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By Lydia | 17 July 2023 | 0 Comments

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa in 5 Steps

After a long day, you settle down on your cozy fabric sofa, ready to unwind and relax, only to be confronted by an unwelcome guest- a stubborn stain that refuses to leave. 

Spills happen, stains pop up out of nowhere, and crumbs somehow manage to sneak into every nook and cranny. 

But fear not. In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your fabric sofa, making it shine like new and look inviting for years to come. So roll up your sleeves and let's get started!

how to clean a fabric sofa

Before You Clean a Fabric Sofa 

Before you grab the clean supplies, there are a few important things to consider:
how to clean a fabric sofa prepare

1. Check the Manufacturer's Instructions 

To save you from the cleaning nightmare, refer to the manufacturer's cleaning guidelines or care instructions that came with your sofa. You can check under the cushions or on the tag attached to it. 

The instructions will provide valuable information on the recommended cleaning solutions and any specific do's or don'ts to keep in mind. 

It's essential to follow them to avoid any damage or voiding the warranty. 

2. Identify the Type of Fabric 

Different fabrics may have specific cleaning methods or restrictions. 

It's important to understand the type of fabric your sofa is made of and its specific characteristics. Is it a classic cotton blend, a luxurious velvet, or a durable microfiber?  Knowing the type of fabric will help you choose the most suitable cleaning approach and products. 

3. Read the Cleaning Tag 

Often found under the cushions or the underside of the sofa, this tag provides important information about how to clean your fabric sofa the right way. 
clean a fabric sofa cleaning tag

W:  Water-Based Cleaning

If you spot a “W” on the tag, rejoice! This meme you can use water-based methods such as mild detergents or upholstery cleaners for cleaning.

S: Solvent-Based Cleaning

Avoid using water or water-based cleaners. Instead, opt for specialized solvent-based cleaners or upholstery cleaning products.     

WS: Water or Solvent-Based Cleaning

You can use either water-based or solvent-based cleaning solutions. 

X: Vacuum Only

Clean your sofa only by vacuuming or light brushing. 

4. Test on a Hidden Area 

To avoid any unwanted surprises, it's always a good idea to apply a small amount of the cleaning solution on a small, unnoticeable area of the sofa, such as the back or underside of a cushion. Keep an eye out for potential discoloration or damage. This way, if any adverse reactions appear, they won't ruin the entire sofa. 

5. Address Any Specific Stains or Issues 

Take a good look at any specific stains or issues before going all-in on cleaning your entire couch. Are they pet stains, ink marks, or coffee spills? Knowing the condition of the stain can help you decide the best cleaning method. It's also important to take note of any areas that may be weak or delicate, so you are able to take extra care while cleaning. 

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa in 5 Easy Steps 

how to clean a fabric sofa 5 steps

Step 1: Gather Your Cleaning Arsenal 


Make sure you have all the necessary cleaning solutions and tools at your disposal. The right cleaning arsenal will ensure you're all set to tackle any sofa grime that comes your way. Here‘s what you'll need:
- A vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachments
- A soft-bristle brush or a microfiber cloth 
- Mild dish soap or fabric cleaner
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Baking soda (for odor removal)

Step 2: The Pre-Game Warm-Up: Vacuum Away 


Start by vacuuming the sofa to remove loose dirt and debris. Use the upholstery attachment to reach all the litter corners and hidden spots, including the crevices between cushions. Give it a good once-over to make sure you've cleaned up all the dirt and debris.

Step 3: Fight Strains Like a Pro: Address Stubborn Stains or Spots 

Stains are a real pain for your fabric sofa, but worry not, for we've got some secret weapons to fight them off. Here's how to tackle different types of stains:
- Liquid stains: Blot the stain instantly with a clean cloth or paper towel, but avoid rubbing as this may make it worse. Mix a few drops of mild soap with distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture gently on the stained area, then wipe dry with a clean cloth until the stain starts to fade away. 

- Greasy stains: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on it. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the grease. Then, take a soft brush to gently scrub the area. After that, vacuum the baking soda residue. Repeat this process if necessary. 

- Ink stains: Get a clean cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol or non-acetone nail polish remover. Gently dab the stain with the cloth until it starts to lift. Make sure to test a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding to avoid damaging the fabric.

Step 4: The All-Over Refresh: Deep Cleaning Delight 

Once you've tackled the pesky stains, it's time to give it a deep clean. Here are the simple steps:
- Mix a few drops of mild dish soap or fabric cleaner in a bucket of warm water.
- Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy water. Squeeze out any extra liquid.
- Start at the top and wipe down the entire sofa in circles. Pay extra attention to heavily soiled spots.
- Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently in clean water so you don't spread the dirt around.
- Let your sofa air dry naturally, but keep it away from sunlight or heat sources.

Step 5: Banishing Lingering Odors: Baking Soda to the Rescue 

Don't worry if your fabric sofa has some unpleasant smells, baking soda is here to help. Follow the steps to get rid of the odors:

- Sprinkle baking soda all over your sofa and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Take a soft brush to gently rub the baking soda into the fabric.
- Vacuum the sofa thoroughly to remove the baking soda residue and any trapped smells. 
- Sprinkle, wait, vacuum, and repeat to completely eliminate the odor 

Now you have it. By taking these steps, you can enjoy a clean and cozy couch for many years to come. 

If you are interested in how to choose the right office sofas, check these articles for more inspiration:

How to Choose the Right Office Sofas
Top 10 Office Sofa Design Ideas in 2023

Final Thoughts


Cleaning a fabric sofa can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can keep your couch looking fresh and clean. If you spot any stains, clean them promptly. And it's always a good thing to regularly clean your sofa with gentle cleaning methods. If you sense any bad smells, use the power of baking soda. 

If you feel unsure or overwhelmed, don't hesitate to seek professional help. They have the expertise and specialized tools to clean a fabric sofa without causing unwanted damage.  

So, go ahead, roll up your sleeves. It's time to give your couch a special spa treatment. Have fun cleaning´╝ü 

Looking for more beautiful and comfortable sofas? Explore Meet&Co's collection of sofas, or contact us for more guidance to find the best pieces that fit perfectly into your space. 

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