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Sofa cleaning: how to clean a couch and cushions at home

Your complete guide to how to clean a couch, no matter what material it’s made from.


Sofa cleaning: how to clean a couch and cushions at home

A good couch is a must in every home and keeping yours clean is very important! Whether it has suffered a stain or is just in need of some care to make it look brand new again, we’ve got plenty of sofa cleaning tips, tricks, and advice for you to follow.

When sofa cleaning at home, always be sure to check the care label follow the wash instructions it provides.

How to clean a couch: step-by-step

1) Start by vacuuming 

The first step for sofa cleaning at home is to clear everything away. Take off all of the cushions and pick up any pens, remote controls and coins that might have fallen in between them. Then, use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum to gently clear away all the dirt and dust, making sure to get into the corners and hard to reach areas.

2) Read the care tags to learn how to clean a sofa

Check the care tag on your couch to see what the recommended cleaning method is. The process of how to clean a fabric sofa at home will differ from material to material so what works for one couch may not be best for you.

3) Spot clean any stains

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Before washing your whole sofa, it's important to tackle any stains so that they don't linger. If your couch isn't very dirty then you might even find this is all that's required! Learn how to clean fabric sofa stains with these simple steps:

  • Treat the stain with a mixture of warm water and detergent, such as OMO Auto Liquid

  • Test it on a small section of the couch to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric.

  • Apply the mix with a clean cloth and don’t get the sofa too wet.

  • Never rub a stain - just dab gently.

  • 'Rinse' the area by patting it with a clean cloth dipped in clean water.

  • Let it dry naturally.

  • To get rid of smells, sprinkle a little baking soda over the fabric of your sofa, leave it to settle, then vacuum off.

4) Wash your sofa

The final step in sofa cleaning at home is washing the sofa itself. This should only be done if it is safe - check the care label again and make sure washing your sofa won't cause any damage. Remove the covers from your sofa cushions and wash them in the machine or by hand, using a gentle detergent. 

How to clean a fabric sofa without removable covers

If your couch doesn’t have covers that you can take off, there are still ways that you can wash it  - just remember to read the care instructions first! Try upholstery cleaners, being sure to follow the directions on the label, or hire a steam cleaner for a deeper clean. 

How to clean a leather sofa

The best way to clean a leather sofa is with a specialist product, not water and soap which can damage the material. Keep your leather sofa protected by vacuuming away dirt using a gentle brush attachment and using specialist leather wax or cleaner to treat the material. Apply the wax after reading the directions on the label and wipe away any excess. To treat mould and other stains on the leather, create a mild mixture of water and vinegar, spray it onto the couch, and buff with a clean cloth.

Whether your sofa has got a simple stain or is in need of a deep clean, our steps will help you get it looking great in no time. Just remember to always read the labels of products you use, follow the instructions carefully, and test any new cleaning methods on a small area first to avoid damage or mishaps.

  • Vacuum your couch at least once a week to stop dust or dirt from collecting.

  • Never soak your couch in water, especially if it’s made from leather.

  • Use a steam cleaner if your sofa covers aren't removable (fabric sofas only).

  • Always check the care label on your sofa before cleaning.

Originally published