After laying (and eating) on it, your sofa could likely use a freshening as part of your routine cleaning. Whether you need to remove stubborn stains or vacuum out the surprising number of crumbs hiding in every nooks and cranny.

For a fabric sofa, you’ll want to to take six basic steps:

  1. Vacuum it.
  2. Steam it.
  3. Check the fabric care codes.
  4. Spot clean stains.
  5. Refresh with a portable cleaner.
  6. Expel bacteria and odors.

How to clean upholstery on a sofa?

With your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, go over the entire sofa: back, arms, skirt, and all sides of the cushions. If the cushions are removable, take them off and vacuum the fabric underneath, going as far under the back and arms as your vacuum can reach. With the crevice tool, go along the seams, around any buttons, and along with the trim.

Use a handheld garment steamer or bursts from your steam iron to kill any dust mites lurking near the surface. Go over the entire sofa allowing just the steam to touch and penetrate the fabric. 

How to get stains out of a sofa?

First, check the fabric care codes to see what’s safe to use on the fabric:

  • W — This material can be cleaned using water.
  • S — Do not use water. Use a special solvent-based cleaner.
  • WS — This materisl can be cleaned using water or a solvent-based cleaner on this sofa.
  • X — Vacuum only.

For fabrics that can safely be cleaned with water, treat food and pet stains with a good carpet and upholstery cleaner. In a pinch, you can also use a little mild dish soap mixed in warm water. Always test any cleaner on a hidden part of the fabric for safety first.

If your cushions have removable covers, unzip them and place a paper towel between the fabric and the filling to absorb any stain and cleaner as you work. Apply the cleaner to a cloth and blot the stain carefully, working from the outside in to keep it from spreading. Apply cleaner sparingly, if needed. Once the stain is removed, dab the area with another damp cloth to rinse thoroughly and blot dry. For “S” fabrics, remove stains with a solvent-based product according to package directions.

How to deep clean a sofa?

Once the stains are gone, if you want to give the whole piece a refresh, we recommend using a portable extraction cleaner. These machines can help clean up dingy arms and headrests on your furniture, not to mention spots on carpets, rugs, and car interiors.

Simply dispense the cleaner and water mixture through the hose, agitate the fabric with the brush nozzle, and vacuum up the dirt into the tank. For solvent-only fabrics or if you don’t want to invest in a machine, it’s best to call in a professional for safe and thorough cleaning.

How to sanitize a sofa?

Once your sofa is clean and dry, you can kill any lingering germs and odors on water-safe upholstery with a fabric sanitizing spray. It will to kill 99.9% of bacteria when used as directed. Spritz from a distance of 6-8 inches away and let the fabric remain wet for five minutes to sanitize. You can also use it on pet beds, stuffed animals, kids’ sports equipment, and other hard-to-wash items — just test it in an inconspicuous area first.

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