How to clean your new Fabric Sofa
How to Clean a Fabric Sofa for Stains
1. Get to the stains quickly. As soon as a spill or stain occurs, get to cleaning it immediately. Waiting too long before treating a stain – even a matter of a few minutes – can cause the stain to set, making it harder to get out.
2. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Before using any cleaning detergents or solutions, check the manufacturer’s instructions for care, which can usually be found on the sofa’s tags. Failing to use safe cleaning products could mean permanently damaged upholstery.
3. Check the cleaning codes for your fabric sofa. You know those random letters on your sofa’s tags? Those are actually codes! Check out the table below for the list of codes – and what they mean.
— Cleaning Code for Fabric Sofas Chart —
|Cleaning Code||What it Means|
|W||"Water-based cleaner." Only use a water-based cleaner to clean the upholstery. A water-based cleaner is a type of solution that uses water as the main component.|
|S/W||"Solvents and water-based cleaners." It is safe to use both solvents and water-based cleaners.|
|S||"Solvents." Only use a solvent to clean the upholstery. A solvent is a type of solution that uses a cleaning chemical as the main component.|
How to Clean a Fabric Sofa with a Steamer
What you’ll need: An upholstery steam cleaner. Make sure before using that the manufacturer’s recommendations state it is safe for a fabric couch. Note, too, that just because your sofa is water-safe doesn’t make it heat-safe. As with other types of cleaners, always test spot an area before going full-steam (pun-intended)!
What to do:
- Read the manual. There’s a reason why a steam cleaner comes with instructions. Read them carefully before beginning.
- Vacuum first. Vacuuming your sofa – or anything, for that matter – before cleaning makes it a whole lot easier to clean it. Dirt, dust and other loose particles won’t get in the way and will give your steam cleaner a clean canvas to work from.
- Keep the air circulated. Turn on a fan and open all the windows in the room for a strong cross breeze. This will help to keep the air circulation strong, preventing moisture buildup and residue.
- Spot test an area first. This step is so important, it bears repeating. Pick a small hidden spot to test the cleaner, such as the back or the inside of the sofa’s skirt (if it has one, and if the inside material is made of the same fabric as the outside of the sofa).
- Let the sofa air dry. Don’t sit on the sofa while it’s still wet. Keep the windows open to help dry out the room. Be aware that it may take leaving the sofa untouched overnight for it to fully dry.
- Vacuum last. Vacuuming again, once you’ve steamed the upholstery, will help ensure that any dirt that was loosened by the cleaner gets removed. Just remember to wait until the sofa is completely dry before vacuuming!
How to Disinfect a Sofa
Need a quick DIY disinfectant spray for fabric? In a spray bottle, mix a diluted essential oil known for its antibacterial properties (tea tree is a good one) with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Lightly spray your sofa, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then run a vacuum over the sofa's surface!