What Is the Best Way to Clean a Fabric Sofa?

Everybody loves fabric sofas, and it’s no surprise. They look great, they feel soft and cosy to sit and lie on, and they don’t cost nearly as much as their leather counterparts. Unfortunately, they also tend to be a major nightmare when it comes to sofa maintenance.

While using a professional sofa cleaning service in Dublin is a quick and easy solution to this problem, calling in the experts isn’t always possible. For example, what do you do if you discover an unsightly stain on the fabric half an hour before important guests are slated to arrive? 

In order to help you deal with these and similar situations, we have prepared a brief fabric sofa cleaning guide. Keep reading to learn more. 

What is the easiest sofa fabric to clean?

Choosing the right type of fabric can save you a lot of time and effort. While this makes the biggest difference in public spaces such as stores and eateries, it can also make it a lot easier to keep your home tidy. 

Here’s how the different upholstery materials hold up:

  • Microfiber is a synthetic fabric that’s famous for its longevity and low maintenance. Like leather, it doesn’t age quickly or visibly. Unlike leather, it tends to be very budget-friendly.
  • Vinyl may not seem very glamorous, but it’s one of the most popular upholstery materials precisely because of how easy it is to maintain. Furthermore, its casual look makes it an excellent choice for both residential and commercial areas. 
  • Velvet is a luxurious material that has a reputation for being difficult to clean. Nothing could be further from the truth! Contract-grade velvet that has received a stain-repellent treatment is highly resistant to staining, even to the point where most grime can simply be wiped off. 

How do you prepare for sofa cleaning?

Before you can start cleaning your upholstery, you need to review the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Not doing so can ruin your furniture and void your warranties.

If you’ve misplaced your manufacturer instructions, don’t worry. Check the cushions on your sofa for tags that list vital clues such as whether the fabric is water-soluble. Don’t forget that one side of the tag could address the cushion cleaning, while the other may deal with cleaning the sofa cover, so make sure to thoroughly study them before proceeding.

When reading the tags, pay attention to the following letters:

  • X: the sofa should only be cleaned by vacuuming.
  • WS: both water and a solvent-based cleaner can be used.
  • S: the material should be cleaned using a specialized solvent-based cleaner (no water).
  • W: the material can be cleaned with water.

How do you clean a fabric sofa?

Once you’ve determined the right cleaning method for your upholstery, you can buy a safe and eco-friendly fabric cleaner or sofa disinfectant that isn’t going to damage your furniture. Gather the necessary supplies and follow the instructions on the bottle. 

Here’s how to clean a stained fabric sofa:

  • Step #1: Extensively vacuum the fabric, but be careful not to rub in debris or dirt while doing so.
  • Step #2: Grab a bucket and mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dish washing detergent with 2 cups of distilled water.
  • Step #3: Dip a microfiber cloth in the bucket and wring it out until it’s only damp.
  • Step #4: Use the damp microfiber cloth to gently blot at any stained areas on the fabric. Refrain from scrubbing or rubbing, as this can ruin the fibres.
  • Step #5: Get a clean microfiber cloth and dampen it with distilled water, then use it to blot the area you just cleaned. This will remove any excess soap.
  • Step #6: Grab a dry microfiber cloth and blot the area one more time. 
  • Step #7: Run the air conditioner (or point a fan at the cleaned area) and let it dry completely. 

Baking soda is also a useful ingredient for cleaning upholstery.

How do you disinfect a sofa?

For most of the past year, we’ve been told to avoid touching surfaces at public places to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, doorknobs, dollar bills, and grocery store shopping carts aren’t the only items that can be contaminated by dangerous pathogens.

The upholstery on your sofa can easily become a fertile environment for different viruses, bacteria, parasites, mites, and other unpleasant organisms. This usually happens when the fabric is exposed to unclean hands, outdoor clothes, spilt food or drink, and airborne germs. 

To prevent this, your sofa should undergo regular vacuuming and disinfection, as well as professional upholstery cleaning on at least an annual basis. 

Here are 3 tried-and-true sofa disinfection tips:

1. Use the right cleaning product and approach

Diluted bleach is a common household disinfectant, but you really don’t want to use it on your fabric upholstery as it can damage the material. Instead, take a look at the tags on your sofa, or check the owner’s manual if you have one. They should give you some pointers on how to properly clean the fabric in question. 

2. Always vacuum before disinfecting

Disinfectants are really good at killing germs, but they can’t remove dirt, dust, crumbs, and other debris. In fact, having a lot of grime on the surface of your upholstery may make the disinfectant less effective.

That’s why you should always thoroughly vacuum the surface of your sofa using an upholstery attachment and the strongest setting on your vacuum cleaner before applying the disinfectant.

3. There’s no need to buy expensive disinfectants

Mix two cups of hot water with a tablespoon of dish soap or laundry detergent, and pour this solution into a spray bottle. Spraying the solution on the upholstery and wiping down the dampened areas with a sponge or a cloth will remove most of the everyday dirt and household grimes. 

Make sure to wring out the cleaning cloth, as it gets wet, or replace it with a clean one if it becomes dirty. Once you’re done, let the sofa air dry completely before sitting on it again.

Further reading on mistakes to avoid.

Where can I book a first-rate professional sofa cleaning service in Dublin?

What Is the Best Way to Clean a Fabric Sofa

If all of the above sounds like a massive chore, that’s because it is. There’s a reason why people prefer to leave their sofa cleaning to the experts: not only does it get you superior results at a fair price, it also enables you to use the time you’d spend cleaning on other things, such as enjoying a relaxing afternoon walk down Henrietta Street.

That’s where Emerald Carpet Cleaning comes in. As the leading provider of carpet, rug, and upholstery cleaning services in Dublin, we’re able to remove the tough stains from your sofa. Give us a call today if you’d like to get a free quote or learn more about why we’re the best. 

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