How To Clean A Sofa | Fabric, Leather & Suede | Checkatrade
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How to clean a sofa

Sofas are the creature comfort that we just couldn’t live without. It’s a place where all of the family (including our four-legged friends) can put their feet up and chill out every day, and because of this, sofas are prone to a build-up of hidden dirt including body oils, dust and odours. Thankfully you can learn how to clean a sofa yourself.

Sofas are the creature comfort that we just couldn’t live without. It’s a place where all of the family (including our four-legged friends) can put their feet up and chill out every day, and because of this, sofas are prone to a build-up of hidden dirt including body oils, dust and odours. Thankfully you can learn how to clean a sofa at home.

There are a few different ways to clean a sofa, including vacuuming, steam cleaning, dry brushing, using baking soda or shampoo and also putting the cushion covers in the washing machine. When choosing how to clean your sofa, you will need to start by checking the manufacturer’s tag for instructions. Every sofa is different and the best way of cleaning your sofa will be noted on its tag.

So, how do you deep clean a sofa? Use the following steps to bring your favourite seat back to life:

  1. Start by brushing any crumbs and debris off your sofa then vacuuming.
  2. The next step is to shampoo your couch. We’d recommend using a carpet/upholstery cleaning machine for incredible results.
  3. Make sure to test a hidden patch of the sofa to ensure the shampoo doesn’t stain.
  4. Fill up your upholstery cleaner with shampoo and warm water suited to the material of your sofa.
  5. Moving in smooth strokes, run the brush over your sofa and allow it to dry.
  6. If you’d also like to thoroughly clean your cushion covers, check the tags to see whether they are removable and machine washable.
  7. If they are, you can go ahead and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wash the covers.

If you’re at all unsure or worried about damaging your sofa, we recommend hiring a professional cleaner to take on the job.

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How to clean a fabric sofa

Fabric sofas often pick up a range of different types of dirt and are also susceptible to stains. This means keeping your sofa clean can be a challenge. Use the below tips to clean your fabric sofa:

  1. Start by checking the tag to avoid damaging the material.
  2. Use your vacuum and a brush to remove every trace of dirt and dust before beginning.
  3. Test a hidden part of your sofa with baking soda to ensure it doesn’t stain.
  4. Next, you can use baking soda to absorb any grime and odours.
  5. Cover the sofa with the substance, allowing it to work for about 30 minutes.
  6. You can then vacuum the baking soda up.
  7. For any stubborn marks, try using a cloth covered in a mixture of washing up liquid, water and white vinegar to wipe stains away. Remember to test this mixture on a hidden part of the sofa first.
  8. You can then absorb any excess liquid with a microfiber cloth.

How to clean a leather sofa

how to clean a leather sofa
Leather makes for a great sofa material creating stylish and chic sofas in any space. However, it can be tricky to remove dirt and stains from a leather sofa, so it’s important to follow a proper guide.

Wondering how to clean a leather sofa? Just use the below steps:

  1. Start by mixing equal amounts of vinegar with water and testing on a hidden part of your sofa.
  2. After vacuuming and getting rid of any dirt or debris from the sofa, use a soft cloth to soak up some of your mixture.
  3. Remove the excess liquid by wringing the cloth out and wiping it over the surface of your sofa.
  4. Keep going until you’ve cleaned the entire sofa, then use a dry cloth to absorb any leftover moisture.

How to clean a suede sofa

If you’re lucky enough to have a sofa made from suede, you’ll know just how soft and comfortable the material is. It’s perfect for late night movie marathons and family game nights.

But, keeping a suede sofa in tip top condition is no easy feat. Use the following cleaning tips:

  1. Remove any objects, cushions or blankets then brush dirt and debris off your suede sofa.
  2. Use a damp cloth to wipe the surface of your sofa to remove any dust.
  3. For any stains, you can purchase suede cleaning products, but we’d always advise you to test these on a hidden area of your sofa before using them.

Remember, as soon as you spill any kind of liquid on a suede sofa you need to remove as much of the fluid as possible. You can do this using a clean cloth to absorb the spill.

How to clean a velvet sofa

Velvet is both stylish and eye-catching and has become very popular in the UK in recent years. Velvet needs to be regularly cleaned or dirt and oils can build up over time. Follow the below steps to clean your velvet sofa:

  1. Use a soft brush to remove any crumbs and loose dirt from the sofa.
  2. You can then vacuum away any dust that has collected on your sofa.
  3. One of the best ways to clean a velvet sofa is by steaming so skip ahead to the next section for instructions.

Make sure to also regularly fluff your cushions to keep them looking their best.

How to steam clean a sofa

how to steam clean a sofa

Steam cleaning is a great cleaning method that kills bacteria and removes stains without having to use strong chemicals. It’s also a very practical method as you can use a handheld steamer to get to hard to reach places.

Follow these steps to steam clean your sofa with a handheld steamer:

  1. Firstly, check the label on your sofa, if it says not to use steam, try a different method.
  2. Once you’ve brushed any debris and dirt off your sofa, fill your steamer with water.
  3. Wait for the water to reach the right temperature, then test the steamer on a hidden area of your sofa to ensure it doesn’t stain.
  4. Make sure your windows are open to release any steam and humidity.
  5. Move the steamer over your sofa, spraying out steam and sucking up excess moisture.
  6. Use long straight strokes to cover the entire surface of the sofa.
  7. Allow to dry completely before using.
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How often should you clean a sofa?

Depending on the material of your sofa and how much use it gets, we’d recommend cleaning once or twice a year. In the meantime, you can keep your sofa looking its best by regularly removing crumbs and dirt with a brush or vacuum.

Is it worth cleaning a sofa?

Absolutely! Sofas can easily become covered in dirt, food, dust, sweat, and animal fur.

Can I remove stains from a sofa?

Often it is possible to remove stains from your sofa, but this will come down to the material and type of stain. For example, getting a red wine stain out of a light suede sofa is unlikely.

Professional sofa cleaning

If you’re struggling to clean your sofa and remove stubborn stains, hiring a professional could be the answer to your problem. Experts in sofa cleaning will know exactly the right methods to use for your sofa and they can guarantee brilliant results.

All you need to do is type your postcode into our online search to find cleaners near you who come with the thumbs up from your neighbours.

How much does professional sofa cleaning cost?

If you’re considering hiring a professional to clean your sofa, the chances are you’re curious about how much this will cost. On average, it costs £45 to steam clean a 3-seater sofa but this will vary depending on the material and how dirty your sofa is. For more prices and advice, check out our sofa cleaning cost guide.

For anyone looking to freshen up their home further, take a look at our carpet cleaning cost guide and our spring cleaning cost guide to learn more.

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