Spring has almost sprung, so it’s time to get set for a front-to-back home refresh. It’s all about swapping out winter items for warmer weather, reorganizing and rearranging spaces, and, of course, cleaning!

One of the best investments you can make this season is showing a little love for your upholstery. Whether it’s your sofa or upholstered headboard, these pieces need regular cleaning in order for them to look their best all year round. And there’s no better time than spring to tackle some deep upholstery cleaning!

Don’t worry, we know cleaning your upholstery can feel intimidating. For instance, how do you clean a sofa? Where do you even start? Or what’s the best way to wipe down an ottoman? And an upholstered bed?

Here, we’re answering all the top questions and dishing our best upholstery cleaning tips along the way. We guarantee it’ll motivate you to get a head start on your own spring cleaning!

Need help getting started? Check out our spring refresh checklist and get inspiration for ways to decorate with plants to ready your home for the new season!

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Know Your Upholstery Fabrics

Before any vacuuming or scrubbing, check to make sure you know the different upholstery fabrics you’ll be cleaning. Different fabrics require different cleaning methods–such as wiping down leather vs. suede and gently blotting wool, linen, or velvet.

Chances are, your upholstered sofa or headboard came with a fabric guide or a best-practice cleaning tag. So take a close look for the best treatment for the fabric, then come up with a gameplan. If anything is unclear, look up your exact piece and upholstery weave and material from the manufacturer’s site to find out their recommended cleaning advice.

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Tackle Stains Slowly

Following fabric guidelines, you’ll want to treat stains accordingly based on upholstery material—especially if you’re trying to clean a couch with tough stains. Though in general, most fabric stains can be treated with a mild detergent mix and water.

If you’re working with a vacuum that has a steam cleaner, use it! Think of it as your BFF when it comes to easy and effective upholstery cleaning. Start by vacuuming your upholstery, then spot treat any particular stain slowly one by one. Remember: Blot, don’t scrub! Too much friction can damage the fabric and ruin your upholstery. Let the treated area dry, then vacuum one more time.

For those of you dealing with a white sofa, a steam cleaner is the perfect upholstery cleaning tool. Also, consider slipcovers that you can remove and throw toss into the wash. They’re guaranteed to keep all your white upholstery looking clean and new for years. Also, check out our comprehensive guide on should I get a white sofa.

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Make Vacuuming A Habit

Upholstered furniture are magnets for dirt and dust and other airborne spores—just because you can’t see the dust, doesn’t mean that it’s not there!

This is especially true if you have an upholstered bed or headboard. It might not be obvious but hair and dust have a tendency to collect quickly on these pieces even if they’re not easily visible. And you definitely don’t want to be sleeping with dust around, so make sure to vacuum these pieces. And while upkeep might sound tedious, there are actually a lot of pros for having an upholstered headboard. Check out our guide on is an upholstered bed right for you.

It’s recommended you vacuum your furniture at least once every other week, so make it a point to do routine upholstery cleaning in your home. For quick and easy cleaning on the regular, use the narrow parts of your vacuum to get into the nooks and crannies of your sofas and chairs where dust and dirt tend to collect. Then, once every season (three months), go for a deep upholstery cleaning, removing stains, and steam cleaning your pieces.

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Do Deodorize

Part of upholstery cleaning is keeping your pieces looking, feeling, and smelling fresh. If you’ve ever caught a whiff of odor from your upholstery, you’re not alone. This is especially true if you have pets! From daily clothes to pets rubbing up on the fabric, odors, like stains, are bound to develop over time.

To tackle upholstery odors, you can use baking soda to help lift any odors and oils from your upholstery. Simply sprinkle and pat it into the upholstery and let it sit for a few hours. It will absorb any odors and oils during that time. Then just vacuum it up after.

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A Few Good Rules Of Thumb:

Avoid harsh chemicals. Spraying strong cleaning chemicals directly onto your furniture–such as Lysol is not a good idea, especially in bedrooms. While this solution may be tempting–you don’t want to be sleeping with chemicals in the air and under your pillow. Try for an organic and chemical-free upholstery cleaning formula instead, or go with a DIY mixture of 1 cup water or club soda, ½ cup white vinegar, ½ Tbsp natural dish soap, and 1 drop thieves essential oil.

Keep dampness at bay. Avoid sitting or leaning on your upholstered pieces with a wet head or wet towel. Water is a huge cause of bacterial growth and a big reason for stains and discoloration in upholstered furnishings.

Consider synthetic fabrics. When purchasing upholstered furniture, look for performance fabrics made with synthetic materials that are naturally stain and mildew-resistance. This will make all your upholstery cleaning much easier, especially if you’re leaning towards upholstered pieces in lighter colors!

Know when to call the pros. If you’re not sure how to tackle a stain that’s too large or serious, you’ll be much better off seeking professional cleaning help. While spot treating small stains can easily be done at home yourself, large stains that aren’t dealt with properly can end up ruining your piece, so it’s safest to call in the pros.

Spring is around the corner! Check out more trending interior design ideas!

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15 replies
  1. Tamarafinide Dittimi says:

    I was looking for this informative article for the past few days and luckily read this article today. This article helped me a lot to understand the importance of Upholstery Cleaning. Please keep sharing such kind of article with us. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Alexis Campbell says:

    Thanks so much for this. Your couch is one of the most used and abused pieces of furniture in your home. It serves as a sometimes bed, dining table, pet haven, and playground. All of that activity leaves plenty of stains and unseen grime like dust mites, bacteria, and fungi.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely! Use a hand vacuum or the brush attachment on your vacuum to clean debris and dirt from the sofa surface.

    Reply
  4. Alexis Campbell says:

    Great blog. Carpet cleaning is performed to remove stains, dirt, and allergens from carpets. Common methods include hot water extraction, dry-cleaning, and vacuuming.

    Reply
  5. Max Jones says:

    Thanks for the tip to use baking soda to lift odors in upholstery. I just inherited some upholstery from my grandma, and the upholstery is old and smells funny. I’ll deodorize the upholstery, and I’ll hire a professional who can help with cleaning as well.

    Reply

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