Couch Cleaning


Who remembers those cold, uncomfortable, noisy, plastic furniture covers grandma used to protect her couch and chairs? While they’re not a bad idea to keep your furniture looking new, they aren’t really useful for the way we live today. We want our furniture, especially couches, to be comfortable, functional, and always look great.

But let’s face it, couches take a lot of abuse. They are a convenient indoor trampoline for kids, nap central for people and pets, and tend to take the place of the dining room table more often than we’d like to admit. That means couches need to be cleaned more than most other pieces of furniture. Lucky for you, we’re pretty much experts at showing people how to clean a couch!

How to Clean a Fabric Couch

The best way to clean a couch is the easiest way. Use these six tips to get your couch clean and fresh without too much work:

1.  Figure out your fabric. Today’s upholstery is made from fabrics that require special laundering methods; some are dry clean and some can’t be wet at all. Do yourself a favor and find your couch’s tag and decipher the label code first.

WS: Use a mild detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent.

S: Use a dry cleaner detergent only.

X: Use a vacuum only. No water.

W: You can use water to clean it.

2. Use a stiff, dry brush to loosen dried stains and get some of the debris out of the corners and sides. Brush the couch and cushions to help bring dust and dirt to the surface of the fabric. You’re just getting things ready for the vacuuming stage, so don’t brush too hard or you’ll damage the fabric.

3. Between crumbs and pet hair, there always seems to be debris and dirt lurking beneath the couch cushions. Use the brush attachment and crevice tool to get into all the nooks and crannies. Vacuum both sides of the cushions, the front of the couch, the arms, and the top of the back. These areas can harbor a lot of dirt and dust. For pet hair, use a pet hair vacuum attachment or lint roller to get what the brush and vacuum missed.

4. Baking soda isn’t just for baking and brushing your teeth—it’s also a safe, natural deodorizer and cleaner. Sprinkle baking soda all over your couch and cushions and let it sit for at least 20 minutes to remove odors and work on stains. Vacuum up the baking soda with your vacuum’s brush attachment.

5. Tackle the stains. Usually to clean a couch equals removing a stain. There are several commercial stain removers on the market, just make sure they are appropriate for your fabric (see above). Otherwise, you can try your hand at some homemade options, just make sure to spot check first! For fabric upholstery, use a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup water, and 1 tbsp of dish soap in a spray bottle to mist the area and scrub with a soft cloth until the stain lifts. For synthetics, decrease the soap to a 1/2 tbsp. A mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar works great for leather.

6. Sometimes a spot treatment just won’t cut it. Here’s how to deep clean a couch quickly and easily if your couch’s tag is marked W or WS. Pick a nice day, throw open the windows, and use a garment steamer. You’ll steam the entire couch, so don’t let things get too soaked. You only want enough moisture to loosen dirt, grime, and stains. Change any microfiber cloths often and point a fan at the couch when done to help it dry completely.

How to Clean Couch Cushions

If your couch’s cushion covers are removable for machine washing, you’re already ahead of the game. Just take them off, turn them inside-out, and wash on a gentle cycle with cold water (unless the manufacturer’s care label says differently).

For leather couch cushions, use a leather cleaner of one part water and one part distilled white vinegar. Dampen a microfiber cloth with your cleaning solution and rub it into the leather. Scrub gently to prevent discoloration or damage. Let the leather air dry.

Once the leather has dried, mix one part white vinegar and two parts linseed oil in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto a dry cloth and gently rub the oil and vinegar into the leather. Wait about 10 minutes, and then buff the finish to a nice shine with a dry microfiber cloth.

If you have suede cushions, you’ll have to clean them a bit more delicately. Use your vacuum’s brush attachment to gently remove dirt, dust, and hair. For general cleaning, you can wipe suede fabric with a cloth dampened with water. Ring out your wet cloth and be careful not to let too much water get on the fabric or you risk staining. For stubborn stains on suede, combine equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. Scrub gently.

Whether you do it yourself or use a couch cleaning service, The Maids wants to help you enjoy a cleaner, healthier home. Find out more. Go online and schedule a free estimate today.

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