Ultimate Guide: How to Clean Fabric Couch at Home

Ultimate Guide: How to Clean Fabric Couch at Home

how to clean fabric couch

A couch is one of the most important pieces of comfort furniture in many homes.

It gives room for pleasant relaxation, especially after a hectic day. It also helps improve the style of your living area and enhances your home's overall aesthetics.

Being one of the most frequently-used pieces of furniture in the home, the couch is more prone to wear and tear. The fabric couch, most especially, absorbs body oils, odor from food, and dust particles, making it smelly and dirty and causing sitting or relaxing on it a nightmare.

As a result, regular cleaning and maintenance of the couch are very vital.

Knowing how to clean your fabric couch at home is essential as a homeowner. This skill will enable you to enjoy its usage and improve its durability.

Couches come in different styles and materials, which makes the cleaning process a bit technical. But knowing the right method and understanding the cleaning process guidelines will help make the project easy to complete.

That's why we’ve written this article to specifically guide you on how to clean your fabric couch at home.


Couch Cleaning Codes to Know before Cleaning Your Fabric Couch

There are various methods of cleaning a fabric couch, depending on how dirty the couch is and the material(s) it is made of. These methods, commonly referred to as “couch cleaning codes,” are a set of tags labeled on the couch during production.

The tags are labeled as follows:

  • W = This indicates that you can clean the couch using water-based cleaning solutions. Water-based cleaning solutions are couch cover cleaners with their main components being
  • S/W = This tag means that you can clean the couch with water and solvent-based solutions.
  • S = This indicates that you can only clean the couch with a solvent-based solution or cleaner.
  • O = This indicates that the couch is made from an organic fiber and can only be cleaned or washed with cold water.
  • X = This indicates that you can only clean the couch with a vacuum.


It is pertinent to note that understanding the above fabric couch cleaning codes is as important as cleaning the couch itself. If you fail to follow the code as specified by the manufacturer, you might destroy your couch.


How to Clean Your Fabric Couch at Home

There are various levels to cleaning couches, which often depend on the toughness of the dirt on your couch.

Do regular cleaning and maintenance of your couch weekly or bi-weekly. This frequency will help keep away daily cramps and stains from the couch. It will also make deep cleaning your couch easier and less stressful.

 how to clean fabric couch


How to do a Weekly/Bi-Weekly Cleaning of Your Couch

The weekly cleaning of the couch increases the couch's lifespan and reduces the amount of dirt that the fabric has accumulated.

You can carry out the weekly cleaning/maintenance using the three guides below.


Using a dry brush

You can use a dry brush to sweep away debris caught by the fabric, especially dirt captured from eating snacks like biscuits.


Using a vacuum

After scrubbing the dirt off the fabric couch, set your vacuum on low before vacuuming. It will make it easy for the dirt to be taken easily by the vacuum machine.


Flip cushions

After scrubbing the dirt and using the vacuum to collect the debris, flip the cushion around to reduce the worn appearance.


How to Deep-Clean a Fabric Couch at Home

If regular maintenance does not cover the dirt on the couch or the level of debris the couch has accumulated, a deep cleaning process is needed. When deep cleaning a fabric couch, you need to keep the nature of the material in mind and the code required for its cleaning.

The following are steps that will guide you towards achieving a good deep cleaning result for your couch.


Fabric testing

Test your fabric in a clear light area to see if you can use baking soda to clean it. This test is because while baking soda is optimal at removing tough stains and debris from couch fabrics, it works best on upholstery.


Couch brushing

Use a hard or stiff brush to remove dust, crumbs, and dirt from your couch.


Applying baking soda

how to clean couch with baking soda

After confirming that baking soda can be used on your fabric, carefully sprinkle some soda on the couch while concentrating on areas most affected by the dirt. Then, allow it to soak for 15 – 25 minutes.


Using a vacuum

A brush can be attached to the vacuum to give room for deep cleaning of crumbs and removing the soda mixture.


Removing tough stains

Areas seriously stained with debris should be worked on using solutions that match your couch's fabric. You should best use a piece of clean cotton cloth for this activity.

Meanwhile, you can carry out deep cleaning of your fabric couch using other methods such as:

  • Couch shampoo
  • Vinegar
  • Detergent


Deep Cleaning Using Couch Shampoo

In pursuit of a deeper cleaning of your couch, you ought to consider hiring a steam or carpet cleaner (if you don't have one) to enable you to use shampoo on your couch. You can use couch shampoo on various upholstery, excluding those too thick, like the suede material.

The following steps will guide you on cleaning your couch using the shampoo method.


Step 1

Use a vacuum with a stiff brush attachment to thoroughly vacuum some of the cushions to remove embedded dirt while ensuring the areas are well-scoped.


Step 2

Select a machine of your choice; fill it with water and a cleaning solution that fits your couch fabric.


Step 3

Use the machine to clean the couch while maintaining a steady and straight pattern of wash. To enable you to get a good clean of the couch, regions with tougher stains should have the most attention.


Step 4

Allow the cushion to dry completely and then place it back into the couch.


Deep Cleaning with Vinegar

how to clean fabric sofa with vinegar

White vinegar is naturally great for tackling stubborn stains and is safe to use on most fabrics.

Eliminating tough blots on your couch can sometimes be difficult. However, white vinegar is a good option for you, as it tackles stubborn stains without hassles, making it an adequate fabric couch cleaner.

It's essential to note that you’re not to soak or rub the treatment when using vinegar because it may spread the dirt across other surfaces of the couch.

To make your white vinegar solution, use the following guide:

  1. One cup warm water
  2. One cup white vinegar
  3. One teaspoon dish soap

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl and apply them to stains by whipping them with a clean cloth.


Deep Cleaning with Detergents

When cleaning with detergent, always ensure to use suitable and reliable ones for the type of fabric on your couch. There are also special detergents meant for couch upholstery. You can get them in a store or online.

You can also use mild soaps that are good for hand wash or use homemade solution.

Here’s the homemade solution formula:

  1. Two cups of water
  2. One teaspoon detergent

Mix the above items and apply them to the embedded stains using a sponge. Don't apply the solution in excess.

Once you've removed the stain, clean the surface with water to remove the excess water and whip with a dry towel.


How to Remove Grease Stains on Your Couch

how to clean fabric couch

Whenever a spill happens on the couch, we always wish that it would take just water and a piece of cloth or paper towel to do the cleaning. However, this is not often the case, as it usually requires an extra cleaning agent to clean off the stains.

The most efficient and effective way to get rid of such stains is by sprinkling baking soda. Sprinkle a handful of baking soda over the stained area and allow it to cure for 16 to 20 minutes. That would give it time to soak and fully remove the stain. Afterward, you can vacuum and clean any residue with a neat cloth.


Couch Cushion Foam Washing

The spill occasionally happens to pass the upholstery lining, seeping deep into the couch. You’re to remove the upholstery and reach the form itself in this situation. To deal with this, use the vinegar solution, soak up the dirt area carefully and lightly, and set it out in an open place to dry.


Couch Disinfection

Your sofa may need disinfecting after a thorough cleaning due to the various germs existing within your home. Steam cleaning is the best method of disinfecting your couch, but if you don't want to hire or use a steam cleaner, then you can use a homemade remedy.

Below is how to prepare the remedy.

  1. Two  cups of rubbing alcohol
  2. One  cup water or diluted essential oil (tea tree oil is mostly preferable)

Mix the above in a spray bottle and moist the couch, avert making it too wet. Carefully vacuum it or use a neat cloth to clean the couch, and then let the couch dry.


Do it Right

Stains on the couch can be discomforting, especially when they smell. But it doesn’t have to be a disaster. With the right guide, you too can become an expert in cleaning your couch.

Following this guide will help restore the convenience you enjoy while using your couch and further improve the longevity of the couch.


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