How to Clean a Couch/Sofa? (Best Way to Deep Clean Couch)

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Couches and sofas are the most used furniture in your house, which is why it is the easiest one to get dirty and unsightly. And If you have little kids, then your sofas will be very prone to food residue, coke spillage stain, and dirty finger marks. You will get one or two stains daily. Couches and sofas, besides giving comfort, add to the style and aesthetics of your house too. But a dirty sofa can easily ruin the aesthetics of your home, which no one wants.

To get stains out of your fabric sofa might seem like an impossible job, especially without professional help. But we are here with some methods and tricks for your regular stains and deep-stained sofas. which will ease your job, and you can revive the style of your living room with clean and tidy sofas.

How To Clean A Couch/Sofa

You can choose several methods to clean your upholstery based on its cleaning code and stains. You can use some of your home remedies for the stain or detergents and vacuum to clean it. Before going on to the methods, you need to take some precautions. What are those? Let’s see

Check The Cleaning Codes or Cleaning Tags

Yes, the first step is to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Remember to never go against what the cleaning codes say. It can create a big mess. Simply read the regulations; it will help you to decide which method will be suitable to take care of your dirty couch. So the cleaning codes are like these:

  • W- this sign means you can use water-based cleaners on your couch. So basically, you can use water directly on your couch. These types of sofas are the easiest to clean.
  • W/S- it means you can use solvent or water-based cleaner.
  • S- the only solvent is allowed to be used for fabric cleaning.
  • X- This means you can only use a vacuum or a brush to clean the sofa.

If your sofa’s cleaning tag says S and you use water to clean it, trust me, you will have to invest in a new furniture piece because the previous one will definitely get ruined. If the sofa doesn’t support water, it will leave a stain, and you will never be able to rewind your actions. That is why it is essential to stick to the instructions.

Cleaning The Sofa According To Tags

The best thing to keep your sofa in the best condition is to clean it every week regularly. Because no matter how careful you get, there is always a chance of coffee spillage or oil dripping on your couch. That is why make a routine of regular maintenance so that the stain does not get stubborn and give you a hard time.

You need to follow a few easy and quick steps. Firstly, take a brush and loosen up the dirt out of the couch, attach the upholstery attachment on your vacuum and vacuum, the sofa thoroughly. Please go through the vacuuming 2 to 3 times so that it is perfectly free of dirt. These are the simple steps for your sofas maintenance. In case of stains or spills, immediately clean the spill so that it doesn’t absorb in the fabric and get hard to remove.

The steps discussed above are the ones we recommend for your X-labeled sofas fabric, and you can only use a vacuum and brush to clean it. Apart from this, if you experience some intense stains, it is better to seek some professional help but do not use water or detergent on your sofa.

Solvent-Based Cleaners

If your couch is suitable for just a solvent-based cleaner, all you need is a solvent-based cleaner and a microfibre cloth. The solvent cleaners are those cleaners that have chemicals as the main components. You can not involve water in this method at all, so it is dry cleaning. All you have to do is take your upholstery solvent cleaner, which you can easily find on the market or online. Apply the cleaning solution on a cloth and rub it over the stain. Let it dry completely, and the stain will disappear. If the couch area is heavily stained, you can use a soft brush too instead of a cloth. Brush over the stains with solvent cleaner, and it will help. Remember to carry out this procedure in a properly ventilated room.

W or W/S Coded Sofas

For your W and W/S coded sofas, you can try different methods with some readily available items at home. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to get your sofa professionally cleaned. It is safe to use water on your W and W/S tagged sofas, so you don’t need to worry about that. So let’s begin and look into what material you would need to carry out these methods.

Materials Required

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bottle
  • Warm tap water
  • Dishwashing soap solution
  • Neutral colored fiber cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Soft-bristled brush


Before jumping to the stain cleaning, first thoroughly vacuum your couch to get rid of extra uplifted dust and dirt. Get your spray nozzle bottle and fill it with warm tap water; add a few tablespoons of your regular dishwashing soap and shake it well. Your solution is ready now; spray the solution over the soiled area of the couch. Spray it well, so the place gets damp. The purpose is to loosen up the stain and lift it.

Take your brush and rub it on the area of the couch in a circular motion. Keep spraying the solution while brushing the stain over. Go over the whole couch and repeat this to every stained area. Once you feel the stain is removed, dry out the area with a fibre cloth. Ensure the fabric is light in colour, so it does not leave colour patches on the couch; otherwise, you get another headache. Let the sofa dry entirely, and you will feel like having a fresh and new couch again.

If you feel like the stain is very stubborn and won’t come off with just dishwashing soap, add some vinegar to your solution. It will help remove the stains and also help in removing water stains from your couch. One additional step you can do if the stain is intense is to leave the solution on the sofa for a while and rub it again and again. I assure you this will definitely help you revive your sofa.

You can also get information about how to cover the sofa properly here!

Baking Soda

Not only vinegar but baking soda is also known for its cleaning powers. For your deep stains, especially the oil and grease stain on the sofa. You have to mix some baking soda in water. Make a solution and apply it to the stains; leave the solution for 15 to 20 minutes for effective results. The stain will loosen up. Vacuum out the baking soda from the couch with a brush attachment.

How To Steam Clean

  1. You can clean your couch with a steamer as well at home. But to do so first, you need to recheck your sofa’s instructions. You have to check if it is safe to use a steamer or not. Your couch, which is W or W/S labeled, can be steamed, but it can also have limitations; some might not take the heat of the steamer. Even if it is safe to use water, you need to double-check; you can’t risk it. However, a couch with an X label can never be steam.
  2. After checking the labels, vacuum the couch thoroughly. Vacuuming is essential in all methods as it will ensure that no extra dirt or dust gets in the way. It will remove pet hairs, any bigger residue, or crumps.
  3. The next thing you have to do while steam cleaning is to check the type for stains. The steamer can remove light stains like food stains, mud stains, urine, water stains, but it can not remove hard stains like oil stains. That is why you have to pre-treat the oil stains. For that, you can use one of the methods mentioned above. You can make a homemade solution of water and vinegar or baking soda. Treat the oil stain beforehand to lose it up a little so that the steaming process can take it out completely.
  4. One more step you have to do is keep the place ventilated where you will steam your sofa. Keep the fans on and the windows open so that the air circulates properly. After making sure you have done all the steps, you can steam your sofa with the machine.
  5. Once you steam the sofa, let it air dry. Do not let your kids sit on the couch so that it gets dry without getting any stains again.
  6. The last step is to vacuum the sofa again. The couch should be perfectly dry before vacuuming. So vacuuming is the start and end of this process.

How To Clean Polyester Couch

To clean a polyester couch, you need to be extra careful. You shouldn’t try any harsh cleaning methods on polyester as it will damage the material. Please keep it simple and light. It will help if you don’t use a lot of water too. It will penetrate deeply into the couch, which will again damage the couch material. The method to clean a polyester sofa is to use a lightly wet sponge and rub it over the sofa’s surface very diligently. Dry the surface immediately so that the water does not penetrate. If there are hard stains or oil spills on your polyester couch, then you can add a little dishwashing soap to the water. That will help to cut on the grease. All in all, keep the process very light and try not to rub, press, or brush the sponges over the couch harshly.

How To Freshen Your Couch

It is prevalent in summer that your couch gets a bit stinky. Because of many people sitting on the sofa and their bodies rubbing against the couch. The person leaves the couch, but their sweat remains there. It penetrates the fabric and builds up an unpleasant smell. But there’s a way you can deodorize your sofa. There is no difficult procedure to follow or expensive chemicals to buy. You only need a single ingredient out of your kitchen cabinet, which will help you to freshen up your couch, and you can breathe again on it. You need vinegar; yes, vinegar, apart from its cleaning abilities, is known for its deodorizing powers. Add a portion of vinegar in water and some dish soap and mix it well. Spay it over the couch and rub it. It will help remove the stain as well as the odour.

Drying The Couch Out

drying your couch is as essential as cleaning them. If your sofa does not get dry properly, it will leave water stains and sometimes a foul odour. So that was the purpose of all the hard work. That is why make sure you provide favourable conditions to let it dry perfectly. Use fans at home for better and quick drying. A fabric sofa usually takes 6 hours to dry, but you should leave it overnight before using it so that it gets scorched.

Cleaning Couch Cushions

You now know the ways to clean your couch but cleaning the couch cushion is also essential. It is pretty easy to remove the couch cover if they are washable. Throw them in your washing machine with some detergent, and there you go. However, dust off the cushion outside or vacuum them and leave them in sunlight for a while. This way, they will get disinfected too. After your cushion cover dries, put them back on the cushion. You can now enjoy your clean and freshen couch.

Wrapping It Up

You might have been fed up with your kids staining the couch all day. But what can you do? They are your kids, and you love them. That is why we made it easy for you; now, you don’t have to be disheartened about the dirty couch or worry about paying a huge amount of money to professionals. You can clean and cover your couches at home with ease and let your kids have their fun too.

You can also learn about easy ways to take apart a sleeper sofa for moving here!

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