How To Clean A Couch: Tips On Cleaning Couch Cushions And Fabric

How To Keep Your Couch Clean And Stain-Free (Even When You Have Kids)

May 19, 2021 Updated June 17, 2021

how to clean a couch
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You removed pee stains from all the mattresses in your home, tackled some easy DIY home projects, and decluttered your home. Well done! Up next: Take a long, hard look at the furniture in your living room. If you haven’t cleaned your couch lately, don’t worry, we won’t judge. But you should clean it regularly to keep bacteria, stains, and smells at bay. Your couch is no doubt a high-trafficked piece of furniture, which means there are lots of hands, feet, and tushies on it all the time. There’s bound to be a constant rotation of crumbs nestled in the couch cushions, so it’s crucial to make it a habit to clean your couch. So how do you clean a couch? Here are all the tips you need.

How to Clean a Fabric Couch

You should always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before you clean furniture. There might be a tag on your couch, but if not, see if you can find the answer online. You don’t want to damage the fabric by using the wrong cleaning method accidentally.

You might find a key for what to use to clean your couch that has the following:

  • WS: Use a dry-cleaning detergent or mild detergent with a steam vacuum.
  • W: Use water to clean.
  • X: Use only a vacuum, no water.
  • S: Use dry-cleaning detergent only.

Now that you have that figured out let’s get cleaning. The first thing you want to do is get all the debris. Using a dry brush, vacuum, or handheld vacuum, loosen the debris and crumbs and sweep it all up.

From here, if you need to shampoo the couch, follow the appropriate instructions for the fabric of your couch (water, detergent, or a combination). Then rotate the couch cushions to keep them from getting worn all in the same place.

How to Get Stains Out of a Couch

Couch stains are, well, inevitable when you have little ones around. If you have a couch that can handle cleaning with detergent, then you’re in luck because stains will need all the help they can get. If your stain is still wet, the first thing to do is get as much of the liquid out as possible. Sprinkle baking soda over it and let it sit long enough to soak up some liquid. Vacuum or wipe the baking soda off and then treat the stain with an appropriate cleaner. You could use a solution of laundry detergent and water and even some vinegar. You could also add lemon juice if it doesn’t damage the fabric, but make sure you test any cleaning solution on a small piece of the material that won’t show (just in case it goes haywire).

Using your cleaning solution, either spray it on or dab it on and let it sit to draw out the stain. Repeat this process as many times as necessary. Hopefully, you attacked the stain quickly because that’ll make it more likely to come clean. After treating the stain, dab the rest of the liquid out with a dry towel and let it air dry thoroughly.

How to Clean a Smelly Couch

If your couch stinks, you should start by thoroughly cleaning it, including with soap (as long as the fabric allows). You could use a steam cleaner for a deeper clean. Spray the couch with a deodorizing spray when you’ve cleaned it to ensure a continued fresh smell.

If the smell results from something that left a stain (urine, for example), follow the stain-removal instructions for whatever that stain might be and then hit the couch with a deodorizing spray.

How often should you clean a couch?

It’s not a bad idea to clean your couch weekly, but not necessarily a deep clean. Make it a habit of vacuuming the sofa whenever you vacuum the floor to keep the dirt and crumbs to a minimum so when you do deep clean, it won’t be such a taxing job. You could also use a dry brush, a handheld vacuum, or even a damp cloth that will pick up crumbs.

How to Clean Couch Cushions That Cannot Be Removed

Much like your couch, your couch cushions also need to be cleaned regularly. You can vacuum your pillow the same way you would the sofa, but you can also beat your cushions. Bring them outside your home and bang them against the wall to get rid of dust. After washing your pillows, put them out in the sun to dry instead of the dryer. And always check the label on your cushions for specific instructions!