How Do You Clean a Fabric Sofa?

Fabric sofas are comfortable and stylish, but they can be difficult to clean. And since plastic covers likely aren’t an option for you, here are some fabric sofa cleaning tips straight from the professional carpet cleaners at A Personal Touch Carpet Cleaning.

Tip #1: Check The Cleaning Tag

For many people, a piece of furniture’s cleaning tag barely registers on our radar until something bad happens. In this case, check your fabric sofa’s tag and you’ll see a series of useful letters. Here’s what they mean:

W – The sofa’s material can be cleaned using water

S – Water is prohibited. Instead, a special solvent-based cleaner must be used.

WS – Water or a solvent-based cleaner are both ok for cleaning the sofa

X – Vacuum only

It’s important to follow the cleaning tag’s instructions to the letter. As innocent as water seems, using it on a fabric that expressly recommends a solvent-based cleaner could actually lead to a stain on the sofa. Yes, strange as it may seem, even water can stain certain fabrics/materials.

Cleaning a Fabric Sofa Marked “W” or “WS”

Here’s a good framework to follow when cleaning a sofa with tags confirming it’s W or WS-approved. Note that you’ll need three light-colored microfiber cloths to complete all of the following steps.

  • Vacuum your couch and rid it of any dirt/debris that your cleaning might accidentally rub into the fabric
  • Mix two cups of distilled water with 1tbsp of dishwashing liquid and 1tbsp of vinegar
  • Dampen a microfiber cloth in this cleaning solution. Make sure that this cloth is light-colored so there’s no risk of it bleeding into your sofa fabric
  • Using your cloth, gently blot (no rubbing or scrubbing) the stained area(s). Rubbing/scrubbing can cause fiber damage.
  • Wet a second microfiber cloth with distilled water only, and blot the stain once more in order to remove any excess soap
  • Use your third, 100% dry microfiber cloth to blot the area one last time
  • Point a fan at the cleaned area and wait until the fabric dries completely

Another Option: Steam Cleaning

If your fabric sofa is W or WS-approved, steam-cleaning could be an alternative to the “dab and blot” scenario. Consult the manufacturer’s instruction booklet (if you don’t have the hard copy, you can probably find an online version) to confirm that steam cleaning is ok. Some fabric sofas are amenable to water and solvents, but aren’t designed to withstand heat. For extra peace of mind, steam-clean a small, out-of-the-way segment of sofa and see whether the cleaner causes any damage.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding what setting your steam cleaner should be set at. You should also:

  • Steam-clean your couch on a nice day so that you can open the windows and expedite the drying process
  • Vacuum the sofa first and remove all dirt/debris
  • If your steam cleaner uses microfiber cloths to assist with debris pickup, make sure to change these out as you clean. This will optimize the amount of dirt the cleaner grabs.
  • When you’re finished, position a fan on the affected area until 100% dry

The Preferred Professional Carpet Cleaners In Englewood

Whether you have furniture, carpet, or drapes that require professional care, A Personal Touch Carpet Cleaning answers the call. Along with our expertise in upholstery cleaning, we offer decades of experience with pet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, and much more. Contact us today for a free quote.  Remember at A Personal Touch, “We don’t cut corners, we clean them.”

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