How to Deep Clean a Couch for Stain-Free Freshness

Published October 20, 2020
puppy sitting near wet spot on the sofa

Learn how to deep clean a couch through easy steps. Find out the cleaning methods for deep cleaning leather, fabric, or synthetic couch. Get quick tips for spot cleaning and sanitizing your used sofa too.

How to Deep Clean a Couch - Materials

When it comes to deep cleaning a couch, you need to have your steps in order. However, every cleaning project needs to start somewhere. Therefore, before you dive into your cleaning project, you need to grab these materials.

  • Vacuum with a brush attachment
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap (Dawn recommended)
  • Castille soap
  • Steam cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Disinfectant
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Enzyme cleaner
  • Container
  • Toothbrush
  • Spray bottle
  • Towels
  • Fan

Step 1: Vacuum the Couch

Before you dive right into the stains on your couch, you need to use a vacuum to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Therefore, you need to remove everything from the sofa, including pillows, blankets, and cushions. Use the brush attachment to get underneath the cushions. Make sure to remove all the visible dirt and pests. This means you need to go over the entire couch several times.

Step 2: How to Sanitize a Used Couch

After you get it all vacuumed, it's essential to start sanitizing all the parts of the couch you're not going to be cleaning.

  1. Spray disinfectant, like hydrogen peroxide, on a cloth. Make sure to test this on an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't cause an issue with the material of the couch.
  2. Start wiping down any areas that are not covered by upholstery or leather on the couch.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Wipe down with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Deodorize a Smelly Couch

How do you deep clean a smelly couch? First, you have to deodorize it. The method that you take for deodorizing depends on if you are dealing with fabric or leather couches.

removing stain from gray sofa with brush

How to Deodorize a Fabric Couch

  1. Sprinkle baking soda over the smelly areas or entire couch.
  2. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes but longer for more pungent smells.
  3. Vacuum off all the baking soda several times.

How to Deodorize a Leather Couch

  1. Add a teaspoon of Castille soap to a cup of water.
  2. Moisten the rag with the solution and wipe down the areas.
  3. For particularly strong stains, use an enzyme cleaner following all the instructions.

Step 4: Remove Stains From the Couch

With all the dirt and smells gone, it's time to get into cleaning stains on the couch. The way that you clean your couch depends on the material of your sofa. This means that you need to look at the label and decipher the codes.

  • W - means you can use water
  • WS - means you can use a dry clean detergent or use a steam vacuum
  • X - means no water
  • S - means dry clean detergent only

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa Naturally

For a fabric sofa, you can usually remove and wash the couch cushion covers right in the washer. You then clean the rest of the couch using the following method.

  1. Mix two tablespoons of Castile soap and ¼ cup warm water.
  2. Dip a white microfiber cloth in the solution.
  3. Rub the mixture over the stains or entire sofa.
  4. Use a dry area of the cloth to absorb the stain and soap residue.
  5. Use a damp cloth to rinse away soap residue.

How to Deep Clean a Couch With Baking Soda and Vinegar

For stains on fabric that go a bit deeper, you can opt to use white vinegar and baking soda.

  1. In a spray bottle, mix one teaspoon of dish soap, ¼ cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of baking soda, and one cup of warm water.
  2. Spray the mixture on the stain.
  3. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Use a toothbrush to scrub the area.
  5. Use a clean damp cloth to blot the area.

How to Remove Stains From Leather Sofa

Cleaning stains on leather furniture takes a special hand. This is because you deal with specific stains on leather upholstery in different ways. Additionally, it differs from how to clean faux leather. For example, you deal with gum different than you do mold on a leather couch. Overall, you can expect to place the cleaner on the area then buff with a cloth.

wiping leather sofa with cloth

How to Clean a Synthetic Upholstery Sofa

  1. In a spray bottle, mix ⅓ cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of warm water, and two teaspoons of Castile soap.
  2. Spray it over the area.
  3. Use a soft cloth to rub the area.
  4. For stubborn stains, you can use the toothbrush to get a bit deeper.
  5. Use a clean damp cloth to rinse the area.

How to Clean Dry Clean Only Sofas

If you have a dry clean only couch, then there are only a few different ways you can go. You might choose to have a professional clean the couch for you. However, you could also use dry cleaning solvents to clean the couch. When using solvents, it's important to follow all the instructions.

How to Steam Clean a Couch

Another option for cleaning stains and dirt off your couch is to use a steam cleaner. When using a steam cleaner, you need to follow all the manufacturer's instructions for the machine. You also need to make sure the steam cleaning will not harm the material.

Professional steam cleaning a couch

Step 5: Drying the Couch

Once the stains and stink are removed from your couch, it's time to get it dry. For drying, follow these steps.

  1. Take several towels and soak up as much liquid as you can.
  2. Set up a fan and point it at the couch.

Giving Your Couch a Deep Cleaning

Whether you plan on just washing couch cushions or you need to deep clean a used couch, it's essential to follow the right steps to clean and sanitize your couch. Now that you have the couch cleaning know-how, it's time to get your couch sparkling.

How to Deep Clean a Couch for Stain-Free Freshness