The Ultimate Guide to Sofa Cleaning: Everything You Need To Know.

We’re pretty sure you adore your sofa. It’s the centrepiece of your living room. So, let’s talk about how to keep your cherished couch in pristine shape. Not only is sofa cleaning crucial for maintaining its appearance but it also prolongs the lifespan of your sofa.

Sofas are one of our homes' most used and loved pieces of furniture. They provide comfort, style, and a place to relax with family and friends. However, sofas can get dirty, stained, and worn out over time, especially if you have kids, pets, or frequent guests. That’s why knowing the best way to clean your sofa and keep it looking new is important.

In this blog, we share some tips and tricks on cleaning different types of sofas, removing common stains, and preventing damage and fading. We have the right solution whether you have a fabric, leather, or velvet sofa. Let’s get started!

Ottilie Straight Sofa In Vintage Linen, Bone, Elizabeth Armchairs In Mini Stripe, Sage Piped In Studio Rich Stain Resistant Velvet, Sage, Winston Storage Ottoman In Small Stripe, Sage

General Sofa Cleaning Tips

Before we dive into the specific methods for cleaning different types of sofas, here are some general sofa cleaning tips that apply to all kinds of upholstery:

- Vacuum regularly: The best way to keep your sofa clean is to vacuum it regularly with a soft brush attachment. This will remove dust, dirt, crumbs, pet hair, and other debris that can accumulate on the surface and in the crevices of your sofa. Vacuuming also helps prevent dust mites and allergens from building up.

- Spot clean as soon as possible: If you spill something on your sofa or notice a stain, act quickly and blot it with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not rub or scrub the stain as thatcan spread or push it deeper into the fabric. Use a mild cleaner suitable for your sofa fabric and test it on a hidden area first. Apply the cleaner sparingly and gently dab the stain until it lifts. Then rinse with a damp cloth and let it air dry.

- Test your cleaning solution: Before you apply any cleaning solution to your sofa, you should always test it on a small, hidden area first. This will help you avoid damaging the fabric or causing discolouration. Different types of upholstery may react differently to various cleaning products, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

- Avoid using excessive water or cleaning solution on your sofa: A little goes a long way when it comes to cleaning furniture fabric. Too much moisture can damage the fabric, cause shrinkage, or leave watermarks. It can also take longer to dry and increase the risk of mould or mildew.

By following these tips for sofa care, you can keep it looking clean and fresh for years to come. In the next section, we will discuss specific methods for how to remove stains from sofa upholstery.

Sofa Cleaning Codes Explained

Understanding sofa cleaning codes is crucial for proper sofa care. These codes tell you the best way to clean your sofa without causing damage. The most common codes are W, S, WS, and X. Here’s a brief rundown

- W: Use water-based cleaning solutions to remove dirt and stains from your upholstery. They are easy to use and do not require any special equipment. However, you should use only a little water as it can damage your furniture.

- S: Use dry cleaning solvents. Do not use water. Dry cleaning solventsare easy to use and do not require any special equipment. However, you should be careful not to use too much solvent as it can damage your furniture.

- WS: You can use either water-based solutions or dry-cleaning solvents. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to cleaning your upholstery.

- X: You should only vacuum or brush lightly if your fabric is labelled with an X. You should not use water or solvent-based cleaning agents as they can damage your furniture.

Ottilie Loose Cover Chaise Sofa In Stain Resistant Linen, Fresco

Elizabeth Armchair In Mini Stripe, Sage piped In Studio Rich Stain Resistant Velvet, Sage

Removing the Most Popular Sofa Stains

Some of the most common sofa stains include coffee, wine, and stains from pets. Removing these marks can be a hassle, but acting fast and using the right cleaning methods is important. Here are some tips on how to remove them from your sofa:

Removing Food Stains on Sofas

We’ve all been there. While snacking and watching TV and you dropsauces, grease, chocolate, ketchup, mustard, or perhaps a whole plate of something on your sofa.If you find yourself in this disaster zone, try the following methods:

- Mix half a cup of baking soda with a quarter cup of clean water. Apply on the stained part of the sofa and vacuum off when dried completely.

- Mix two cups of warm water with one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent until a froth forms. Dampen the corner of a clean microfibre cloth with the suds and dab at the stain.

- Mix two cups of water with one tablespoon of dish soap and ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar. Dampen a microfibre cloth with the solution and blot the stain gently.

- Vacuum the stain to remove any loose particles. Mix dish soap and cool water to create a cleaning solution. Dampen a microfibre cloth with the solution and blot the stain gently. Use a fresh cloth dampened with plain water to rinse away the soap mixture. Press the spot with a clean cloth or paper towel to dry the area.

Removing Hot Drinks Stains on Sofas

Accidentally poured coffee, tea or hot chocolateonto your sofa? To remove hot drink stains from your sofa, you can try the following method:

- If the fabric is water-safe (“W” cleaning code), blot stains gently with vinegar or vodka. Using anything other than a solvent on an “S” sofa could ruin it, but if the fabric is water safe, dab the stained area gently with a microfibre cloth dampened with distilled white vinegar.

Cleaning Fabric Sofas

Fabric sofas are a popular choice for many people but cleaning them can be challenging. So, what is the best way to clean fabric sofa upholstery without damaging it? Here’s a simple and effective step-by-step guide:

- First, vacuum the sofa thoroughly to remove any loose dust and dirt that may have accumulated on the surface.

- Next, check the sofa cleaning codes, usually found on a label under the cushions. These codes indicate what type of cleaning products and methods are suitable for your sofa fabric.

- If water-based cleaning is suitable, mix a mild detergent with warm water in a bucket or spray bottle. You can also add some vinegar or baking soda for extra cleaning power.

- Use a soft cloth or sponge to dab any stains or spots on the sofa fabric gently. Do not rub or scrub; this may damage the fabric fibres or spread the stain.

- Dry the area thoroughly with a clean towel or a hairdryer to prevent mould and mildew from forming.

- Repeat the process as needed until the sofa fabric is clean and fresh.

Remember, the key to cleaning furniture fabric is gentleness and patience. Following these steps, you can keep your fabric sofa looking great and extend its lifespan.

Cleaning Leather Sofas

Leather sofas may look stylish but theyneed specific care to maintain their beauty and durability. Cleaning a leather sofa is not difficult, but it requires gentle solutions and regular moisturising to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking. Here are some tips for cleaning your leather sofa:

- The first step in cleaning a leather sofa is to thoroughly dust and vacuum the couch. This will remove any dirt, dust, crumbs, or pet hair that may have accumulated on the surface or in the sofa's crevices. You can use a soft brush attachment or a microfibre cloth to wipe the sofa and avoid scratching the leather.

- The next step is to use a specially formulated leather cleaner, or a mild soap solution, to clean the leather. You can make your own soap solution by mixing a few drops of mild liquid soap with warm water. You should avoid harsh detergents, bleach, ammonia, or alcohol, as these can damage the leather and cause discolouration. You should also test the cleaner on a small inconspicuous sofa area before applying it to the entire surface.

- To apply the cleaner, use a soft cloth or a sponge and work in a circular motion. Do not rub too hard or soak the leather as this can cause stains or cracks. Focus on one section at a time and clean the entire sofa evenly. After applying the cleaner, rinse the cloth or sponge in clean water and wipe the sofa again to remove any soap residue. Soap residue can attract more dirt and make the leather look dull.

- The final step is to dry the sofa with a clean towel and apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather hydrated and soft. A leather conditioner is a product that restores the natural oils and moisture of the leather and protects it from fading, cracking, or staining. You can find leather conditioners in any shop that sells leather products, or you can make your own by mixing one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil. You should apply the conditioner with a soft cloth and let it dry for about 15 minutes before buffing it with another cloth.

Cleaning Velvet Sofas

Velvet, the fabric of luxury, needs special attention. If you want to know how to clean a velvet sofa and keep it looking as good as new, follow these simple steps:

- Vacuum the sofa using a brush attachment. This will remove any dust, dirt, or crumbs that may have accumulated on the surface of the velvet. Vacuuming regularly will also prevent the fabric from becoming matted or dull.

- For stains, gently blot with a soft cloth and mild soap solution. Do not rub or scrub the stain, which may damage the velvet fibres. Use a clean cloth and plain water to rinse off any soap residue. Avoid harsh chemicals or bleach, which may discolour or weaken the fabric.

- Dry the area with a soft, dry cloth. Do not use a hair dryer or iron; they may cause shrinkage or scorching. Let the velvet air dry completely before using it again.

- Once dry, use a soft-bristled brush to restore the fabric’s pile. Brush in the direction of the nap or how the fibres naturally lie. This will make the velvet look smooth and shiny.

- Following these steps, you can enjoy cleaning velvet sofas without hassle. You can also apply these tips to cleaning velvet upholstery on chairs, cushions, or curtains. 

You might also be wondering how to wash removable velvet covers.. The answer depends on the type of velvet you have. Some velvets are machine washable, while others are dry clean only, so it’s best to double check yours.

Odette Skirted Sofa In Tobias & The Angel Coral, Rust

Ottilie Armchair In Studio Rich Stain Resistant Velvet, Sage

Sofa Preventative Care

Preventative care of your sofa helps to  keep it looking good, extend its lifespan, and save you money in the long run. One of the most common causes of sofa damage is direct sunlight, which can fade the colour and dry out the fabric or leather. To avoid this, keep your sofa away from windows or use curtains or blinds to block the sun during the day. If you have a leather sofa, apply a leather conditioner every few months, to keep it moisturised and prevent cracking.

Another way to protect your sofa from damage is to use an upholstery protector. This is a spray that creates a barrier between the fabric or leather and any liquids or dirt that may come into contact with it. Upholstery protectors can help repel stains and spills, making them easier to clean up without leaving any marks. 

However, suppose you want to save yourself the hassle of applying an upholstery protector and worrying about stains and spills. In that case, consider purchasing one of our stain-resistant sofas. Our sofas are available in many fabrics, including Pure Stain Resistant Linen, which makes them resistant to water, oil, and dirt. This means that any liquids or spills will simply bead up on the fabric's surface, allowing you to wipe them off easily with a cloth. Our stain-resistant sofas are also durable, breathable, and soft to the touch, making them ideal for any home.

So, there you have it. Some great tips on how to keep your sofa clean and fresh. But, if you feel like your sofa has seen better days or just fancy a change, why not treat yourself to a new one? At Love Your Home, we have a range of luxury, modern and classic sofas, all handmade in the UK and available in over 100 beautiful fabrics. Whether you’re looking for a cosy corner sofa, a chic Chesterfield, or a sleek sofa bed, we have something for everyone. Plus, we offer up to 24 months of 0% APR representative interest-free credit, so you can buy better, buy once, and purchase over time. Visit our website or our showroom in Surrey to browse our collection, and order your free fabric samples today.