How to Clean Upholstery Furniture Effectively

how to clean upholstery furniture effectively

Upholstery furniture which is also known as fabric furniture looks great and feels comfortable. Just like the fabric in clothing, upholstery can take a lot of wear and tear from dust to skin oils. No matter how much you care, over time, your favorite piece of furniture will start looking ugly. It may even start producing an odor. If you do not want this to happen then refer to this article, and know how to clean upholstery furniture effectively.

Clean off the Surface Dust

clean surface dust

Dust on any upholstery furniture will ultimately enter into the fibers if it is not removed soon. This will affect the appearance of your beloved furniture pieces like the couch, sectional, love seat, or chair. Therefore you should remove dust, food crumbs, and other loose particles regularly or at least once a week. You can use a vacuum cleaner to do that. Start the process of cleaning at the top and working toward the bottom. For corners, crannies, and other unreachable spots, use the crevice tool. Remember that, for any delicate fabrics such as linen and silk, set the vacuum suction to low.

Read the Label Carefully

cleaning code label

Different upholstery fabrics need different cleaning solutions. So before starting the deep cleaning process of your upholstery furniture, examine the tag. The use of the wrong product can create permanent damage to the fabric so take the time to understand the codes. These cleaning codes indicate a good way to clean upholstery furniture.

Here is what each sign mean:

  • W: It means the upholstery fabric can be cleaned with a water-based detergent. Upholstery with a “W” sign is made from materials such as nylon, polyester, and acetate.
  • S: It means you can only use a water-free cleaner such as a dry solvent cleaner. Upholstery with the “S” sign is made from materials like cotton, linen, and rayon.
  • WS or SW: It means you can use either of the options above to clean your upholstery furniture.
  • X: Finally, X means that upholstery fabric must be cleaned by a professional or by vacuuming.

Test the Cleaner in Hidden Spot

If you can’t find any cleaning code on your furniture then you need to test your desired cleaner. Test it on an unnoticeable part of the furniture first to see how the fabric reacts. If the product does not damage the fabric, you can proceed further. Spot testing takes a little time during your cleaning process, but it’s necessary for ensuring that colors won’t fade.

Remove any Stains Gently

remove stain

Once you have vacuumed throughout, look for stains that may present on sofas, ottomans, and other upholstery furniture. It’s good if you treat any stains quickly because they’re easier to remove when fresh. For code “s”, you will need to buy an effective dry solvent cleaner based on the sensitiveness of the fabrics. For the “W” and “WS” codes, you can make cleaner by mixing half a cup of water and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Now, apply the cleaning solution to a stain. Gently rub it with the cloth until the stain is removed. If you do have stains you could learn how to dye the sofa to hide any marks. Never scrub upholstered furniture, even when you’re dealing with tough stains because it can damage the material.

Also read, How to clean and maintain the Rattan furniture?

Let your Upholstery Furniture Dry

upholstery furniture

After cleaning, it is very much important to dry upholstery furniture properly before use. Otherwise, moisture can cause mold and mildew to develop that are harder to remove. If the weather is alright, dry your furniture outdoors in direct sunlight to eliminate germs deposits. But if it is not possible, open the window and turn on the fan to speed up the drying process inside.

Use Baking Soda to Remove Odor

baking soda

After the drying process, if you feel a bad odor then sprinkle a good amount of baking soda all over the surface. Let the soda sit for 20 to 30 minutes to absorb the bad smells from the fabric. After that, remove the soda particles using clean cloth.


Upholstery cleaning is not as easy as cleaning regular clothes or other household items. Due to its absorbent characteristic, cleaning upholstery furniture can be a source of frustration for many people. That is true, but not entirely. If you keep cleaning it weekly and remove any spills immediately when they occur, the job is quite easy.

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