How To Clean A Couch

A couch is often left out when it’s time for spring cleaning, this is probably because many of us aren’t sure of how to clean a couch. Just like a mattress, your couch can accumulate bacteria and germs over time.  The crumbs, spilt beverages, pet dander, dust, dirt, and oil build up on your couch can make it look dreary. Luckily, this article explains how to clean a couch, so you can freshen up your couch and make it the comfy place you never want to leave.

The first thing you should do before cleaning is to check the care label where you will see a specific set of letters. This is what they stand for:

  • W – this means that water can be used to clean the couch.
  • WS – a mild or dry cleaning detergent and steam vacuum can be used on the couch.
  • X – no water, Vacuum only.
  • S – clean the couch with dry laundry detergent only.

Read the following 5 steps if you want to know how to clean a couch:

1. Vacuum The Couch

Regardless of the material of your couch, vacuuming is always the first go-to as a defence against dirt build-up. Use a vacuum with an upholstery brush or a handheld vacuum to start. Vacuum the couch and crevices to get rid of dirt, pet hair, and crumbs. If you can remove the cushions, take them off the couch and vacuum both sides. 

2. Clean Wood Or Metal Parts

Wipe down all non-fabric areas of the couch with a cloth, dampened with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid.

3. Check The Tag, Remove Stains

Look for the label and check the codes so you know how the couch should be cleaned. To remove stains, you can use a commercial couch cleaner or make your own natural cleaner. 

Clean your couch by fabric type:

Fabric upholstery: Mix a quarter cup of vinegar with 3 quarters of warm water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Pour into a spray bottle and spray the mixture over the stained areas. Scrub with a clean cloth until the stain lifts, then with another clean cloth, wipe up the soap residue. Dry the areas with a towel.

Leather upholstery: Add half a cup of olive oil to a quarter cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the surface of your couch and the stains, then buff with a cloth.

Synthetic upholstery: Mix half a cup of vinegar, 1 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of washing-up liquid in a spray bottle. Mist the stained area and scrub with a soft cloth until no stains remain. 

4. Dry The Couch

With a dry towel you can dry excess water and cleaning products from the couch, then let the couch air dry. You may want to set a fan in front of your couch so it can dry faster. Water left on the couch cushions or fabric can cause mildew.

Couch Cleaning Tips

Using a lint roller

If you have a fabric couch, you should keep a lint roller close by that can be used to extract lint, hair, or dust. You can use a lint roller or tape on any size of a fabric couch. 

Leather – soap and conditioner

For a leather couch, use soap and conditioner to maintain the leather and keep the couch clean. Use a damp, clean cloth to wipe leather couches at least once a week.


For a fabric couch, use a steam cleaner to clean dirt and stains from the couch. Or, use your iron on its “steam” setting. Move the iron back and forth across stained areas of your couch.

Use these methods for cleaning couches at home. You should clean your couches regularly to prevent the build-up of crumbs, dust, and pet hair. Although cleaning a couch can seem impossible, cleaning it will extend the life of your couch and keep it looking new for longer.

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