How to clean your fabric sofa

Need to get rid of stains and spills on your fabric sofa? Get started with our fabric sofa cleaning guide with our handy tips.

Cosy and welcoming, a fabric sofa is a wonderful centrepiece for any living room.

Unfortunately though, as you spend more time together watching films, having a glass of wine, or eating dinner together, your sofa may start to show its age. Slips and spills are a fact of life, and for fabric sofas, this can often result in dirty marks or even stains.

But if the worst should happen, don’t panic – follow these 5 easy steps to get your fabric sofa clean and fresh again.

1. Remove all dirt and debris from the sofa

using a handheld vacuum cleaner to clean your fabric sofa

It’s important to make vacuuming a regular part of your cleaning routine - it’s the best, and simplest way to deal with crumbs, dust and spills. You can either use a handheld vacuum cleaner, the hose or the upholstery attachment on your full sized vacuum cleaner for this. With the right attachments, you can get into all the crevices of your sofa.

Vacuum all the surfaces of the cushions, and if possible, remove them and also vacuum the base of the sofa. If you have pets and really want to ensure you remove as much hair as possible, going over your sofa with a lint roller afterwards is a good idea.

2. Don’t forget the legs

Make sure to clean any non-fabric sections too, including the legs. If they're wood or metal, wipe it down with a soft, lint-free cloth and a gentle solution of diluted soap and water to get a soft shine.

3. Check your sofa’s care label

This step is incredibly important! Most sofas will come with a label attached to your cushions telling you what can be used to clean the fabric.

4. Start spot cleaning your sofa

 Modern living room with grey fabric sofa, dark blue armchair, white cushions and feature wall
Furniture And Choice fabric sofas

Once you’ve established what can be used for your fabric sofa, get your tools ready. If you can only use solvent-based cleaners, you will have to purchase one and follow the instructions indicated on the bottle. Otherwise, if you can use water, you can DIY this! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Soft lint-free or microfibre cloths
  • A bucket

Remember to always test this out on a discreet, unseen spot on your sofa first to check the fabric is safe to clean. Once that’s done, dampen a microfibre cloth with this cleaning solution and gently blot or scrub any stained areas on your sofa.

After that, moisten another microfibre cloth with water and use this to remove the soap, rinsing regularly. Finally, use a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture from the area while gently rubbing. While it may be tempting to scrub away at visible stains, it’s important to be gentle, or you risk damaging the fibres of your sofa.

Meanwhile, if the tag says X and you have a serious stain, hiring a professional to clean your sofa is the best option.

5. Dry the sofa thoroughly

Carefully towel dry your sofa after you’ve cleaned it, and leave it to air dry overnight. If you think it might need a little help, open the window or point a fan at the area to encourage it to dry completely.

Now that you’re all set, browse our wide range of sofas to find one that suits your style.

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