How To Clean Your Leather, Microfiber, Suede or Fabric Couch

how to clean a couch

Have you taken a look at your couch lately? Does it look dirty? If you haven’t cleaned your couch recently, then there is a good chance that it’s moderately soiled. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to get it clean and looking new again.



However, you must remember that couches are made with a wide range of materials, so you’ll need to know what type of material yours is made from. Some are created using leather while others are made using cotton.

The reason why most homeowners turn to the Internet to find out how to clean their couch is because most household cleaners don’t work very well on this type of furniture.

It’s very common for household cleaners to leave many spots behind. The other problem is that most professional cleaners charge a hefty amount of money to clean a couch and similar types of furniture.

Identify The Material

First, you’ll want to identify the exact material that your couch is made from. To do this, just look for the fabric tag that it came with. On the tag, you’ll find a letter code, which reveals the information you’re looking for.

If it has a ‘W’, it means you can clean the couch with a water-based detergent. An ‘S’ means it must be dry cleaned, or it must be cleaned with a water-free detergent.

A ‘WS’ means the material can be dry cleaned, or you can use a water-based cleaner. An ‘X’ on the tag means you can only vacuum clean the material, or you’ll need to hire a professional cleaner.

If there is an ‘O’, it means the couch is made from organic material, so it should only be washed with cold water. Based on the fabric tag, you’ll need to make sure to purchase the correct cleaner for your couch.

There are different cleaners for different materials, like upholstery and leather.

Start Cleaning

First, you’ll want to brush off caked-on dirt using a bristle brush. Make sure to take note of the dirtiest areas of your couch, which are usually the armrests and headrests. These areas will probably need a little bit more cleaning attention.

Next, you can remove surface debris, like food crumbs, dirt, pet hair and dust, using a vacuum. Make sure to use the brush attachment that came with your vacuum. Remove the cushions and thoroughly clean every nook and cranny.

It’s also important to clean the bottom of the couch, which can be accomplished with help from a friend or family member.

How to Clean Couches With ‘WS’ or ‘W’ Upholstery

To clean this type, just add about 4 ounces of carpet or upholstery cleaner and water into the tank of a steam vacuum. Before going all in, make sure to rub a small portion of the cleaning solution onto the couch to make sure it doesn’t damage it.

What you’re doing with spot testing is making sure the cleaning solution doesn’t remove dye from the fabric, also called color bleeding.

Next, attach your upholstery nozzle or hose and turn on the steam vacuum. All you have to do now is use your steam vacuum like you normally would on the couch. Make sure you overlap your passes with the vacuum nozzle to avoid streaking.

You can clean the incredibly dirty areas by criss-crossing the nozzle over the spots.

How to Clean a Leather Couch

The process to clean leather material is slightly different. First, add about ¼ a tablespoon of leather cleaner with one quart of distilled water. Mix the solution well to form some useable suds.

Next, wet a cleaning cloth with the solution and make sure to wring it out. Use the cloth and wipe down small section of the couch at a time. Use a separate cloth dipped in plain distilled water and use it to wipe the soap residue from the couch.

It’s important to make sure you remove all of the soap residue from the couch. You can use a dry cloth to dry any of the wet areas of the couch. When you’re finished, place a small dab of leather protector to the cloth and proceed to apply it to the entire couch in small sections.

Additional Couch Cleaning Tips

If it’s made from upholstery, you can apply a generous amount of baking soda to it before vacuuming. Another great tip is to repeat scrubbing as needed, but you should scrub an area more than twice.

If you don’t want to use a soapy cleaning solution, you can find none-water based upholstery cleaners in local stores. Baking soda is exceptionally effective for removing troublesome odors.

Don’t be afraid to sprinkle a generous amount of it before vacuuming it up. With these techniques and tips, you now know how to clean a couch quickly and effectively!


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