How to Clean a Couch

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Clean a Couch

The couch is often the centre of activity in any home, and it quickly becomes dirty. The trouble is, cleaning a couch the wrong way ruins the fabric and completely destroys the look of the entire couch in just a few moments. Knowing how to clean a couch the right way is essential for any furniture owner, because not all cleaners treat all fabrics and materials the same way. Properly cleaning the upholstery on a couch extends the life of the furniture and reduces wear and tear.



Before using products and solutions to clean a couch, furniture owners have to give the material a good pre-cleaning. A thorough pre-cleaning removes large pieces of dirt and debris, as well as hair, from the material. This makes the actually cleaning process easier and more effective.

Vacuum the couch thoroughly first. Accomplish this using the upholstery attachment on the vacuum cleaner. In a pinch when there is no vacuum available, the user can perform hair removal with a lint roller. Where possible, remove the cushions and pillows of the couch so that every part of the couch is cleanable. Regular vacuuming or using a lint roller keeps a couch looking much cleaner on a day-to-day basis.

Some couches have fabric tags attached to them to help owners figure out the best cleaning solvents to use. These tags use codes to denote the different types of fabrics. Any letter other than 'S' or 'X' indicates that it is acceptable to use water to clean the fabric. An 'S' or 'X' means it must be professionally dry-cleaned.

If there is no tag available, furniture owners may use their own judgement. Manufacturers typically make couches from cotton, polyester, microfibre, or nylon material. Other sofas are leather or leather-like material.

Types of Couch Cleaners

Before using any cleaning solvent on a couch, owners should spot-test the cleaner on a piece of couch fabric that is not readily noticeable. The underside of a cushion or the backside of the couch is good for spot testing. Owners need only to clean a small piece of fabric with the solvent they plan to use. After 5 minutes, any potential damage from the cleaning solution should be visible. If there is no damage, the owner is free to use the solvent to clean the rest of the couch. Upholstery cleaner (dilute with water), dry cleaning solvent (blot cleaner onto couch with cleaning cloth), leather cleaner (rub cloth with cleaner onto leather), and laundry detergent (remove cushion and pillow covers) are all useful cleaning agents for a couch.

Never use products containing bleach to clean a couch as these products often remove colour from the fabric. Before couch owners use the washing machine for cushion and pillow covers, they should check the labels to ensure the material is machine-washable. A soft-bristle brush is sometimes a good idea for caked-on dirt and stubborn stains. It does not remove all stains, but it can loosen up some of that set-in dirt and debris.


Cleaning Couch Stains

Even with a thorough cleaning and regular maintenance, a couch may still have stains. Furniture owners should always start by blotting the stain with a paper towel or clean cloth. If the stain is not fresh, moisten the cloth first with a little cold water. The blotting technique soaks up some of that stain.

A mixture of one teaspoon of soap in one cup of peroxide makes a powerful cleaning solution. When used sparingly, it effectively removes red wine from fabrics. For other types of stains, furniture owners sometimes mix a solution of warm water and dish detergent and apply this directly to a cleaning cloth to treat the fabric. If there is no liquid dish soap available, substitute shampoo instead.

When stains are particularly stubborn, use a little baking soda to cover it completely. With a scrub brush, work the baking soda into the fabric and into the stain. The baking soda should sit for about 10 minutes after scrubbing before vacuuming it away.


How to Buy Couch Cleaners on eBay

When it is time to clean your sofa, find cleaning products using the eBay search tools. On eBay, authorised sellers offer both new and used supplies that are available at good prices. Browse through the various products, or type 'upholstery cleaner' into the search bar. If you want something more specific, modify the search with specific solvents or brand names to find exactly what you want. With good cleaning, a couch continues to be a focal point for the home for many years to come.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides