There is nothing better than relaxing on your favorite sofa. Unfortunately, this piece of furniture suffers wear and tear more than others. The materials used for upholstery are beautiful but tough to clean, especially if there are stains. Whatever spills on these materials will be hard to clean because they are absorbents. Everything gets soaked up, and it isn’t easy to reach so deep. Also, it is not only drinks and food stains that are the problem. Dust, dirt, cooking odor, and body oils all get captured by the couch. But with these upholstery cleaning tips, you do not have to buy new furniture. In a few easy steps, your sofa will have that new shine back.


Before you attempt anything, you need to know about the codes

There are many different types of materials used for making upholstery, and every single one of them has different instructions for cleaning. Some are so sensitive that a simple thing like water will damage them. So if the tag with the code is missing from your couch, it is better to let professional cleaners do the work. Otherwise, you risk doing more damage than good. However, reading the code is easy and user-friendly, so once you understand it, you are all set. Firstly, “W” means that it is safe to use water for cleaning. “S” means to avoid water and use solvent without it, like alcohol. But make sure you only spray it lightly and not rub it in. “S/W” means that both are ok. And lastly, “X” means you should avoid them both and instead use a vacuum. 

a gloved hand holding a bottle of cleaning product

How best to clean dusty furniture

Dust is always present, but it gets hazardous to health if there is too much of it. For example, think about moving into your new home. You have brought in all the boxes and officially started settling in, but everything is covered in dirt and dust. If you want to start your new life in your new home the right way and avoid breathing problems, it is best to sanitize your new place before you start enjoying it. All the hard floors should be vacuumed before you put in the carpets. Tiles and grouts in the bathroom should be next. Do not forget to go over overhead light features and fans.


Lastly, go over floors with a mop to get any leftover dust. Once you have finished, it is time to clean sofas and couches. During the move, your upholstery soaked up a ton of dust. The best way to clean them is by vacuuming. Do not wait long to do it because the more you postpone it, the deeper the particles will go. In time your sofa will look worn, and the colors will lose their vibrancy.



Prevention is the most important upholstery cleaning tip

The best way to avoid any damages to your sofa and upholstery during the move is to protect it by applying good packing techniques. That way, your favorite sofa will not get dusty. A proper way to pack it for transport is to wrap it with a plastic sheet. It will keep all the dirt away, and you will not have to spend money and time on upholstery cleaning. However, before you do it, you should measure it to make sure it can pass through all the doors. If it is too big, you should disassemble it. It will also be easier to carry if it’s in pieces. And make sure to wrap each part individually. Tape the plastic sheet with duct tape so that there are no holes. Put all the screws and bolts in one bag, so you do not lose them because finding replacements is sometimes impossible.

the woman behind the sofa taking off the plastic sheet that covers it

Best way to clean stains

Food and grease stains are the most comment enemy of upholstery. The most efficient way to clean them is to mix into a cup of cold water a tablespoon of detergent or dish soap. Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and blot the stain. For more stubborn grease spots, add a dusting of baking soda. Because it takes time for this mixture to start working, make sure to leave it for about 20 minutes. Likewise, always try to react as soon as the accident happens. The faster you start cleaning it, the less time it has to enter all the material layers. Also, proper care will make your upholstery look new again, even on an old and well-used couch. After 20 minutes have passed, dust off everything with a brush, and if there are any residues, gently clean them with dishwashing liquid.


How to get rid of bad odors

If you love to cook or have a dog, naturally, your furniture will pick up a bit of a bad smell. There is no way to protect your upholstery from it, but there is a way to get rid of it. Baking soda is a natural absorbent that soaks up all the odors and leaves a neutral, almost nonexistent smell. Put it into a saltshaker and generously springe all-over upholstery. It will take some time for it to start working, but generally, one hour is enough. However, for more stubborn ones, it is best to leave it longer. So if you are trying to get rid of pet odors before selling a house, let it work overnight. Once it has worked its magic, thoroughly vacuum all the baking soda.

dog sitting on a sofa

With regular upholstery cleaning, your furniture will last longer

Regular maintenance will prolong the life expectancy of all your furniture. It is why you should never leave dust, stains, and odor too long on upholstery. However, before you attempt anything, always read the cleaning instructions. It is better to be informed, so you do not make a bigger mess with a wrong cleaning product. These upholstery cleaning tips are for more eco-friendly solutions, but sometimes the stains are so persistent that nothing seems to work. In that case, use chemical products for furniture cleaning that you can buy in a store. They are more aggressive, but they always do the job.