How To Clean A Couch: All You Need To Know

June 23, 2023

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Our couch can accumulate dirt, dust, crumbs, and even unsightly stains. Cleaning a couch is not just about maintaining a clean appearance but also about keeping the couch hygienic and expanding its lifespan. But do you know how to clean a couch properly? If you don't, no worries! Let's explore the ways to clean different couch materials, from leather to fabric and everything in between. From tackling those pesky stains to banishing unpleasant odors, we'll leave no cushion unturned.

What Are Couch's Care Instructions?

Each upholstered furniture piece has specific care instructions tailored to its fabric type. So, before diving into the cleaning hastily, locate the care tag, typically situated underneath the couch. The tag denotes the following guideline:

W: This indicates that wet cleaning is suitable. You can use a water-based upholstery cleaner, warm soapy water, and a cloth to eliminate stains.

S: Solvent cleaning is the recommended method for these couches. Using water-based cleaners on this type of couch may cause damage. Instead, use a dry solvent cleaning solution or spray rubbing alcohol on the stained area using a spray bottle.

SW: These couches can be cleaned using both wet and dry methods.

X: It means professional dry cleaning or vacuuming is necessary. Using wet or dry solvent cleaners may harm these types of couches.

O: Couches with an "O" are constructed from organic materials. Since these couches are made of natural fibers, washing them with cold water may cause damage.

How To Clean Spots On A Couch?

1. Blotting:

For fresh and wet stains like red wine, soup, or pet drool, begin by blotting the affected area gently with a clean, slightly damp cloth. This initial step helps minimize the spread. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, as it may cause it to set deeper into the fabric.

2. Stain Removal:

Select a stain treatment product that is suitable for your couch's material. Cotton, synthetic, and wool couches can usually be treated with the same stain remover used for clothing. However, leather couches require leather cleaners. In case you have a “W” or “SW” marked couch, you can make your cleaner by diluting ¼ cup of dish soap in 1 cup of warm water. After mixing, skim off any bubbles and immerse a clean cloth into the solution.

3. Blotting (Again):

Use a second clean towel to blot the affected area gently, and this time focus on removing the stain. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the fabric, as it can lead to fabric damage.

How To Clean A Couch: Step-by-step

What you will need:

  1. Brush
  2. Vacuum cleaner
  3. Gentle detergent
  4. Baking soda

Step 1: Brushing

First things first, use a stiff brush to remove any stubborn dirt or grime that may be on your couch. It'll be particularly helpful in removing dirt like mud stains or dirt from shoes. After brushing, let your vacuum cleaner handle the rest.

Step 2: Vacuuming

Regular vacuuming is crucial. Try to clean it with the best vacuum for couches every week or two for optimal maintenance. Use the crevice tool to reach tight corners and the upholstery attachment or a soft brush attachment to clean the couch's surfaces. Lift each cushion to uncover any accumulated dust or crumbs.

Step 3: Removing Slipcovers

If you have machine-washable slipcovers, simply unzip them and place them in the washing machine. Make sure to read and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Generally, it's best to wash the zippered covers separately in cold water, using a gentle detergent. Hang them to air dry.

Once the slipcovers are almost completely dry, put them back on the couch and cushions. While the slipcovers are being washed, you can take advantage of a sunny day to air the cushions themselves. As long as you regularly vacuum and spot-clean your couch, you don't need to wash the slipcovers too often.

Step 4: Deodorizing

You can use baking soda to eliminate odors for couches without removable slipcovers. Sprinkle baking soda over the entire couch and leave it for approximately 30 minutes. Afterwards, thoroughly vacuum the baking soda to remove the odor and refresh the scent of your couch.

Final Words

Did you know you may spend over 2/3 hours daily on the couch? That trusty piece of furniture is not just a mere bystander in our life but a true companion through movie marathons, cozy evenings with loved ones. Such is the situation, and accidental spills are highly likely to happen, don't forget those years of dirt that are often overlooked might be accumulated. It's only fair that we show it some love in return by keeping it clean. To do that, simply follow all the steps of how to clean a couch mentioned above to keep the couch spic and clean so it can, in return, keep you healthy!

[Meta: Couches come in different materials & each type requires a different cleaning process. Find out how to clean a couch properly in this step-by-step guide.]


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I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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