How to Clean Fabric Sofa at Home

Your sofa is probably used a lot. It can quickly look dull with old spills and constant wear and tear. We’re going to show you how to clean fabric sofa easily and with little effort. Before you start cleaning, there are a few things to consider. First, we suggest that you check out the manufacturer’s instructions if you still have them. Before trying to get rid of stains or freshen up your sofa, find out what the do’s and don'ts are. If you don’t have the instructions anymore, check for instructions online based on the kind of fabric the sofa is made of. Alternatively, check out the tags that may still be on the sofa cushions. The tags may tell you exactly how to clean fabric sofa based on your couch type.




There are four letters that the tag will include. Here’s what they stand for:


W - it’s safe to use water to clean the material your sofa is made of.

S - don’t use water. Use a solvent-based cleaner instead.

WS - You can use both water and a solvent-based cleaner.

X - Vacuum only.


Don’t Disregard Cleaning Methods on the Tags


Do follow what the tags have instructed. While water may seem harmless, it can end up leaving a stain on certain materials. You don’t want to risk actually making your sofa look worse while trying to revive the look. If the tags suggest not doing anything but vacuuming the sofa, listen to this sound advice. There’s a reason for it.


How to Clean Fabric Sofa Stains


When your sofa has a tag with an “X,” vacuum it with an attachment. Sofas that have the “S’ on their tag will need to be cleaned with a solvent-based cleaner and not water. For sofas that have tags marked “W” or “WS,” this is how you can get stained out:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment.

  • Three microfiber cloths

  • A bucket

  • Distilled water. You don’t want to use tap water as the minerals can actually leave residue on your sofa material. You can distill your own water or purchase a jug for very little at a grocery store.

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Distilled white vinegar


We suggest you do a spot test in an inconspicuous area just to test the material and how it reacts to the mixture above. Start by vacuuming your sofa so you don’t end up rubbing in any dirt while you’re cleaning it.


In the bucket, you’ll want to add 2 cups of distilled water and 1 tablespoon of the dishwashing liquid, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Just get the microfiber cloth a bit damp with the solution. Blot stained spot with the cloth. Don’t rub and scrub as this causes damage to fibers. You want to moisten another microfiber cloth with only distilled water and blot the stained area until there’s no more soap. To dry the area quickly to avoid stains, point a fan to the spot.


Steam Cleaning Your Couch


You can use an upholstery steam cleaner if your sofa tags are marked with a “W” or “WS.” Do make sure to check out the steamer’s instructions to see if it’s suggested that you use it on sofa fabric. Some materials can handle water but they may not be able to handle the heat. Again, we suggest doing a spot test to ensure that steam cleaning your sofa doesn’t cause damage.

  • Vacuum your sofa before you start to steam clean.

  • Steam the stained areas gently.

  • After steaming, point a fan on your sofa.

  • Once you’ve steamed and the sofa has dried, vacuum it again.


These are the safest, most effective ways to clean fabric sofa stains. The most important part is to understand the material and what it can or can’t handle. When you follow these instructions, you can quickly and easily bring your sofa back to looking pristine and new.


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