Cleaning a couch
Tips and tricks

Cleaning a couch step by step: how and with what to effectively clean a couch? Tips and methods for washing upholstery

What products will be suitable for cleaning a couch? How to remove chocolate stains on the sofa? Which preparation for washing a fabric sofa will work best? Find the answers to these and other questions in our guide. Here we go!

Cleaning a sofa – why should you wash upholstery regularly?

Every child knows the answer to the question posed above: in the folds and quilting of upholstery accumulates dust, food residues and even skin residues, which are a perfect breeding ground for dust mites. These microbes are the main culprits of skin allergies, asthma, itchy eyes or perpetual runny noses in the household. This is reason enough why upholstered furniture should be cleaned regularly. With what, then, to wash a couch?The possibilities and methods are many.

How to clean a couch safely? Types of upholstery vs cleaning

If you are wondering what to clean furniture upholstery with, just… walk around the stores. Without much difficulty, you will find there the means suitable for refreshing a sofa or armchair. Remember to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of the preparation. Among the most common specifications appear those in the form of active foam or liquid. The way they are used may vary, so it is worth making sure of the exact application of a particular detergent.

Prepared upholstery cleaners are not only convenient to use, but also give satisfactory results. Their downside, however, may be that they are based on strong chemicals which may not be inert to human skin or respiratory tract.

Best sofa cleaners

Best sofa cleaners

You can get professional sofa cleaners in stores. They are perfect for removing old, intense stains that traditional home methods are unable to remove. Individual manufacturers offer, among others, upholstery cleaners based on synthetic and natural fibers, but also preparations designed to refresh leather furniture. The product lines also include preparations with active foam – thanks to them you won’t get your sofa wet. Spray agents, which are applied to the fabric in spots, are also an interesting option. For greater protection of upholstery against the penetration of liquids and dirt, special textile impregnator can be applied preventively.

Steam cleaning of a couch – how to do it?

steam cleaning of a couch requires a handheld clothes steamer. It’s also a good idea to use a home steam generator, such as those found in modern irons. Numerous studies have shown that hot, jetted steam is capable of dealing with 99 bacteria. In this way, you will quickly remove from the upholstery residues of dirt and various organic residues, which are a breeding ground for dust mites.

Related: Mattress cleaning: how and with what to effectively wash a mattress?

Home methods for cleaning a couch

Among the simplest generally available methods for cleaning furniture upholstery, the mixture of baking soda, lemon and water proves itself. Per liter of water should be the juice of half a lemon. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the solution prepared this way.

When faced with the challenge of getting rid of greasy stains from dishes and snacks, reach for potato flour. The wet method may not pass the test. Many fabrics do not tolerate water very well and are difficult to dry. That’s why fine potato flour binds well with grease,”pulling it” out of the fabric. Simply sift a few tablespoons of flour through a strainer directly onto the stain, let it sit for a quarter of an hour, and then suck up the rest with a vacuum cleaner.

Baking soda

In autumn and winter, when upholstery may not dry as easily, the optimal solution seems to be to clean the couch using the dry method – preferably with baking soda. Just use a strainer to sift it directly onto the place you want to freshen, and then moisten it with a little water. You can use flower sprayer for this purpose. Now you just need to be patient: remove the soda with the help of a household vacuum cleaner after a few hours.

How to clean a couch safely


If your living room couch is disfigured by old, difficult to remove stains,a suitable remedy for their removal may be ordinary vinegar. Before you start cleaning a larger area, do a small test on the back of the couch. This way you will make sure that the fabric tolerates contact with vinegar well. To wash the couch, use a solution of vinegar, warm water and baking powder.Into a bowl filled with a liter of water, pour about 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Also pour in 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Apply such a mixture to the stain – optimally use a soft sponge for this. Try not to soak the upholstery. Finally, you can reach for a paper towel to dry the cleaned area.

Washing liquid

The upholstery of your favorite couch or armchair can be refreshed with washing liquid. It creates a thick foam, so you do not have to worry about soaking the cleaned surface. The advantage of dishwashing liquid is that it handles greasy stains and dried dirt welland at the same time it is mild to fabrics and does not discolor them.

How to clean a couch effectively? The most common problems

One of the most common problems when washing a couch is the possibility of damaging the upholstery. Insufficient information about the type of fabric makes it difficult to estimate how the fabric will behave after contact with detergent. That’s why it’s worth conducting a test on a hardly visible part of a sofa or armchair. Another issue is to get rid of dust before you start wet cleaning the upholstery. If you don’t do this beforehand, you can rub the dust deep into the fabric.

Removing chocolate stains from a couch

An evening spent on the couch in front of the TV with a mug of hot chocolate or a chocolate bar in hand can end fatally for the upholstery. A moment’s inattention and a drink or a crumb will dent the fabric for good. How to clean this type of dirt? Try to remove the outer layer of chocolate by scraping it lightly for example, using a sponge or butter knife. To tackle a wet stain from liquid chocolate, you need to prepare a solution consisting of a cup of cold water and a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Saturate a clean kitchen cloth with a little of the solution and press it against the stain so that it picks up the liquid that has soaked into the material. In the last step prepare clean water and using it, remove the residual liquid. Done!

How to remove stains from the couch?

Any work should be preceded by a thorough vacuuming of the upholstery – so that the dust is not dented and pressed into the fabric. Then using water with a little dishwashing liquid or specialized detergent you can clean the damp patches. Use a soft sponge for this purpose. Try not to get the fabric wet. Finally, dry it with a paper towel or dry cloth. Ingredients present in every home such as baking soda or potato flour can also be useful for cleaning.

Cleaning a couch of old stains

Cleaning a couch of old stains

Old, dried-up stains require more time and attention than those that happened a while ago. The easiest way to get rid of them from couch upholstery is to buy stain remover. Home-tested methods can also come to the rescue. Before removing old stains, the furniture should be thoroughly vacuumed. The stain is always cleaned from the edge of the sofa towards its center.It is good to know what material the upholstery is made of. Velour or velvet stand up well to cleaning with an ammonia solution – in a 2:1 ratio (where 2 tablespoons of ammonia are dissolved in a liter of water). The direction of cleaning is determined by the way the upholstery hairs are arranged. At the end, it’s a good idea to dry the damp place with a paper towel or hair dryer.

Related: Tips on what kind of mopping vacuum cleaner to buy

Removing dust from the sofa

This step is a prelude to further work on cleaning the sofa. Without it, you should not proceed to wet stain removal, as the dust remaining on the fabric can penetrate into the deeper layers of the fabric and contaminate it. Removing dust from the couch is best done with a traditional household vacuum cleaner. You can use a narrow tip, which will collect dirt well from the folds of the mattress.

How much does it cost to professionally clean a couch?

The cost of ordering a professional couch cleaning service usually depends on the size of the furniture. For a thorough refreshing of two-seater models you can pay ok. 80-100 PLN. On the other hand, a larger three-seat sofa is associated with an expense in the range of 120 zł. Specific amounts depend on the rates of the company in question and the province in which it operates. Warsaw and surrounding areas are sometimes more expensive than other parts of the country.

In summary, various home upholstery cleaning methods can work perfectly well. Any activity should be preceded by a solid vacuuming of the furniture. Baking soda, ammonia, vinegar, dishwashing liquid – any of these commonly available preparations will support your efforts to get rid of dirt. Potato flour will come in handy to fight greasy stains. If you want to get rid of bacteria, reach for a steam cleaner or steam generator. However, when you are afraid to clean it yourself, you can order a professional furniture upholstery cleaning team which will use a water vacuum and specialized preparations.

Interior decorator with 6 years of experience. She loves Scandinavian and Boho style. She loves to spend her evenings on the couch, under a blanket, reading a book with her cat Theodore.