How to Clean Your Couch

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Knowing the proper way to clean a couch isn’t as simple as you may think. To get your coach thoroughly clean, be sure to follow these tips:

Regular Maintenance

Keeping a clean couch entails cleaning it regularly—at least once a week. The best way to keep dust and dirt from accumulating depends on the type of material, but you can typically use a vacuum with a mini carpet attachment to clean the surface of couches made from fabric and cushion covers. For vinyl and leather couches, you can use a soft brush attachment or a crevice attachment.

If you own a pet that sheds, use the mini carpet attachment or a sticky-tape lint roller meant to trap cat hair before you vacuum, as this will help loosen the hair. Remove all of the cushions and vacuum both sides. Vacuum all along the base of the soda, the armrests and the crevices, where dust is most likely to accumulate.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning your couch fairly regularly is another way to keep the couch looking clean and new. At least once a month, you should steam clean your couch to more thoroughly remove dirt and bacteria that can stick to the fabric. Most couch fabrics, including most varieties of leather, can be steam cleaned because the process will not leave water stains. However, it may be a good idea to try the cleaning on a small, unnoticeable section of the fabric first to make sure that there won’t be a bad reaction.

To steam clean the couch, follow the cleaner’s instructions. The basic method for steam cleaning entails:

  1. Use a regular vacuum cleaner on the couch first to remove the loose dirt and dust.
  2. Fill the reservoir on the steam cleaner to the line with warm or hot water. Add dish detergent or laundry soap as directed (usually about 1/4 cup of soap per gallon).
  3. Use the hand-held attachment to clean the back of the couch, the underside of the couch and then both sides of the cushions of the couch with slow vertical motions. Make sure each swipe of the vacuum overlaps the next.
  4. If your steam cleaner has a suction attachment, run it slowly over all parts of the couch.
  5. Allow the couch to dry completely before using.

Removing Stains

When a noticeable stain appears on your couch, the first thing you’ll want to do is remove as much of the stain as possible. To do so, take a paper towel and gently blot the stain excess. Next, use a combination of equal parts warm water and vinegar to cover the stain, rub it gently and allow it to absorb for a few minutes. (With a leather couch, you may have to use a commercial leather cleaner instead.) Then blot with cold water and allow to dry.

You can also freshen the couch by sprinkling the stain with baking powder and then using a soft scrub brush to work the soda into the stain. Allow the soda to soak for at least ten minutes and then vacuum it away for a clean couch.

Cleaning Cushion Covers

If you use cushion covers, regularly cleaning your couch can be simple. Make sure the cushion cover is machine washable and then you can just slip the cover into the washing machine once a week to keep it fresh. This works especially well if you have a pet who sheds. Some cushion covers may need to be dry cleaned or steam cleaned, but if you’re looking for a cover to make cleaning simpler, choose a machine washable variety.

If you follow the proper method, you will have a thoroughly clean couch. Even if you do your best to keep stains off of the couch, accidents happen and even stain-free couches accumulate dust and dirt over time. Regularly cleaning your couch can help keep the dirt from accumulating.

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