Fabric sofas are warm, comfortable, and soft to the touch. They look fantastic, too. The downfall is when it comes to cleaning. Eventually, something is going to get dropped or spilled on your couch and you will need to clean it. Unless you are willing to sit on those ugly, hot and sticky plastic covers. How do you get your fabric couch clean? Here are the steps:
Read the manufacturer’s instructions:
You should start by reading the cleaning instructions that came with your sofa before you try to get out the stains or before general cleaning. If you don’t follow their instructions, you could void your warranty, or even worse, damage your sofa.
Check the tags:
If you are like most of us, you didn’t keep the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t worry, there is another place to find the information. Check for tags on the back or bottom of your cushions. It should tell you if the fabric is water-soluble, and may include cleaning instructions.
Understanding the cleaning tag to avoid problems:
Usually, you will see one of four letters on the tag. Each letter has a specific meaning. Here is what they mean:
• W – It is safe to clean the fabric on your sofa with water.
• S – Solvent-based cleaners only. Do not use water. (Similar to dry-cleaning.)
• WS – You can use either water or solvent-based cleaners on your sofa.
• X – Do not use water or solvent-based cleaners, vacuum only.
How to Remove Stains from Your Sofa
Does your sofa’s cleaning tag have an X? Then you can only vacuum it while using attachments. Sofas tagged with an S require a solvent-based cleaner. Follow the directions on the container.
The following instructions are for sofas with either a W or WS tag. Do not use these instructions for any other fabrics.
Gather the following ingredients and cleaning tools:
• Your vacuum and upholstery attachment
• 3, or more, microfiber cloths. White is preferred, or choose a light color which will not bleed.
• Distilled water (Note: tap water is usually high in minerals which can leave behind a white residue.)
• Liquid dish soap
• White vinegar
Always test clean on a small out-of-sight area of your sofa first.
Step 1 – Vacuum your couch thoroughly. You want to remove any loose dirt and debris so you do not create rub more dirt into the fabric.
Step 2 – Add 2 to 3 cups of distilled water to your bucket. Add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. (Do not use more than 1 tablespoon.)
Step 3 – Dip your microfiber cloth in the solution and wring it out.
Step 4 – Gently press the microfiber cloth against the stain. You want to blot out the stain. Do not rub or you may damage the soft fabric.
Step 5 – Dampen a new microfiber cloth with clean distilled water. Blot the cleaned area to remove the soap.
Step 6 – Use a dry microfiber cloth to blot away the moisture.
Tip: You can speed up the drying process by pointing a fan at the area you cleaned.
Can I Steam Clean Stubborn Stains On My Sofa?
An upholstery steam cleaner can be used on some sofas marked with a W or WS on the cleaning labels. Make sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions before using a steam cleaner. Many fabrics that can withstand water and solvent cleaners cannot withstand the high heats from a steam cleaner.