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How To Clean A Couch

It’s prime time to tackle the grit and grime and what better way to start than by—quite literally—cleaning the dirt out of your couch?

Granted, it’s not the most fun task on the planet, unless of course you find some welcome cash in the cushions. We get it. Some of you might even wonder why you should bother. Maybe you have kids, or pets, or entertain often, but if you put the time into keeping up with the cleanliness of your sofa, you will ensure that it stays in good condition and in turn lasts much longer! From armchairs and accent chairs, to your comfy sofa, enjoy these cleaning hacks that can work for all your most-loved furniture pieces.

Given those factors it’s possible you think all efforts at keeping your couch clean are futile. We beg to differ! Everyone deserves a clean couch, and even if the results don’t last very long, cleaning your couch should be on your regular cleaning to do list. Let us count the reasons why!

First of all, a couch is very often the centerpiece of your living room. Think about it. This is where you spend the majority of your down time relaxing and hanging out with family and friends. This is where you watch Netflix and chill, this is where your kids watch cartoons, and this is where your family spends time together during the holidays.

Consequently, this is also where the coffee and food spills happen, where the pet hair gets left behind, and where the dust, germs, and bacteria accumulate. Gross! Ergo, to maintain couch hygiene, a thorough cleanse is not just a good idea, it’s an imperative. 

If you love drinking coffee or any beverage for that matter while lounging on your couch, you’ll also want to consider purchasing a durable custom coffee table with an easy-to-clean surface. 

Another reason to cleanse your couch regularly is the fact that a stained, faded, or stinking couch can make a whole room look downright depressed and cheerless, effectively ruining all the effort you’ve put into decorating and making the rest of your home look fabulous. Who needs that kind of negativity in their lives?

How to Clean a Couch:
Rules for Successful Couch Cleaning

The biggest thing to remember is that different types of sofas require their own set of conditions for safe cleaning. For example, Inside Weather’s custom couches feature durable fabrics with their own set of conditions for cleaning. Though the cleaning method may differ depending on what kind of material your couch is made of, there are still some general rules that apply all the time. 

You will want to read the recommended cleaning instructions for the couch and follow them exactly. Not following the recommended care instructions for your couch can result in damaging fabric fibers and even result in fading or discoloration. Whether you’re looking for instructions on how to clean a velvet couch or how to clean a leather couch, you can decipher the codes on the label using this handy guide:

  • W (Water Cleanable): Only water-based detergents are allowed.
  • S (Solvent Cleanable): Only dry, solvent-based cleaners may be used.
  • S/W (Solvent or Water Cleanable): Both water-based or dry, solvent-based cleaners are allowed.
  • X: Only vacuuming is allowed; further cleaning will have to be done by professionals who specialize in how to clean a couch with this description.

It’s always a good idea to start cleaning any stains as soon as possible to avoid absorption into the fibers of your couch’s fabric. Before going all ham though, make sure you spot clean on an inconspicuous area first, to ensure the cleaning agent you are using won’t damage anything. Only use cleaners and cleaning methods that are deemed safe for your couch fabric or material, or trust us… you will regret it! 

Basic Couch Cleaning Technique:

Regardless of your couch fabric, the basic method for how to clean a sofa remains the same and follows a handful of steps. Check out our helpful tips for how to get stains out of a couch:

1. Loosen Dirt: You can do this by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a bristle brush to loosen any dirt and debris from the couch. Use a lint roller to remove things like pet or human hair that may be stuck to the material. Be sure to get into the corners and crevices really well, as debris tends to accumulate in the nooks and crannies. 

2. Clean Wooden or Metal Areas: Use a wood or metal cleaning solution to wipe down your sofa feet and any other non-fabric parts of your couch. If you don’t want to use a specialized formula, you can also use a simple solution of warm water and liquid dish soap to clean these couch parts.

3. Apply a Cleaning Agent: Depending on the type of material your couch is made of, use the recommended cleaning materials and follow the recommended instructions for successful cleaning. 

4. Allow to Dry Thoroughly: Once the cleaners have done their job, you can use a wet vacuum to completely remove residue left behind from your cleaning agent and any excess moisture. Then let your couch air dry and viola! Your couch should look as good as new in no time.

Tips for Different Upholstery Styles

Couches are very diverse and come in many colors and materials. Some are made of synthetic materials like microfiber or vegan leather, some are made of fabrics like velvet or corduroy, while others are made of real leather. Depending on your couch’s material, you can either use chemical cleaners or natural homemade cleaners for safe cleaning.

Fabric Upholstery: To remove stains from a couch with fabric upholstery, try using a mixture of water with soap or mild dish detergent, and white vinegar. Using a spray bottle, dampen the stained area and work the solution in using a soft bristled brush or cloth. Blot the stain with a clean damp cloth to absorb any excess cleaning solution and allow the fabric to dry. When the vinegar evaporates, so will the scent! Some examples of fabric upholstery include our Satin Weave, Linen Weave, and Mod Loom textiles. 

Synthetic Upholstery: Synthetic upholstery is made by weaving synthetic fibers into fabrics. To clean synthetic upholstery, you can use the same cleaning solution you use for fabrics, made with vinegar, soap, and water to clean any stained areas.

Repeat the steps as above and allow the couch to dry. The nice thing about synthetic upholstery is that it is both easier to clean and more durable than regular fabric. Some examples of synthetic upholstery include our Micro Suede, Vegan Suede, and Mod Velvet.

Leather Upholstery: If your couch is leather, always start by wiping the leather with a mix of water and a special leather soap called saddle soap. Use a soft cloth so you don’t cause any damage.

When spot cleaning leather, use an alcohol-dipped cotton swab directly on the stain. Dry the leather completely with a soft, absorbent cloth and as a final step, use a leather cream to moisturize and buff the leather to a shine for a fresh, clean, lived-in look.

Velvet Upholstery: Velvet is tricky sometimes. It can show creases that look like white, silvery threads, but fortunately these can be removed using a handheld steamer or by using the steam setting on a clothing iron. Work the steamer or iron in the opposite direction of the velvet strands.

If your velvet has stains, soak up excess liquid from the spill or stain with a lint-free cloth (lint can get caught in velvet fibers). Then use a cleaning solution made of dishwashing liquid and water. Blot the stain with the cleaning solution and remove as much of it as possible before allowing it to dry.

Suede Upholstery: Suede in another tricky material that requires a delicate touch when cleaning. Start by absorbing as much of the spill or stain as possible using a clean cloth. Then, using either a special suede cleaner or white vinegar, gently rub the stained area with circular motions. Once the stain starts to lift, you can use another clean, dry cloth to pat the area and remove residual moisture and cleaning solution.

No matter what kind of custom sectional or couch upholstery you’ve picked, making a point to clean it on a regular basis is the best way to keep it looking its best.  Not only does cleaning remove the inevitable ickiness that stems from longtime use, it also freshens up the look of your couch so that you don’t have an ugly eye sore sitting in the middle of your living room when company arrives!

Our Easy Clean Upholsteries that we recommend: Still worried about cleaning yourcustom couch properly? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! At Inside Weather, we like to take the extra step to give you a life-proof sofa, designed to withstand whatever life throws at it. All of our cushions & pillows feature a concealed zipper for uncomplicated, practical removal. This allows for easy spot cleaning, or washing (depending on the upholstery type). Our most durable and easiest to clean fabrics are Kid + Pet friendly, Commercial, and Performance fabrics and they can all be found on our swatch page here!