How to Clean a Sofa

how to clean a sofa

Sooner or later, you will need to clean your sofa. So, you need to follow the best step-by-step guide with images. Fortunately for you we have written this guide

Sofas are undoubtedly the embellishing elements of a home. A good sofa set represents the choice and preference of homeowners for comfort. However, besides uplifting the grace of your house, they are also vulnerable to getting worn out early if not taken good care. Sofas are a comfort as well as a luxury for they demand regular care and conditioning to retain their beauty and essence.

You need to carefully clean your sofa so that the dust and other toxins are removed which hamper the quality of their fabric and leather. This article brings about keen insights into how to clean a sofa and maintain it at home, if you want you can also choose professional cleaning.


Beginning with General Tips

Before cleaning your sofas and read step by step my guide about how to clean a couch, you need to keep in mind a few very easy tips to ensure that the best results can be achieved. 

Keep your Sofa Away from Sunlight

Make sure that your sofa is placed in a safe and dark place where there is no interruption of sunlight coming directly from doors or windows. The reason for doing this is some sofa covers are sensitive to sunlight especially some leather ones. Sunlight contains UV radiation, which is not just harmful to humans, but these also affect the sofa quality. Prolonged exposure to sunlight might cause damage to your sofa texture, fabric, and wood. The color fades and becomes dull, and the wood gets weaker. Therefore, it is recommended to keep your sofas away from direct sunlight.

Avoid Chemical Cleaners

It is strictly forbidden to use chemical cleaners for the purpose of cleaning sofas. The chemical cleaners might give the best results in washrooms and kitchens to give shine your utensils, however, these are certainly not meant for cleaning your delicate sofas. These chemicals contain acidic elements like detergents that show sharp reactions. Any case of using these materials on the sofa might bring damaging results to your furniture. For sofas, other cleaning agents will be discussed later in the article.

Those who have sofas with removable cushions are at the advantage of preventing prompt damage to sofas. Just flip the cushions and reverse them by placing them sides upside down. This will not erase stains; rather it will not let previous ones spread more. 


Cleaning a Leather Covered Sofa

Leather is a very delicate and smooth material for the sofas which gives them a soft and smooth texture. There are further different forms of leather. It is used in various products in our households. In the case of leather sofas, constant maintenance is required to keep it in the pristine state.

leather before and after

Use Aniline to Clean

When a hide undergoes the dyeing process and it has been tanned, aniline is used to streamline the dye. Aniline is preferred for it is more effective in preventing the scratches and their prominence. If your sofa gets a scratch and aniline is applied to it, the scratches will get mixed up in the overall look of the sofa. Hence, no wear and tear effects will be visible. 

Once or twice a week clean your leather sofa by soaking a clean cloth in aniline and wiping off the stains if you find any. Moreover, you can also use a vacuum-attachment brush that is easily available in the market so that you can clean off the crumbs of food and debris from sofa corners and center an dirty areas. In this way, you can prevent the particles from reaching tough corners of the sofa that are difficult to reach.

If you want your sofa to have a long lifetime and retained quality, then make it a habit to weekly apply a conditioner on your leather sofa so that it remains hydrated and shiny. There is also a cleaning wax available in your nearest market which if applied can retain the shape and condition of your sofa for almost six months.

leather conditioner

And if you accidentally spill some drink or food crumb

In case if you accidentally spill some drink or food crumb on your leather couch, then instantly take a dry (with baking sofa) or moisturized cloth and place it on the spill. Smoothly rub it so that the spills are soaked into the cloth. Temporarily, this will save your couch from any stain. It is not advisable to use a wet cloth and scrub the stain. This will spread the stain and it may get soaked into the leather. Let it dry, and then use a dry cloth to remove the dry spills. There will surely be no stain left and your sofa will be cleaned. 

clean a leather sofa


Cleaning  Fabric Covered Sofa

In contrast to the leather sofas which required refreshers and sprays to clean stains and spills, fabric sofa has a different mantra. It is advisable to use a vacuum cleaner to clean a fabric sofa so that dust particles stuck in the fabric fibers get sucked by the vacuum pump. For that, you must make sure that the head of the vacuum cleaner is well-cleaned and wiped before use. If it is already dirt and the canister has dust in it, the cleaning process might not be much help then. You must know that only a clean tool can erase dust from your house. So, surety of the tools being clean is your prior-responsibility. 

vacuum cleaner

Address The Stains and Spills Soon

Must keep it in mind that the sooner you address the stains and spills, the better your chances of removing them will be. This will keep your fabric neat and clean always. Otherwise, you will regret to see that the spills will settle down in your fabric and become a part of them. In case, you spill some colorful drink, do not ever rush to scrub the spill for the sake of cleaning it. This will prove dangerous to your fabric, the fabric will soak the liquid further and the stain can spread as well. Once you put a dry cloth to get the spill soaked in it, apply a blow dryer so that the absorption of the spill can be stopped. The results will be quite surprising.

When you complete the procedure, note if anything needs to be done. If you find any blot spot or spill there, get a half cup of water and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent in it. Slowly rub the remains of spills and clean the stain. Make sure that the stain is completely dry before you try to remove it.

Just a warning, never use any product that has bleaching agent, this will spoil the color of the fabric as well as destroy the texture.

clean a fabric sofa



Cleaning Microfiber Covered Sofa

Like fabric, there is another category, a type of it that is also used in the covering of sofas. It requires similar treatment as the fabric does. It is a type of synthetic fabric that is acquired through intense weaving. Microfiber is resistant to strong wear and tears and it can prove to be very safe and elegant.

There are a few factors that are commonly known to cause spills and blots on all kinds of sofas. These require certain instructions and treatment (there are different ways to clean a sofa according to the situation=. These are as follows:

vacuum microfiber sofa

Soft Drinks

In case you receive a stain or spill from a liquid like wine, do not rush to get a wet cloth and rub your sofa. It’ll destroy the fabric. Take a white absorbent paper and press it on the stain to remove the stains. In order to get the further effect, you need to wash the stain with colorless and mild soapsuds so that the hard stain gets removed. This solution is obtained by shaking the container intensely. Take a few drops of diluted alcohol and drop them on the remains of stain. Wait for few minutes till the site gets dry or dry it with a hairdryer. If the warm air hits directly at the center of the damp are, it gets dried quickly and the stain is removed. You can also use a vinegar solution if the stain does not leave. Add a few spoons of vinegar into the water. This will remove those stains.


The solution for beer might seem similar to other soft drinks and liquors, but it is slightly different. For any stain use a white un-abrasive cloth to remove the stain. But, in extreme cases, use a diluted solution of 3% alcohol and add it in the warm water of about 40 degree Celsius temperature. Dab with absorbent paper or a white, non-abrasive cloth and then remove the stain. This solution is effective in the case of beer. Now you have to wait, do not dry the site immediately with warm air, this will make the stain permanent if it is not completely removed. The stain will most probably be removed. But if you still see some stains, wait for a day, and repeat the process the next day. This will help in removing or lightening the stain.



Removing coffee spills is similar to removing soft drinks or liquor. Get a dry non-abrasive white paper and put it on the spill. Soak the spill into the paper and then remove the stain. In extreme cases of stain resistance, apply colorless mild soapsuds to remove stains. You can also add a 10% solution of ammonia diluted in water and then pour it on the damp site. Wait or dry immediately to see the results. The warm air helps in drying the stains quickly and this will prove if the stains are removed or not.


If you accidentally drop oil on your sofas and it is risky to let it dry out there, then you need to follow some common steps. Put a white non-abrasive paper on the spill and absorb any excess oil. Then sprinkle some cornstarch or in case of unavailability, use normal talcum powder. This will ensure all the moisture is absorbed, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the powder. If the stain remains, then apply colorless soap and wash the stain. Absorb the stain with the help of an absorbent paper so that spill does not spread on the sofa. If stain is persistent, then take a cloth soaked into the solution of perchloroethylene. Place this cloth on the stain and rub it. Dry the damp site and see if the results are positive and the stain is removed. 


Cleaning a Velvet Covered Sofa

Apart from fabric, leather and suede sofas, this type of sofa upholstery has a peculiar essence. Velvet is a much-loved material that is often used in the manufacturing of luxury sofas. Among all, cotton velvet and tufted velvet are the most coveted ones. It seems similar to the fabric. There are velvet-upholstered sofas that are luxurious in outlook and comfort; however, these are also delicate and high-maintenance. These require vacuum cleaning just like fabric sofas. These look quite shiny and tidy in their looks and these are available in almost all colors. 

clean velvet sofa

Cleaning Process with Vacuum Pump

For its cleaning, you need to consider the same rules for your vacuum pump as you followed in fabric cleaning. You must clean the brisk of the vacuum to ensure the cleanliness of your tools. Vacuum your velvet carefully and smoothly so that after cleaning, there is a shimmery and smooth look on the surface of the sofa. By doing so regularly and consciously will help you preserve the quality and essence of your sofa for many years.

There is one thing you must be careful of and you must evade that. Avoid your sofa from getting crush marks because velvet sofas cannot bear these marks and start to deteriorate. If you intensely use the sofa or give much wear and tear, silver lines will start appearing across your sofa.

vacuum pump

How to Remove These Lines

However, there are chances that you can recover from those lines. Just give your velvet sofa gentle steam and wait. Slowly brush the opposite sides of the velvet to remove the wrinkles. Hopefully, the crushes will be removed after a while. In case of a spill, rush to the kitchen and get a dry cloth as you did in the context of fiber sofa. Take the wet cloth and put it on the spill so that it gets soaked into the cloth. Do not scrub otherwise it will spread and cause more trouble. In an extreme case, use the dishwashing detergent and apply it on the stains. There will be no stains left after that.


Cleaning ShipSkeen Covered Sofa

Sheepskins are a luxurious material for sofa. Many people love different varieties of sheepskin for covering their sofas. These give a comfortable, cozy, and relaxing vibe. Since these are made up of genuine sheepskin, these contain the feature of controlling heat temperatures. These regulate temperature and are the best sofas for the summers. Unlike all other delicate and highly sensitive sofas, these are pure and original sofas which not only maintain their luxurious outlook but also are environment friendly.

Like other sofas, these also require regular cleaning. Sheepskin contains furs which often get disheveled. To smoothen and untie their furs, you need to keep brushing them often to maintain their fluffy appearance.

When it comes to the removal of stains and spills, then you can apply the same formula of using a cloth. This time, you have to dampen the cloth so as to remove the stain and then dry it. For deep cleaning, you must try a dry cleaner.



Hence, the above mentioned are the steps for taking care of your sofas of almost all kinds. These steps focus on how to clean a sofa at home and doing this activity yourself. Different factors can cause damage and affect your sofas (read my get about to get urine out couch). You need to be careful of all potential threats and take necessary measures in case of any damage. The sooner you take off the stains the longer your sofa will sustain.