Life & Style

How to clean a sofa

After all the time spent indoors during lockdown, sofas in Britain are probably the messiest they’ve ever been. While vacuuming or wiping down your sofa may get rid of simple mess like dirt, pet hair, and crumbs, a more efficient clean requires a bit more time and effort. It is recommended you clean your sofa every six months ago, so follow this guide from and make sure your sofa is never dirty again!

How to clean a sofa

Get to the stains quickly

As soon as a spill or stain happens, get to cleaning it straight away before it becomes too difficult to remove.

Waiting too long before treating or cleaning a stain, even just a couple of minutes, can cause the stain to set.

Before using any detergents or solutions on your fabric sofa, check the manufacturer’s instructions for care, which can usually be found on the sofa’s tag.

Failing to use safe cleaning products could mean permanently damaging your upholstery.

Check the cleaning codes for your fabric sofa

You may think the letters on your sofa’s tag may be random and mean nothing, but they are actually codes.

W – Water based cleaner. This means you should only use a water-based cleaner to clean the upholstery.

S/W – Solvents and water-based cleaners. This means it’s safe to use both solvents and water-based cleaners on your sofa.

S – Solvents. Only use a solvent to clean the upholstery. A solvent is a type of solution that uses a cleaning chemical as the main component.

Clean with baking soda 

Sprinkling baking sofa over the entire sofa will help remove doors and further loosen stains.

Let the baking soda sit for 15-20 minutes. Once it has fully absorbed the stain, vacuum the area with a brush attachment. Always spot treat an area of your sofa to minimise damage.

You can also spot treat your sofa with a recommended cleaning agent. If you’re unsure if the product falls within the recommendations, test a small area for discolouration before proceeding.

Whether using a water-based cleaner or solvent, follow the packaging instructions, and if it is safe to do so, use a soft cloth to wipe away the solution.

Dry your sofa

Pat down any weather areas with a dry towel to soak up any remaining moisture.

Gently brush off any remaining cleaning solution.

Let the upholstery air dry over night, and make sure it is dry in the morning before getting comfortable. Enjoy your fresh sofa!


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