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How to Clean a Couch

How to Clean a Couch

Whether you have crumbs or the hardest stains, these cleaning tips will have your sofa looking like new in no time.

We all enjoy being couch potatoes, but it’s no fun to do it on a filthy couch. Crumbs, spilt soda, pet hair, grime, and oil from your hands and feet accumulate on your couch over time, making it appear shabby. Don’t be concerned. Here’s how to clean a couch so you can binge-watch a full season of your favorite TV show.

1. Vacuum the Couch

To remove debris and grime from the sofa surface, use a hand vacuum or the brush attachment on your vacuum. Make a point of cleaning the crevices where pet hair, food crumbs, and dirt might accumulate. Remove the cushions if they are not attached and vacuum both sides.

2. Scrub the wood or metal surfaces.

Wipe down the sofa feet and other non-fabric parts with a warm water and liquid dish soap solution.

3. Determine the Fabric Type

Look for the tag on the couch and read the cleaning directions. The following are the codes seen on labels:

WS: Use a moderate detergent in conjunction with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent.

S: Only use dry cleaning detergent.

X: Only use a vacuum. There is no water.

W: You can clean it with water.

4. Eliminate Stains

Understanding how to clean a couch entails understanding how to remove stains. You can buy a professional cleaner or make your own with natural components from your kitchen. Homemade cleansers are less expensive and better for the environment.

Here’s how to clean a sofa, by fabric type:

  • For fabric upholstery: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon dish soap or Castile soap. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture. Mist the dirty area. Scrub with a gentle cloth until the stain disappears. To remove the soap, moisten a second cloth with clean water. Dry the area with a towel.
  • For leather upholstery: Combine 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the cleaner on the surface of the couch and buff with a soft cloth.
  • For synthetic upholstery: In a spray bottle, combine 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of warm water, and 1/2 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent or Castile soap. Mist the dirty area, then scrub with a soft cloth until the stains have been removed.

5. Allow the Couch to Dry

Soak up any surplus water that remains on the sofa surface using a cloth. Allow the sofa to air dry. If the weather is humid, you may want to set up a box fan pointed at the sofa to help it dry faster. Water can cause mildew to grow on cushions and textiles so it’s important to dry out the couch as quickly as you can.

Additional Couch Cleaning Tips

Lint Roller

If your couch is made of a fabric that draws lint, hair, or dust, keep a lint roller on hand that you can only use on your couch. This method works best for a couch that just needs a mild de-linting, but it can also be used for larger jobs. In a pinch, huge strips of packing tape can be used to de-puppify the couch.

Leather Conditioner and Soap

If you have a leather couch, you can use leather soap and conditioner to keep it looking clean and fresh. You can also wipe down your leather furniture with a slightly moist, clean rag once a week.


If the fabric of your couch can be cleaned with a water-based cleaner, consider using steam to release dirt and stains. Consider the following: Take out your iron, set it to “steam,” and wave it back and forth across any trouble spots on your couch.

Call a Professional

After reading these tips, if you still are unsure whether or not you can successfully clean your couch, that’s okay. Guelph upholstery cleaning is a service our Guelph cleaners excel at. We understand all the different types of fabrics and can carefully but thoroughly clean your couches. Contact our furniture cleaners today for help with your upholstery cleaning!

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Carpet Cleaning Guelph

Guelph, Ontario


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Carpet Cleaning Guelph - Professional Carpet Cleaning, Furniture and Upholstry Cleaning, Mattress Cleaning, and Stain and Odour Removal Services.

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