Best Ways to Clean a Couch

Woman using handheld vacuum in cleaning on sofa

Few can argue about the importance of a couch in a living room. Sofas are widely regarded as the heartbeat of any living space. A couch is often the first place you seek refuge after a long day at work when all you need is to relax and catch up on your favorite TV show. However, just like any other piece of home furniture, sofas need maintenance too. Over time, spilled drinks, pet fur, dust, and body oils can leave unhygienic residues on your sofa’s fabric. When this happens, unless you have removable couch covers, your sofa will require a thorough wash to keep the fabric in good condition. Though cleaning a sofa can be a nightmare for beginners, this piece walks you through the best couch cleaning tips to add sparkle to your living room’s greatest asset.

  • Understanding Couch Cleaning Codes


Couches come in many different upholstery finishes. Therefore, it is crucial to know the type of fabric on your sofa and what the different cleaning codes mean before you attempt any washing procedures. A good way to start is by reviewing the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines to avoid nullifying your warranty or, worse, ruining your couch altogether.



Alternatively, most sofas do have a tag that provides information on cleaning sofas and the accompanying cushions. Most importantly, you will come across four-letter codes on your sofa’s tag.


Below we explore what each code means regarding couch cleaning.
• W – This symbol means that the material is water-friendly.
• WS – This code means the sofa should be cleaned using a water-soluble cleaning agent or steam-based vacuum.
• X – This means that the material is not water-friendly. Only vacuum cleaners are applicable.
• S – means you can only clean with a dry or special solvent-based detergent.


Always stick to the recommended cleaning guides featured on the tags. Deviating from these guidelines can be a costly affair.


  • Couch Cleaning Explained


Experts recommend cleaning your couch at least twice a month to prevent the build-up of stubborn stains or grease that can ruin your sofa’s appearance. DIY cleaning tips using household products:

Materials needed
• A dry brush
• Vacuum cleaner
• Baking soda
• Vinegar
• Dishwashing detergent
• Microfiber cloth
• Distilled water
• Water bucket


  • Vacuum Cleaning


Use your brush to loosen up your sofa fabric to expose the dirt particles trapped between the fabric threads. Use your vacuum cleaner on a low setting to remove dirt particles exposed by the dry brush. Vacuum cleaning also does an excellent job of removing minute dust particles that are hard to reach using the brush’s strokes. Be sure to cover all areas, including the crevices where food crumbs and pet fur accumulate. If the cushions are detachable, remove cushion covers and vacuum clean on both sides until there’s uniformity of color for both couch and cushions.



  • Steam Cleaning



Steam cleaning is ideal for sofas with either a WS or a W tag code. To ensure the steam cleaner won’t damage your couch fabric, it is advisable to spot test with a small portion, preferably on the rear side. The bursts of steam are excellent against bacteria and dust mites that lie between the fabric threading. Ensure you cover the entire sofa as far as under the arms and rear. Only the steam should make contact with your couch fabric. An iron box with steam features works fine, too, if you don’t have a steam-based vacuum.


  • Deep Cleaning to Remove Stubborn Stains


Sometimes, vacuum-cleaning fails to remove oil, grease, and stubborn stains. For such situations, you will require potent washing agents such as dishwashing soap and vinegar. Create your cleaning solution by mixing two cups of warm water with a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent in a bucket.


Dip a dry microfiber cloth into your cleaning solution to dampen it, then proceed to gently wipe off the stained areas on your sofa until the stain clears. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with the cleaning solution then mist the stained area before scrubbing the surface until the couch is clean gently.



Rinse the couch using another dry microfiber cloth dampened with distilled water to erase remnants of the cleaning solution. Finally, gently wipe off the cleaned area using a completely dry microfiber cloth to soak up any excess water on the couch surface. Face your household fan towards the cleaned area to hasten the drying process. If you have no fan at home, opening your windows or doors to allow a fresh breeze to run through the apartment will also do the trick.


If your couch is tagged W, you can remove the covers of your cushions and clean them in our washing machine for water-friendly washing. Once washed, proceed to drape the covers outside to dry. If the cushion covers are not removable, try spraying a diluted vinegar solution on the stained areas, then wipe off with a dry cloth.


  • Bonus Cleaning Tips


During the cleaning process, it is easy to overlook your sofa’s feet and other non-fabric components. Ensure you give them a thorough clean by wiping using a dampened cloth dipped in a solution of warm water and dishwashing soap. Sometimes, spillage can lead to a smelly couch. Get rid of the odor by sprinkling some baking soda over the affected area. Wait for a few minutes, then brush off the baking soda lightly using a dry brush.



Sometimes, even the most creative DIY home cleaning solutions might not cut it against stubborn stains. Our cleaning experts are well equipped to handle all these types of mess, check them out here. Book an appointment with us today to enjoy our exceptional services.


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