How To Clean Fabric Sofa?

Clean Fabric Sofa

Has your sofa upholstery been looking drab, dull or simply tired? We think it is time for you to get some sofa upholstery cleaning done. We suggest that one should get their sofa and other furniture fabric cleaned once a year if not in two. The times you get your sofa or upholstery fabric washed should be more frequent if the household has any pets or kids, or anyone having any breathing problems since the fine sofa fabric could collect a lot of dust, hair and microscopic particles catalyzing the breathing problems or simply sicken the kids.

We recommend you look for certification by International Cleaning and Restoration Association or International Institute of Cleaning and Restoration to assure yourself before getting a certified cleaner. Also, before booking a professional check their ICRA or IICR registration number, just to be sure.

Understanding Your Fabric Sofa

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to understand the fabric of your sofa. Different fabrics require different cleaning methods, and using the wrong approach could potentially damage your sofa. Here are some common fabric types found in sofas:

Cotton: A durable and natural fabric that is generally easy to clean. However, it may be prone to shrinking if not properly cared for.

Microfiber: Known for its stain resistance and durability, microfiber sofas are relatively low-maintenance. However, certain cleaning agents may leave watermarks, so it’s crucial to follow the correct cleaning procedures.

Linen: Linen sofas have a sophisticated and elegant look but require gentle cleaning due to their delicate nature. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water.

Polyester: A synthetic fabric that is resistant to stains and fading. Polyester sofas are relatively easy to clean, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Velvet: Velvet sofas add a touch of luxury to any space but can be challenging to clean. Special care must be taken to avoid crushing or damaging the fabric.

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need

Before we delve into the cleaning process, let’s gather the necessary supplies. Having these items on hand will make the task more convenient and efficient:

Vacuum cleaner: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from your sofa.

Soft-bristle brush: A soft-bristle brush is ideal for gently scrubbing the fabric and removing surface stains.

Clean white cloths: Keep several clean white cloths nearby for blotting and drying.

Mild detergent: Choose a mild detergent suitable for your fabric type. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can cause discoloration or damage.

Water-based upholstery cleaner: If needed, invest in a water-based upholstery cleaner specifically designed for your fabric type.

Rubbing alcohol: Rubbing alcohol can effectively remove stubborn stains and ink marks. However, always perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area before using it on your entire sofa.

How To Clean Fabric Sofa Stains At Home?

If you are not opting for any in-house fabric sofa cleaning services and want to clean your sofa upholstery on your own here the following are the things you need to keep in mind.

  1. You need to look for any user manual that must have come along with your furniture to not let some irreparable damage done to your upholstery.
  2. Look for tags and see what instruction they bare. You’ll generally find these four symbols and here is what they mean

W — You can clean this material using water.

S — No water. You’ll need to purchase a special solvent-based cleaner.

WS — You can use water or a solvent-based cleaner on this sofa.

X — Vacuum only.

These tags know what is best for your clean fabric sofa or any upholstery in that case and it is advisable to not to deviate from them.

  1. Tags W and X are self explanatory .Given under are two methods you can use to wash your stained sofa fabric. It is important to note that these methods are for the tags W and WS only.

For sofa upholstery the cleaning you can either use a commercially available make your own organic, chemical-free sofa fabric cleaner from scratch, straight from the kitchen.

Here is step-by-step Guide for DIY Sofa Cleaning

Step 1: Vacuum the Sofa

Using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, carefully remove any loose dirt, crumbs, or pet hair from the surface and crevices of your sofa. Pay extra attention to the areas between cushions and along the seams.

Step 2: Spot Clean Stains

Identify any stains or spots on your fabric sofa and treat them immediately. Remember, different stains may require different cleaning techniques. Here are some common stain removal methods:

For liquid spills: Blot the area gently with a clean cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing, as it may push the stain deeper into the fabric. If needed, use a water-based upholstery cleaner following the manufacturer’s instructions.For food stains: Scrape off any solid residue with a spoon or blunt knife. Dampen a clean cloth with mild detergent and gently blot the stained area. Rinse the cloth and continue blotting until the stain disappears.

For ink or pen marks: Moisten a cloth with rubbing alcohol and dab the stain gently. Be cautious not to oversaturate the fabric. Blot the area with a clean cloth to remove the ink.

Step 3: Clean the Entire Sofa

Now that you have treated the stains, it’s time to clean the entire sofa. Dilute a small amount of mild detergent in warm water and create a cleaning solution. Test the solution on an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

Using a soft-bristle brush or a clean cloth, dip it into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the fabric in a circular motion. Focus on one section at a time and avoid excessive water usage. Rinse the cloth frequently and change the water as needed.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

After cleaning, it’s important to rinse off any residue from the detergent. Dampen a clean cloth with water and blot the entire sofa to remove the cleaning solution. Ensure you remove all soap traces to prevent attracting dirt and leaving watermarks.

To speed up the drying process, you can use a fan or open windows to improve air circulation. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may cause fading or discoloration. Allow the sofa to air dry completely before using it again.

How To Remove Stains From Fabric Sofa?

Clean Fabric Sofa Using Soap And Water

  • Vacuum the sofa fabric upholstery clean so to not rub and rotate the dirt while cleaning couch or sofa.
  • Mix ¼ cup vinegar, ¾ cup lukewarm water and 1 tbsp any liquid dish soap.
  • Pour the mixture into a spraying container.
  • Sprinkle it all over the fabric, keeping 15 cms of distance between the fabric and the spraying container.
  • Scrub and Wipe after the fabric has been moistened until the stain lifts. Use a light colored microfiber cloth for this. Microfiber works the best in collecting the dirt and light-color so to know the amount of dirt you’re collecting from what places and weather a part of your sofa upholstery is clean.
  • Now use another microfiber cloth moistened with only water to remove the soap.
  • Dry under the fans, best case scenario let the sofa fabric soak some sunlight.

Clean Fabric Sofa Using Steam

  • First of all, check on a not so apparent part of your sofa fabric weather the steam is doing no harm to it. Once you know the fabric of your sofa and steam go well together you may need the following tips.
  • Vacuum the sofa before and after getting steamed. The initial vacuum will suck in al the surface particles and after the steam all the particles that surface from the heat will be taken by the vacuum.
  • Generally steam cleaners use microfiber fabric to help pick up miniscule debris. You’ll want to swap them with new ones as you clean to pick up the maximum amount of dirt.
  • Let your sofa fabric dry up under the fan or better yet soak in under sunlight.

Drying and Maintenance

Drying the Fabric Couch

After cleaning, it’s crucial to ensure that your fabric couch dries thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Open windows or turn on fans to promote air circulation in the room. You can also place clean, white towels on the damp areas of the couch to absorb excess moisture. Avoid using heat sources such as hairdryers, as they may damage the fabric.

Fluffing and Revitalizing the Cushions

To keep your fabric couch looking plump and comfortable, it is essential to fluff and revitalize the cushions. Gently pat and knead the cushions to redistribute the filling evenly. If necessary, you can also use a soft-bristle brush to lift the fabric fibers and restore their natural appearance.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Maintaining the cleanliness of your fabric couch is an ongoing process. Here are some additional tips for fabric sofa cleaning to help you keep it in optimal condition:

  • Vacuum your couch regularly to remove surface dust and debris.
    Clean spills and stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting in.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the fabric.
  • Place removable cushion covers in the washing machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Consider using fabric protectors or covers to shield your couch from stains and spills.


Congratulations! You now have the knowledge and guidance to effectively clean and maintain your fabric sofa. By following our step-by-step guide and implementing regular maintenance, you can ensure your sofa stays in impeccable condition for years to come. Remember to always consider your fabric type and follow the appropriate cleaning methods. At Tom’s Upholstery Cleaning , we are dedicated to providing you with valuable insights and expert advice to help you take care of your furniture. Enjoy the comfort and beauty of your clean fabric sofa!

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