To prepare your couch for cleaning start by vacuuming the whole surface, the crevices and under the cushions. Loosen up old stains or dirt by using a stiff brush with natural bristles. Then vacuum that part again. Some fabric furniture has removable covers that you can put in the washing machine. If that’s your case, you can skip directly to the spot-cleaning section after washing. See you there. P.S. Should we even mention reading the label before doing anything to your couch? The fabrics can vary from natural to artificial and various blends between both.
It wouldn’t be a cleaning tutorial if we didn’t mention baking soda. As many of you already know, baking soda is a key ingredient in all kinds of DIY cleaners. It’s easily accessible and generally safe to use on various surfaces, and that includes your upholstery. Needless to say, always test on an unnoticeable area first.
Coat the surface of the couch with a little bit of baking soda and let it sit for about half an hour. Don’t overdo it with the amount of baking soda, you only need light coverage. After that, use the brush attachment to vacuum it away. Voila! What you’re left with is a deodorized and gently cleaned couch. Repeat whenever you feel the need to freshen up your upholstered furniture. And if you’d like to do a deep clean, just mix the baking soda with dry upholstery/carpet cleaner and repeat the same process. You’re welcome.
Even after all the work you just did, you might be left with a couple of persistent stains and ambiguous-looking spots. Fabrics, especially natural ones, are prone to stain easily, so working fast is key. The more time has passed, the harder it is to get rid of them. And since all mishaps happen suddenly, you often need to DIY your cleaning products. And as always – spot-test on a hidden area first, please! Deep cleaning your sofa on your own might seem like an impossible task. But since you’re here, we know you’re not a quitter, so here are a few methods to do that. Another option is that you just call cleaners to professionally deep clean your upholstered furniture while you sit back and relax.
Grab yourself a bowl, half-full of warm water and mix in 3 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of mild dish soap (the amount can vary). Dab in it with a clean cloth or a sponge and spot-treat stains one by one. Try not to soak the furniture. Work gently because you don’t want to rub the stain in the fabric. Wipe away with a clean cloth and inspect if the stain is gone. If not, repeat the process. Let it air-dry. No need to use blow-driers or heaters, as they can do more damage than good.
To clean larger surfaces of upholstered furniture, you might need something else. In a completely clean spray bottle mix together a cup of warm water, half a cup of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of dish soap. Close it and shake well. Spray the surface of the couch from a 30 cm distance, then wipe away with a clean cloth to ensure there’s no excess residue from the solution on the furniture. Let it air-dry. After it dries, the vinegar smell goes away, leaving behind just a clean, freshened-up couch. This method is more suitable for synthetic textiles except for suede and as we already mentioned – some types of microfibre.
You thought we were done with the baking soda? No way! Mix baking powder and just enough water to make a paste and you have a two-ingredient homemade solution to remove stubborn and greasy stains. Put a little bit of it on the stain and with the tip of your finger or a clean cloth gently rub it in with circular motions. No scrubbing, as it will push the dirt deeper into the textile making it a bigger problem than it should be. Leave the paste on for about 15 minutes. Check if the soda has absorbed the grease and once it has, brush it off or vacuum it with the bristle brush attachment.
To keep your sofa clean all the time, incorporate regular vacuuming in your schedule and take care of food and drink spills immediately, so they don’t stain the fabric. You can try and keep your pets off the sofa or just give them a blanket so they have a special place next to you when you sit down. Another way to protect your upholstered furniture is to treat it with a fabric protection product (again, make sure it’s suitable for your piece).
When you clean light-coloured sofas, make sure you use white or at least light-coloured cloths too. This ensures no textile dyes will transfer from the cloth to the upholstery you’re cleaning.
If you want to take it to the next level, use distilled water when cleaning because tap water leaves residues behind and in some cases, it can actually look like a stain.