery less often. Here’s how to prevent the dirt and grime build-up:

1) Clean up surface stains as soon as possible. Fresh stains are always easier to lift off – keeping a clean sofa will always reduce the time spent carrying out intensive, deep cleaning treatments.

2) Vacuum your sofas and chairs at least once a week to keep dust and dirt to a minimum and prevent grime from becoming ground in with constant use.

3) If any parts of the sofa or chair are removable, make sure to wash them regularly. A handy hint is to replace covers while they are still slightly damp, so they can dry around the shape of the sofa.

Furniture cleaning isn’t a tedious duty. It can be quick and easy. Follow the guide above, and with very little effort you’ll find you have fresh and bright sofas and chairs.

Key Steps:

  • When cleaning your upholstery, do not saturate the material – use a small amount of water mixed with a mild laundry detergent like Surf excel liquid detergent, (always test on an inconspicuous area first).
  • Baby wipes are a quick solution to wipe up spills and stains without saturating the material.
  • When possible, leave your sofa or chair to dry naturally.
Originally published September 11, 2018