Cleaning upholstery isn’t a task you will need to deal with often. But if your ideal home includes a beautiful leather sofa, it makes sense to spend a few hours removing stains and refreshing the entire couch. Having the skill to clean a couch is especially useful when you have pets around and pet dander is a problem.

All fabric sofas and soft furnishings require a deeper clean every once in a while or spot cleaning when the need arises. Sometimes you will even need to rely on professional cleaning services to deal with more complicated matters, like removing stains on leather couches and conducting a thorough cleaning of the furniture. Learn more about how to clean sofas or couches in our detailed guide.

Considerations Before You Get Started

There are two essential steps you need to take before you begin:

  1. Check the Upholstery Cleaning Label Before you start mixing up cleaning solutions and approach your fabric couch for cleaning, you need to do one very important thing: check the label. Your fabric couch should have a care tag somewhere, usually located under the unit. On the tag, you will find a code that tells you the best way to clean the entire couch.
    • W: You can use water-based cleaners on the furniture, and a cleaning solution will hardly damage it.
    • S or P: The upholstery should only be cleaned with solvent-based cleaners, i.e., dry cleaning solvent.
    • SW: Both water and solvent-based cleaners are fine, but avoid using too much water.
    • X: Use only your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, as other cleaning solutions may cause damage. Professional cleaning is recommended for this kind of upholstery.
  2. Prepare the Couch for Cleaning
    • Remove the Cushions: Clean these separately. You can throw the covers of the removable cushions in the washing machine or give them a good shake outside to remove loose dirt.
    • Vacuum the Fabric: Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment with gentle sweeping motions over the entire couch. A handheld vacuum with a crevice tool helps reach hard-to-reach spots where crumbs and small particles accumulate.
    • Use Baking Soda for Odours: Cover the entire surface with baking soda and let it sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming thoroughly. Baking soda is known for its odour-absorbing qualities. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil for a pleasant smell.

How to Clean Upholstery Without a Machine

If you lack a steam cleaning machine, focus on vacuuming your upholstery weekly to prevent dust and crumbs from accumulating. You can dry brush the area beforehand to loosen up dust particles. For stains, household items like laundry cleaner and vinegar can be effective, provided your upholstery care instructions allow it. Always test any new solution on a small hidden area of the upholstery.

How to Clean Upholstery Yourself

When cleaning a leather couch or other types of upholstery yourself, remember that vacuuming is crucial for removing dust and debris from the surface. Spot treating is also important—gentle baby wipes are excellent for immediate spills and stains. After consulting the label, consider using rubbing alcohol and upholstery cleaning solutions.

How to Clean Sofa Upholstery at Home

  1. Vacuum Thoroughly: Always start by vacuuming your upholstery well.
  2. Apply Cleaning Solution: Mix 1/2 tbsp. of laundry detergent with a bucket of water to create suds. Apply the solution to the fabric, absorb moisture with a towel, and rinse with just water.
  3. Dry the Fabric: Apply direct heat or let it air dry.

How to Clean Upholstery with Baking Soda

Bicarbonate of soda is a powerful ingredient for upholstery cleaning. It neutralizes odours from smoking, pets, and daily use without damaging the fabric. Sprinkle baking soda generously over the upholstery, let it sit, then vacuum it up. Add essential oil drops for a fresh scent.

Professional Help

If you require help with your upholstery or carpet cleaning, do not hesitate to contact Thames Cleaning Services. We will take care of it for you quickly and efficiently.

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