5 Steps to Cleaning Your Couch Like a Pro


Couches represent a unique dilemma: They have to be both comfortable to lounge on and be presentable when you have guests. Creating ‘no eating’ rules help preserve their appearance, however, they take away from the comfort factor and typically last as long as the next movie night or major sporting event.

The best way to preserve your couch is maintenance. When you purchase your couch, you will likely be offered some form of protectant, take it, don’t cheap out on this front. It’s extremely important, especially if you have a foam couch, to fluff and rotate your cushions where possible on a weekly basis (not all couches allow for this and are limited to one or two sections, do your best). Rotating will greatly delay the foam from sagging, springs from warping and fabric from wearing.

Given you have taken all these steps, you will still need to clean your couch to keep it looking it’s best. Anytime your couch starts to look unacceptable, do not delay and follow these steps:

Step 1: Vacuum

Remove all the cushions from your couch and vacuum them front and back with the turbine attachment for couches and fabrics that typically comes with your vacuum or hand vac. After that, use the same attachment to vacuum the rest of the couch. Once you’re done, use the crevice tool to suck up all the garbage from the crevices.

Step 2: Non-Fabric Parts

Clean any parts of your couch that aren’t fabric (including the feet) With the appropriate cleaner. For wood, use a wood cleaner, for metal, use a metal cleaner.

Step 3: Remove Stains

For fabric and synthetic upholstery, dilute a mild detergent with water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray and blot until the stain is removed then use a second towel with just water to wipe away any suds.

For leather, create a solution that is two parts olive oil, one part vinegar and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the stain and rub it out with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Identify What Kind Of Fabric You Have

Locate the tag on your couch and you will discover a code that will read one of the following: WS – S – X – W

Each of these codes represents what type of cleaning agent your couch requires (do not use an alternative cleaning agent, it may permanently damage the fabric). Here’s what each code represents:

WS: Mild Detergent or Dry-Cleaning Detergent With Steam Vac
S: Dry Cleaner Detergent
X: Vacuum only, no moisture
W: Water

Once all the stains are removed (as outlined in step 3) proceed to give the rest of your couch a good once over to refresh it, using the appropriate method associated with your fabric code.

Step 5: Drying

Do not simply allow your couch to air dry, this can precipitate mold and that’s the last thing you want.

Use a dry towel to soak up any areas that are particularly wet. Use a second dry towel and give the whole couch and each cushion a good rub down.

Place a fan in front of the couch on the highest setting and allow it to dry. Rotate the cushions so all sides get dry.

For more cleaning inspiration, check out how to make spring cleaning a breeze with these five easy tips.

2 comments on “5 Steps to Cleaning Your Couch Like a Pro”

  1. Jackie says:

    Happy Friday Tracey! And thank you for this article. I’ve been wanting to clean my kuch but felt intimidated by the thought of how much work would it take. But this article has eased my fears. Have a great weekend! Love Jackie of Detroit😘

    1. Jackie says:

      Clean my COUCH, darn auto correct!!@ LOL

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