How to Clean a Fabric Sofa at Home?

Fabric sofa is the center piece of every living room, providing comfort and style to your space. Over time, it's bound to accumulate dirt, stains, and odors, making it essential to clean it regularly. While hiring professional upholstery cleaners is an option, it can be expensive. The good news is that you can effectively clean your fabric sofa at home with a few simple steps. In this article, I will talk you through the process of cleaning your fabric sofa, ensuring it looks fresh and inviting for years to come.

Preparing for the Cleaning Process:

Before you begin cleaning your fabric sofa, it's essential to gather the necessary supplies and prepare the area. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment

  • Soft-bristled brush or cloth

  • Distilled water

  • Mild dish soap or upholstery cleaner (check manufacturer's recommendations)

  • Spray bottle

  • White vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Clean towels

Start by removing any cushions or removable covers from your sofa. Check the manufacturer's instructions for specific cleaning recommendations for your fabric type. If there are no specific instructions, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure the cleaning solution doesn't damage or discolor the fabric.

Next, vacuum the sofa thoroughly using the upholstery attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Pay special attention to the crevices and corners where dirt tends to accumulate. This step will prevent the dirt from spreading further during the cleaning process.

Section 2: Basic Cleaning Techniques (400 words)

Now that you've prepared your sofa for cleaning, it's time to tackle the basic cleaning steps. Follow these techniques to remove general dirt and freshen up your fabric sofa:

Spot Cleaning: 

Dilute a small amount of mild dish soap or upholstery cleaner in a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Test the solution on a small inconspicuous area first. If there are no adverse effects, spray the solution onto a clean, white cloth or soft-bristled brush and gently blot or scrub the stained areas. Avoid excessive rubbing, as it may damage the fabric. Use a clean cloth to blot away excess moisture.


To eliminate unpleasant odours from your fabric sofa, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the surface. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb the odours. Then, using a vacuum cleaner, thoroughly remove the baking soda from the sofa.

Refreshing with Vinegar: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the fabric surface with the solution, taking care not to saturate it. Vinegar helps neutralise odours and remove light stains. Allow the sofa to air dry completely.

Tackling Stubborn Stains 

No matter how careful you are, spills and stains are inevitable on a fabric sofa. Here are some effective methods to remove stubborn stains:

Ink Stains: 

Dab a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol or non-acetone nail polish remover. Gently blot the stained area, frequently changing the cloth to prevent spreading the ink. Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with a clean cloth dampened with water and blot dry.

Grease Stains:

Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or talcum powder over the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb the grease. Gently brush off the powder using a soft-bristled brush. If traces of the stain remain, repeat the process until the stain is fully lifted.

Food and Beverage Stains: 

Blot the stain immediately with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Mix a small amount of mild dish soap with distilled water. Dip a clean cloth into the soapy solution and gently blot the stained area. Avoid rubbing, as it may spread the stain. Rinse the cloth with clean water and blot the area again to remove any soap residue. Finally, pat the area dry with a clean towel.

Pet Stains:

If you have furry friends at home, accidents can happen. Start by blotting up as much liquid as possible with a clean cloth. Mix a teaspoon of mild dish soap with a cup of warm water. Apply the solution to the stained area using a clean cloth, working from the outside of the stain towards the centre. Blot gently, rinse the cloth with clean water, and continue blotting until the stain is gone. Dry the area thoroughly.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Fabric Sofa Clean 

To keep your fabric sofa looking its best, here are some maintenance tips:

Vacuum regularly: 

Remove loose dirt and debris by vacuuming your sofa at least once a week. Use the upholstery attachment to reach all the nooks and crannies.

Fluff and rotate cushions:

Rotate and fluff your sofa cushions regularly to maintain their shape and prevent uneven wear.

Use armrest covers and throws: 

Protect high-traffic areas of your sofa by using armrest covers and throws. They can be easily washed and replaced, keeping your sofa cleaner for longer.

Avoid direct sunlight: 

Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause your fabric sofa to fade. Position your sofa away from direct sunlight or use curtains or blinds to protect it.

Deal with spills immediately:

Act quickly when spills occur. Blot the spill with a clean cloth to prevent it from seeping into the fabric and causing stains.


How do I clean a fabric sofa at home?

Vacuum the surface, use a mild detergent with warm water to scrub stains, and air dry.

Can I use a steam cleaner to clean my fabric sofa?

Check the care label or contact the manufacturer to see if steam cleaning is safe for your sofa.

How can I remove stains from my fabric sofa?

Blot the stain, treat water-based stains with a mild detergent and oil-based stains with dish soap, rinse, and blot dry. Consider professional help if needed.


Cleaning your fabric sofa at home doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following the steps and techniques outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odours, and keep your sofa looking fresh and inviting. Remember to always check the manufacturer's instructions and perform spot tests before using any cleaning solutions. Regular maintenance and prompt action when spills occur will help extend the lifespan of your fabric sofa. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your supplies, and give your beloved sofa the care it deserves. With a little effort, you'll be able to enjoy a clean and cosy seating experience for years to come.

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