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How to Clean a Living Room, Our Cleaning Checklist - How to Tidy, Vacuum & Clean Upholstery

We spend lots of time in the living room, so knowing how to clean a sofa and the best way to clean couch upholstery is important. Read on to find out how.


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What do you use the living room for? Whether it’s reading, watching TV, playing with the kids or entertaining friends, the living room is one of the busiest rooms in the house, so without careful upkeep it can get messy and disorganised.

From how to clean sofa cushions, to how to tidy away clutter, your living room will be clean and relaxing in no time with this checklist.

Use a fresh-smelling laundry detergent, like Surf, to wash removable and washable soft furnishings, throws, and cushion covers. It’ll give the living room an inviting scent – just don’t forget to check the care instructions before washing.

Living room cleaning checklist

There are lots of different sections of the living room to clean, so check off these key steps to make sure nothing is missed.

  • Recycle old newspapers, magazines or papers and use a box to tidy away those still in use.

  • Tidy away children’s toys and any other objects that might be cluttering up the room. If you’re struggling to find a place to keep everything, invest in some extra storage like baskets, boxes, shelves or cupboards.

  • Dust the walls and surfaces and use a dry microfibre cloth to wipe any technology, like speakers or the TV. Use a good antibacterial spray, like Cif, to wipe surfaces. Don’t forget the coffee table where there’s likely to be sticky fingerprints!

  • Machine wash, dry and replace all removable upholstery, like throws, ensuring that you check the care instructions first. Use a fresh-smelling detergent, like Surf, to give the room an extra lift.

  • If there is a rug or carpet, sprinkle baking soda to rid it of any lingering smells, and vacuum thoroughly. If the room has hard floors, sweep or vacuum the area, before mopping, being sure not to use too much water. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean towel. Read our guide to removing stains and odours from carpets!

  • Use the soft brush attachment to vacuum the curtains.

These steps should have your living room looking fresh, organised and clean. Read on for detailed instructions on how to clean sofa cushions and upholstery.

How to clean sofa cushions and upholstery

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Apart from the bed, the sofa is our most used item of furniture. Particularly because we often eat or drink sitting on the sofa, keeping it clean and fresh is important. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to clean a sofa, and its cushions – it’s easy if you follow these simple steps.

  1. Remove any throws and machine wash them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. Clean the cushions. The best way to clean couch cushions is to remove the outer cushion case and hand or machine wash them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  3. Now it’s time to clean the sofa itself. Start by vacuuming as much surface dirt and dust as possible using the soft brush attachment. Ensure that you reach any creases or crevices, as this is where crumbs tend to accumulate!

  4. Spot-clean any stains by wiping them gently with a cloth. Use a solution of warm water and vinegar, or a specialist upholstery cleaner, ensuring that you test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the sofa first.

  5. Use soapy water and a cloth to wipe the overall surface of the sofa. Be sure not to use too much water, as over saturating the fabric could damage the sofa.

  6. Replace the cushion covers and throws once they have dried.

Remember: the best way to clean couch upholstery is to remove as much fabric as you can and wash separately. If you can’t remove your sofa cushions, then you can wash a fabric sofa by dabbing water and a little detergent over the surface before repeating with clean water. Just make sure you don’t oversaturate your sofa with water! 

If you want to know more about cleaning floors, carpets and other household surfaces, Cleanipedia can help here!

Now that you know how to clean a sofa and how to organise your living room, it should be a clean and hygienic place for you to relax with your family. 

  • Tidy away any trash or unused objects.

  • Wash and replace throws and other loose soft furnishings.

  • Dust and clean surfaces, including tables, cupboard tops and shelves.

  • Clean the sofa by vacuuming, spot cleaning and wiping.

  • Vacuum the carpet and curtains.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published