Clean a Fabric Sofa

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa Effectively?

Are you planning to get rid of a dirty sofa? Does it seem scary to start cleaning the fabric sofa at home? Well, you are not alone!

No doubt, cleaning a sofa is a difficult task. But, simultaneously, it always feels good and welcoming when you have a clean sofa at your place.

Interested in learning more? Check out our previous blog, where we’ve covered the intricacies of the best sofa brands in detail!

But now, we will delve into sofa cleaning with simple steps at home.

Let’s get started!

Considerations Before Cleaning A Fabric Sofa

Deep cleaning a fabric sofa is a time-consuming task. For this reason, most of us cannot afford a lifestyle with abundant time for the same.

Therefore, we recommend regular maintenance with simple steps to help you maintain positive couch hygiene.

If this plan matches your mindset and schedule, here are a few things to consider before getting your hands dirty.

1. Check Cleaning Instructions Provided by Manufacturers

a man cleaning brown sofa

Fabric sofas are often made of leather, velvet, cotton, and linen. Each type of fabric has different maintenance demands and cleaning requirements.

You cannot clean leather the way you clean cotton sofas. Therefore, the first step is to check for cleaning instructions from manufacturers.

2. Check Hang Tags for Added Information

A blue couch in a room with a white wall.

Hang tags also play a crucial role for sofas that do not come with any cleaning guides from manufacturers.

Hang tags from premium sofa brands include daily maintenance tips and tricks.

These suggestions help users understand sofa fabric care, cushion care, and washing guidance.

3. Understanding the Sofa Cleaning Codes

Sofa Cleaning Codes

While considering fabric sofa cleaning, one must understand the codes on hang tags. There are four codes: W, S, W/S, and X.

Each code says how the fabric sofa should be cleaned and what ingredients will help.

We will also explore a deeper understanding of these codes in a later segment.

4. Understanding Sofa Fabrics

Colorful upholstery fabric samples in different colors

Finally, it is crucial to understand the purpose of fabric sofas. Not every fabric is designed for rough use in the living room.

Some fabric sofas fulfill aesthetic needs more than others. Therefore, understanding different sofa fabrics also helps with easy cleaning and maintenance.

These basic considerations might sound negligible. However, they are the key to saving you from burning a hole in your pocket.

Different Sofa Cleaning Codes

Moving forward, it is time to decode the different cleaning codes. You can locate these codes on the hang tags or the manufacturer’s guide.

Let us take a close look at their specific meanings:

1. W: Water Based Cleaning

A woman in yellow gloves cleans a green couch using water-based cleaning methods

Water-based cleansers or plain water are best suited for sofas with a W cleaning code. You will need warm or cold water and a brush to rub off any stains from the fabric.

You can gently use the brush to rub the sofa fabric, and you will have zero stain marks. It is that simple!

2. S: Solvent Cleaning

Solvent Cleaning

S cleaning code stands for solvent-based cleansers for sofas. Use any solvent you choose in a well-ventilated room to clean your couch.

One can also use gentle dry brushing or cleaning techniques on S-marked sofa fabrics.

3. W/S: Water and Solvent Cleaning

Water and Solvent Cleaning

The W/S code is a combination of the above two cleaning methods. Both water and solvents work to clean any stain or dirt from the W/S marked couches.

One can use mild detergents, shampoos, or specified sofa cleansers on the fabric.

4. X: Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning

The X cleaning code means only dry cleaning techniques are used on the fabric. We must strictly avoid water or solvent-based liquids, as they can ruin the couch.

Vacuum cleaners and dry brushes work best on X-marked sofa fabrics.

Steps to Clean Fabric Sofas at Home

Now that we know all the basics of sofa cleaning, it is time to begin the cleaning process.

Here are the steps to help you get the job done at home:

1. Sofa Cover Cleaning

A woman cuddles a dog under a blanket

Beginning the sofa cleaning process at home is always a hectic job. Therefore, it is not mandatory to complete cleaning it within a day or two. Move at your own pace and take one step at a time.

Begin by removing the sofa cover on day one and putting it in the machine for a good wash.

Use a mild detergent to wash off all the accumulated dirt from the cover.

2. Dry Cleaning the Fabric

Dry Cleaning the Fabric

Use a dry brush or vacuum cleaner to clean up all the dirt and debris. Dry cleaning helps eliminate granular wastes like food crumbs, sock dirt, pet hair, etc.

Do not forget to suck out the dirt from the folds and corners of the couch.

Let the vacuum work its magic at places your hands can’t reach.

3. Stain Removal

Cleaner doing deep washing of sofa with professional equipment

Once you have dry-cleansed the sofa, it is time to use water and solvents. One can use plain water or liquid soap solution to rub off stains and dirt from the metal or wooden parts of the sofa.

Pro Tip: Using warm water speeds up the cleaning process.

4. Steam Clean

a man Steam Clean sofa

Steamers deep clean the sofa and add freshness to your old living room.

However, if you do not have a sofa steamer at home, dust baking powder to wipe off any odor.

5. Drying and Using

Outdoor furniture with blue cushions and yellow pillows,

Finally, it is time to dry the sofa with any remaining water or solvent mix. You can use a dry cotton fabric or leave it in the air to air dry.

Do not forget to follow the manufacturer’s guidance throughout the cleaning process.

Now, you have an all-clean sofa ready at home with easy effort.


Almost everyone loves a luxurious sofa in their living room. But we often miss its crucial maintenance habits.

Water, detergents, wooden brushes, vacuum cleaners, dry cotton clothes, and efforts are all we need!

You can begin understanding the cleaning codes and sofa fabrics and slowly work your way into cleaning.

How do you prefer cleaning a sofa at home? Comment down your tips and tricks and share them with us!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *