How to clean a fabric sofa? Possible solutions

30 Juni 2023

If you don’t know how to clean a fabric sofa, here is a useful guide to deal with all kinds of stains on removable or non-removable fabric – even with home-made remedies!

Are you looking for ways to clean your fabric sofa? Fortunately, there are remedies that allow you to remove stains and dust from your furniture without ruining it. Of course there are many specific products on the market for cleaning fabric sofas, but it is also possible to prepare equally effective do-it-yourself natural remedies, which have the great advantage of respecting the environment without the use of chemical additives.

Sofas have always been the centre of our home life and they are the place where we welcome guests or enjoy hours of relaxation. It’s inevitable that in the course of time the external surface of our sofas will undergo changes due to continuous daily use. The first and easiest remedy to prevent stains is to cover your sofa. However, if a slipcover is not enough, there are other solutions.

How to clean a fabric sofa from stains and dust

Crumbs, hair, dust or the hairs of our four-legged friends can lurk everywhere on our furniture, so it is always a good idea to start with vacuuming. In this case, we recommend using a handheld model as it is capable of reaching even the most hidden parts of our sofa. For those occasions that we have more time to dedicate to cleaning, we can remove the back and seat cushions and vacuum each one separately, so as to remove in depth all the residues that may compromise the cleanliness of our furnishing accessory. In addition, a fine-bristled brush can be used to remove what your hoover failed to pick up. But what about non-fabric parts? Like the feet or armrests? In this case we can use a lint-free cloth.

Let’s now take a look at how to clean a fabric sofa from stubborn stains. First of all we must avoid exposing our sofa directly to sunlight, as over time the colour may lose its brilliance. Fabric is very sensitive to light but also to other external agents, such as fumes. It’s for this reason why it is useful to ventilate the room as a preventive measure.

At this point, let’s see how to actually get rid of a stain on a fabric sofa, bearing in mind the difference between a removable and a non-removable sofa cover.

Removable or non-removable sofa cover: how to clean it?

A sofa with a removable fabric cover always has a label showing the relevant washing symbols. Just follow the instructions and pay attention to two aspects: rinsing, which must be very thorough, and drying, which must not be done in direct sunlight. In general, sofa fabrics are very sensitive to bleaching or oxidising substances that risk corroding and altering the texture of the colours. Therefore, if a commercial detergent product is used, always read the label carefully and if the sofa requires dry cleaning, then our advice is to contact specialised laundries.

How do you clean a sofa with a non-removable fabric cover? A damp cloth and the use of neutral products certainly help to remove stains without damaging the fabric, but you must always act with delicacy. For a fabric sofa, a steam cleaner can also be used, always after removing any residues with a vacuum.

Remedies for do-it-yourself cleaning

If cold water and neutral soap are not enough, there are natural remedies to treat each stain individually. The right mixture for removing dirt stains includes a litre of lukewarm water, a glass of vinegar (or alternatively filtered lemon juice), and a teaspoon of baking soda. This mixture should be sprayed directly onto the stains, passing the cloth with gentle, circular movements. Afterwards, the best suggestion is to spray the mixture on the entire sofa to avoid any risk of differences.

We also have other solutions for home remedies for cleaning a fabric sofa. We can just use alcohol in a spray bottle, apply a little at a time on the entire surface and then brush with a soft bristle brush and finally dry with a clean cloth. Another alternative to consider for persistent stains is half a glass of water mixed with two or three tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Simply moisten a cloth with the mixture and apply it to the stain for about 10 minutes. After this time, the cloth should be wrung out and wiped over the stain.

In general, apple cider vinegar is best for sanitising in combination with bicarbonate, which acts on the stain. However, for microfibre or ‘alcantara’ fabric, white vinegar is recommended, which should be mixed with water and applied using a well-wrung sponge. For particularly stubborn stains, ammonia is the best natural remedy. Just add two tablespoons in a solution with water and then rinse with a sponge or cloth soaked only in water to restore the colour to its original brilliance.

How often should you clean your sofa?

In this article we’ve seen many ways to clean a fabric sofa, but the best remedy for keeping one’s furniture in top condition is of course prevention. In addition to strategic covers, which are recommended especially in the presence of small children, it is a good idea to carry out thorough periodic cleaning at least every six months – even if it doesn’t look dirty on the surface. Dust and other residues accumulate in corners and crevices even if we do not notice or see them, and over time they will dull the colours of our sofa.