The dos and don’ts of cleaning your sofa [Video]

Your sofa may add style and comfort to your room, but cleaning it can be a pain if you don't know how to do it properly.

The dos and don'ts of cleaning your sofa

Your sofa may add style and comfort to your room, but cleaning it can be a pain if you don’t know how to do it properly. You don’t want to permanently ruin your upholstered couch while trying to remove a stain or make it look spiffier before a party.

Before you consider winging it, keep in mind that your sofa can’t be cleaned like glass or wood. Whether you have a leather couch or a cozy fabric loveseat that needs cleaning, refer to this guide to ensure you’re cleaning your sofa properly.

Leather
To remove all of the dust and dirt from the crevices of your sofa, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean the surface. This is an important step, as wiping it clean when there’s dust on the sofa will only rub the grime further into the material.

There are some commercial leather cleaners that are effective, but some experts also suggest mixing white vinegar and water. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and wring it out so that it’s damp and not dripping wet. Starting with the top of your sofa, wipe your couch with the cloth from top to bottom.

To dry the leather, use a soft, dry towel. Never use a blow dryer, as this will dehydrate the leather. This process should be done about once every three or four months, or twice each year.

Fabric
Just as it is with a leather sofa, the first step to cleaning your fabric couch is vacuuming the dust, pet hair and grime from the surface and crevices. Next, look at the tag usually found on the back or underneath your couch to determine how you should clean it.

Manufacturers have different cleaning codes, such as “W,” which means that it’s recommended you clean your couch with water-based detergent. If it says “S,” you should clean it with a water-free detergent, while “O” means your couch is made from organic materials that should only be washed in cold water. You can clean your sofa with a water-based cleaner or have it dry cleaned if you see a “WS,” but only use a vacuum only if you see an “X.”

Never machine wash cushion casings, as this will ruin the stitching, fabric and backing. If you spill on your couch, try to clean the stain out as soon as possible by blotting the area with the appropriate cleaning solution. Avoid spot cleaners with bleach or alcohol and always blot instead of rubbing.

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