Whether you like it or not, at some point or another you’re going to need to give your couch a good cleaning. From those last-second wins by your favorite team that ended with the nacho cheese spilling everywhere, to the long workouts where all you can do is lay down in a puddle of sweat afterwards, your couch takes a beating. But there’s no need to worry! You don’t need to start saving for a brand new couch when the first spill hits upholstery. To help get your couch looking like the first day you brought it home, we’ve outlined the steps you’ll need to take in order to bring your favorite place to lay down back to life.
- Identify the Fabric - Good news, the first step to cleaning your couch has nothing to do with the cleaning. You’ll need to identify the type of material. In order to do so, find the tag located either beneath the cushions or under the couch. The tag should have a “W,” “S,” “WS,” “X,” or “O.” The “W” or “WS” means your couch is washable with a water based soap. “S” indicates it needs to be dry cleaned or with a non-water based detergent. “X” implies that the fabric should be professionally cleaned. Lastly, “O” stands for organic, meaning it needs to be washed with cold water.
- Gather Supplies - After you’ve identified your fabric, you’ll need to get your scrubbing tools ready. You’ll need soap (if applicable), wood or metal polish brush or a sponge for scrubbing, a dry cloth and a vacuum.
- Wash Wood or Metal - Start with the easy parts of the couch, the legs and arms. Wipe down the legs with with the polish, and don’t forget the armrest if it has any wood or metal as well.
- Remove Cushions and Pillows - If your cushions are removable, take them off and wash them separately using the steps to come. Some couch cushions also have removable covers that can be unzipped, and usually thrown right in your washing machine. Make sure to check the washing instructions first!
- Vacuum - Before you put any liquid to fabric, make sure every crack, crevice, and piece of your couch has been vacuumed. This will prevent you from scrubbing any dirt further into your couch.
- Make the Detergent - For those with a water based solution, mix a quarter cup of detergent with one cup of warm water. For non-water based solutions, simply put rubbing alcohol into a clean spray bottle.
- Wash (Water Based) - Using your sponge or soft brush, fully immerse it in the detergent solution and begin scrubbing problem areas. Start from top to bottom, as the water will run. After, using a cool, damp washcloth, wipe the excess soap away. Then using the dry cloth, wipe down one last time before allowing it to fully dry.
- Wash (Non-Water Based) - Spray small sections of your desired area with the alcohol. Then using a dry sponge or soft brush, scrub the couch to lift up the dirt. Avoid large sprays as the alcohol may evaporate before you have time to scrub large areas.