How to Clean Upholstered Furniture
How to Clean Upholstered Furniture


Oftentimes, the cozier the living room furniture, the harder it is to keep clean. But if you come equipped with the right tools and know-how, deep cleaning your upholstered furniture doesn't have to be all that difficult.

Your furniture is likely to be upholstered with a either natural fabric like linen or cotton, or a synthetic fabric such as polyester, velvet, microfiber, or rayon. In general, synthetic fabrics tend to be more durable than natural ones.

Whether spot cleaning or using a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment, your choice of cleaning products is important to avoid further staining or degrading your type of fabric. Online cleaning tips often suggest common pantry staples like mild dish soap or baking soda.

Dish soap might not work hard enough to restore your upholstery to its original color. Baking soda's fine particles can clog the pores of your vacuum's bag or HEPA filter, which can drastically reduce suction power. The dust can also potentially seep through your vacuum's filtration system and get sucked into the motor. Lastly, the particles can remain in the fabric and act as an abrasive, weakening fibers over time.

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can spot-clean stains or even work in an upholstery or carpet cleaning machine to deep clean your couch, ottoman, cushions, or upholstered chairs. Simple Green powers out stains from dirt and dust, to pet stains and spilled food, odors, and beyond.

Always check the furniture manufacturer's cleaning instructions before cleaning any upholstery. Failing to do so could void the warranty, or worse yet, ruin your furniture. There should be a cleaning label attached featuring one of four letters to indicate its care needs. Here's what each means:

  • W — You can use water to clean this material.
  • S — Do not use water. Only a solvent-based cleaner is recommended.
  • WS — You can use water or a solvent-based cleaner to clean.
  • X — Vacuum only.

(Simple Green is a water-based cleaner and meets the WS definition)

It's best to vacuum your upholstered furniture weekly. Upholstery should be vacuumed frequently to prevent dust and crumbs from settling into the body of the furniture. Otherwise, removing stains and general cleaning can be done quarterly or on an as-needed basis. As with any type of stain, it's best to soak up and remove a troublesome spot as soon as it happens.

Directions for Cleaning Upholstered Furniture:

If you're unsure about how Simple Green will affect a surface, be sure to spot test in an inconspicuous area before cleaning.


  1. Prepare the area. Remove any solids and blot the stain before you begin cleaning.
  2. Wet the stain. Dampen the stain with clean water.
  3. Mix your Simple Green cleaning solution. Add 1 oz. (or 2 tbsp.) of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleanerto 1 cup of water in an empty spray bottle.
  4. Apply your solution. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak.
  5. Blot the stain. Gently rub and blot with a damp clean microfiber cloth, towel or paper towels.
  6. Air dry. Allow the area to dry completely.


  1. Add Simple Green to your machine. Mix 4 oz. Simple Green per ½ gallon of water into your carpet cleaning machine.
  2. Apply the solution. Apply the solution onto the sofa using the upholstery attachment.
  3. Scrub the area. Agitate by gently brushing or scrubbing the area (a soft nylon brush works best).
  4. Extract. Extract with the carpet cleaner and clean water. If necessary, add a small amount of white vinegar to reduce foaming in the recovery tank.
  5. Air dry. Allow the area to dry completely.

You may need to repeat this process depending on the mess. Do not allow your Simple Green solution to dry onto upholstered surfaces or it will be much harder to remove.


Baker Farrow
Cleaning Trade
Collins Industrial
Harvey Distributors
Independent Oils
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