Couch Cleaning 101

After months of lying on it, eating on it, and sitting on it, your couch could probably use, at the very least, a good vacuuming. It’s amazing how many crumbs and other debris find their way in between the cushions, isn’t it? 

Whether you’re looking to freshen your couch up a bit or give it a deep-down clean, we’ve got you covered with the following information. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about cleaning a couch. 

Step 1: Steam Cleaning and Vacuuming

The first thing to do is steam clean your couch’s upholstery. Using a handheld garment steamer or the steam from a steam iron, blast the entire surface of the couch with steam. Don’t touch the fabric with the steamer/iron. Instead, allow the steam itself to penetrate the fabric. This will kill any bacteria lurking on or just below the surface. 

Following the steam cleaning, use your vacuum to remove dust, dirt, hair, and crumbs from the couch. Remove the cushions if you can and vacuum underneath them too, pressing the vacuum attachment as far into the cracks and crevices as it will go. 

Step 2: Stain Removal

Your couch should have a label somewhere that tells you what kind of cleaner is safe to use to remove stains. The label will have a letter code on it. Refer to the list below for an explanation of these codes. 

  • W – This means water-based cleaners are safe to use. 
  • W/S – This code indicates that water and/or solvent-based cleaners are recommended.
  • S – This means only solvent-based cleaners are safe to use
  • X – No cleaners are recommended. You should do nothing but vacuum the fabric. 

Always test a hidden spot of fabric to determine colorfastness before attempting to remove any visible stains. Work from the outside of the stain inward to prevent it from spreading. Always blot, and never scrub as this could damage the fabric fibers. Lastly, allow the area to dry completely after cleaning and then vacuum. 

Step 3: Deep Cleaning

After stain removal, you can give the whole couch a deep clean using a portable extraction cleaner. Simply follow the instructions for the machine. 

If you’re uncomfortable with doing this step yourself or if your couch fabric calls for it, contact a professional to get the job done safely.

Step 4: Sanitizing

After cleaning and allowing the couch to dry, you can get rid of any lingering odors using a fabric sanitizing spray. There are several on the market to choose from. Stand about eight inches away from the couch and spritz a light mist of sanitizing spray over the entire surface. Allow it to air dry. 

Your couch probably sees a lot of action in a given day, which is why it’s important to give it a good cleaning from time to time. If you follow the steps outlined above, you can keep your couch in tip-top shape, so it looks great for many years to come.