Fabric upholstery gives furniture a warm and cozy feel and creates a friendly atmosphere. Over time, the fabric gets dusty and develops stains. By the time we realize it’s time to clean it, the sofa is usually already quite dirty. A solution is to clean your sofa regularly. Ideally, twice a year. But do you know how to clean a fabric sofa? Better learn on time what to do and how to keep your sofa clean, fresh, and beautiful.
Things to keep in mind before you start
Keeping your living room flawlessly clean is a challenge, especially if you have little children, pets, or both. However, it doesn’t mean that it can’t or shouldn’t be clean and tidy. While you can achieve much with simple prevention, you will have to clean it now and then. For that purpose, you will need to know:
what type of cleaning is recommended for your sofa
which cleaning supplies you may use on fabric
the steps in the cleaning process.
If you have bought a sofa that comes with covers – great. It makes cleaning quick and easy. Simply vacuum it every couple of days and wash the covers occasionally. Don’t do it too often because the fabric will begin to deteriorate.
Furthermore, if you’re moving soon and planning a transfer to the Golden State, take the time to clean and dry your furniture first. A cross country move to California is no joke and besides finding the best movers, you want to do everything in your power to keep your furniture intact. If you pack your pieces while they’re still wet, the fabric can get smelly and even moldy! Ideally, you should research eco-friendly cleaning and use sustainable methods suitable for the furniture upholstery and safe for nature.
Know your sofa to clean it correctly
Just like clothes, fabric sofas come with a tag. It is usually attached to a back cushion or underneath the seating cushions. Either way, it should be easily accessible and visible. Apart from the manufacturer identity and batch number, the label contains a description of materials used for outer covering and filling and basic instructions on cleaning.
Advised cleaning method
The type of cleaning chemicals you use makes all the difference between a clean sofa and a ruined piece of furniture. Often, a tag on a sofa shows a code X, W, W/S, or S, which stands for cleaning instructions.
The X mark indicates vacuuming only. These fabric sofas are the most difficult to maintain. Light brushing or gentle vacuuming is the only cleaning treatment allowed. On the other hand, water-based cleaning is labeled with W and marks furniture that is easiest to clean. As long as you don’t soak it in water.
Fabric sofas labeled with W/S belong to low-maintenance furniture, too. The cleaning code denotes water and solvent-based cleaning type. It means that both options will work fine. If the sofa is marked with S, the manufacturer strongly recommends only dry (solvent-based) cleaning.
Prepare the right cleaning equipment and supplies
The experts at Verified Movers state that getting adequate equipment and supplies is an integral part of any task, cleaning included. It ensures that your fabric sofa is thoroughly cleaned and protected. The last thing you want while cleaning your home is to ruin upholstery on your sofa through negligence.
To clean all four types of sofas, you will need a vacuum cleaner, dusting brush, and microfiber cloths or paper towels. The fabric sofa you can clean with water requires either a washing machine or a soft sponge. Also, you can use a garment steamer to disinfect the fabric.
Speaking of cleaning supplies, they depend on the cleaning code. To remove stains from fabric sofas you can wash with water, use laundry detergent, dish soap, or white distilled vinegar. You can use baking soda, too, but also commercial cleaning chemicals for fabric sofas. The last two are the only ones recommended for sofas that require dry-cleaning agents. Additionally, you can use fabric sanitization sprays on sofas that belong to the solvent-based cleaning type.
A smart cleaning checklist
If you’re unsure where to start and how to clean a fabric sofa, take a look at this checklist:
Start with checking the label on your sofa to determine the cleaning type it belongs to. We can’t stress enough how important this step is.
If possible, carefully remove the covers from the sofa and its cushions, brush the covers, and wash them if allowed by the cleaning code.
Put aside the cushions, vacuum the sofa thoroughly, and then vacuum the cushions, as well.
If you can wash your sofa with water, steam-clean it first. It will disinfect the fabric and eliminate dust mites and germs. Always try the garment steamer on a small hidden part of the sofa first.
Mix one part of distilled water, a spoonful of dish soap, and three parts vinegar. Remove the stains by combining the ingredients in a bottle, spraying the solution over a stain, and gently scrubbing with a sponge or microfiber cloth.
Should you need to remove a stain from an S-type fabric sofa, put some baking soda directly on it and leave for half an hour. Otherwise, use commercial cleaners recommended for the fabric on your couch.
Remove any cleaning residues with a damp cloth from W and W/S types and a paper towel from an S-type fabric sofa.
The less you soak the W-type sofa with water, the better. Drying will be easier and faster. You can dry the fabric either by dabbing it with a dry microfiber cloth and paper towels or with a hairdryer from a safe distance.
Why should you use distilled water? Minerals present in tap water leave a white residue after the water evaporates. Distilled water doesn’t contain minerals making it the ideal cleaning solution ingredient.
Finally, make sure to use a cloth in a neutral color. This way, you will avoid the transfer of color from the cloth to the fabric while scrubbing.
Now you know how, but do you have the time?
Even the best cleaning guides are not enough if you can’t manage to follow them. A busy lifestyle gets in the way of regular home cleaning, especially deep cleaning routines. On a positive note, cleaning experts can’t wait for you to give them a challenge. Not only do they know how to clean a fabric sofa, they know how to clean your fabric sofa.