How Do I Clean A Fabric Sofa


Fabric Sofa

Whether you’re catching up over coffee, skipping through Netflix shows, or relaxing with family, fabric sofas provide the perfect cozy resting spot. As careful as you might be, there’s no avoiding the stains, spillages, and grime that build up with everyday use (or the bad smells and discolouration which come with it).

But don’t fill your shopping trolley with expensive fabric cleaning products just yet. To give your upholstery a new lease of life, all it takes is a few natural ingredients – many of which you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard. In this guide, we’ll cover the best natural ways to clean a fabric sofa.

Give it a Brush

Give it a Brush

Before diving into the cleaning solutions, it’s crucial to remove any surface crumbs, dirt, or debris from your sofa. Not only will this prevent further grinding in of grime, but it also ensures your natural fabric cleaner has direct access to the soiled areas.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Gather a clean, dry cloth. If your sofa is light-colored, use a white cloth to avoid any dye transfer.
  2. Thoroughly brush all surfaces of the sofa, including the crevices between cushions, using your cloth.
  3. For any stubborn, dried-on spots, use a stiff brush to loosen the particles.

You’d be amazed at the crumbs, pet hair, and general detritus that can accumulate in the nooks and crannies of a fabric sofa over time. Giving it a good brushing first will make the rest of your fabric cleaning much more effective.

Shake off Bad Smells

Even if your sofa looks clean on the surface, odors from pets, spills, or ahem natural gases can linger in the fibers over time, creating an unpleasant smell. While you could temporarily mask it with an upholstery deodoriser, that’s just a band-aid solution – to truly freshen up your sofa, you’ll want to deodorize it naturally.

Here’s How to Remove Smells from Fabric:

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Dry carpet cleaner (optional)


  1. First, follow the brushing steps above to remove any crumbs or debris.
  2. Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the entire sofa surface. Don’t be shy!
  3. Let the baking soda sit for at least 20 minutes to absorb odors.
  4. After 20 minutes, vacuum up the baking soda using a brush attachment.
  5. For extra deodorizing power, you can make a mixture of baking soda and dry carpet cleaner, sprinkle it over the sofa, let sit 20 minutes, and vacuum up.
  6. If odors still linger, go over it once more with a handheld steam cleaner.

Baking soda is a miracle deodorizer thanks to its ability to absorb and neutralize foul smells. The optional dry carpet cleaner adds an extra odor-fighting punch.

Sprinkling baking soda over smelly surfaces like sofas helps to absorb and neutralize foul odors quickly and easily with no harsh chemicals.” – Michelle Foley, Cleaning Expert

Shift Stains

No matter how careful you are, it’s nearly impossible to own a fabric sofa without encountering some unsightly stains along the way – red wine, greasy food spills, mud stains, you name it. While chemical stain removers may be effective, they can also contain harsh ingredients. Fortunately, there’s a fantastic natural solution that works wonders.

How to Remove Stains from Fabric

How to Remove Stains from Fabric

What You’ll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water


  1. In a bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon each of dish soap, white vinegar, baking soda, and warm water until a lathery solution forms.
  2. The baking soda and vinegar will react, helping to cut through grease while the dish soap gently lifts stains.
  3. Using a clean cloth, apply the solution directly to any stains on your sofa and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Once dry, wipe the area with a clean damp cloth to lift away any residue from the stain.

This baking soda and vinegar duo is a powerhouse natural stain remover. The acidic vinegar helps break down and dissolve stuck-on grime, while the baking soda provides an abrasive boost.

Stain TypeExtra Notes
Food/GreaseLet solution sit 15-20 mins before wiping
Red WineBlot with club soda first, then use solution
Pet UrineUse an enzyme cleaner first, then stain remover solution


  • Always check fabric cleaning codes and spot test solutions first in an inconspicuous area.
  • This stain remover method also works amazingly as a carpet cleaner on stubborn floor stains.
  • For sofa upholstery with heavy soiling or wear, you may need professional cleaning or to reupholster.

Baking soda is one of the most versatile and effective natural cleaning agents. The combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a mild, effervescent solution that can tackle stains and deodorize.” – Michael Silva, Green Cleaning Expert

The Revitalized Look

By following these simple steps using just a few inexpensive pantry ingredients, you can breathe new life into even the most soiled and smelly fabric sofa. Your cozy living room oasis will be fresh, stain-free, and ready for many more Netflix binges.

If however, your upholstery still isn’t looking its best after a thorough natural cleaning, it may be time to explore professional upholstery cleaning services or reupholstering options to truly revive your sofa’s look. But trying these DIY fabric cleaning methods is an easy, affordable place to start!

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