Who doesn’t love a good fabric sofa? They’re cosy, vegan-friendly and oh-so-comfortable. But there’s one thing that gets people scratching their heads. How on earth do we clean a fabric sofa? Are there any tricks and hacks to keep them fresh for longer? Well, if you’re asking those questions, you’re in luck because this guide will break down the different steps you should follow to clean your fabric sofa. We even dive into the different types of fabric sofas and how they differ.
How often to clean your fabric sofa
To keep your fabric sofa looking fresh, we recommend a surface-level clean every 2-3 weeks and a deeper clean every 4-6 weeks.
Deep wet vs dry cleaning sofas
“But what’s the difference between dry cleaning and deep cleaning a sofa?” we hear you ask. Well, deep ‘wet’ cleaning a sofa is cleaning that involves water or solvents while dry cleaning usually just requires a cloth, brush and vacuum.
All frequent cleaning should be done using a cloth, brush and vacuum. You should only use water if you have some light staining. If you have any significant stains, that's when you can pull out the hard stuff, just be sure to check with your manufacturer first what detergent or “solvent” should be used.
How to clean spills or stains from a fabric sofa
We’ve all been there. We laughed too hard while sipping our morning coffee (*ahem* or red wine) and it toppled over. You should clean it up straight away so it’s easy to clean by using a wet cloth and blotting it over the area.
Top tip: To avoid spreading the stain, try a dab and twist away, using a bit of clean cloth each time you dab.
7-step guide to clean a fabric sofa
If you have removable sofa covers, strip them off and have them cleaned separately. If not, then put the kettle on and make a brew whilst you read through this easy 7-step guide for cleaning your fabric sofa.
1. Brush the fabric sofa like there’s no tomorrow
It’s time to get your upholstery dusting brush out! Or if you don’t have one, a dry cloth will do. Simply wipe any dust and bits away and if you have any pets, this will help get any scratch marks or hairs out too.
Don’t just use any brush though, your sofa is sacred. If the bristles on the brush are too hard then you could just be doing more damage than good. Use a soft brush, applying moderate pressure.
2. Get the vacuum out!
You’ll finally get a chance to use some of the forgotten (hopefully not lost!) vacuum attachments in the back of the closet. Vacuum attachments are great for getting into the nooks and crevices deep in the back of your sofa.
If you’ve managed to find your brush attachments, you can loosen up the old dirt and crumbs, then run the hoover nozzle in the lines along the direction of the pile. If you don’t have a vacuum on hand then don’t worry, lint rollers will work just as well (if not better), especially if you have pets indoors.
3. Steam clean your fabric sofa
If you’ve got a steam cleaner in your house tucked away somewhere, maybe in the closet with the vacuum attachments, now is the time to use it. If you don’t, then an iron with a steaming function will do just as well. Gently steam over your sofa, starting with a small area first and working your way all over the sofa.
Your sofa will start looking, smelling and feeling much cleaner, maybe as clean as the day you bought it. By steaming, you’ve now agitated any dirt and debris in the fabric, making it much easier for the final steps.
4. Stains, be gone!
Time to get the stains out of your sofa fabrics using just a few household supplies that you will most likely have in your under-sink cupboard.
For most stains, just water should do the trick, but if you run into trouble then detergent will work a charm.
5. Fabric Sofa Cleaner time
Run down to your local supermarket and find some sofa cleaner for your cleaning label specification.
There will be instructions for application on the bottle of your sofa cleaner spray. Methods from manufacturers will vary, so read the bottle first and always spot-test before you put it all over.
6. Dry the sofa, or else.
You’ve probably spent the whole day cleaning your sofa by now but don’t sit down yet. You’ll not only wind up with a wet bottom but also a nasty damp lingering smell coming from the newly formed mould in your sofa.
Use dry towels or dry cleaning cloths to dab dry your sofa. It might be a good idea to add some ventilation by opening a window and leaving a fan pointing towards the sofa whilst doing so.
7. Vacuum once more for luck
You’ve made it to the end of the tutorial. Your last step is to vacuum the sofa once more (with a clean vacuum head, PLEASE), garnish with a little bit of scented fabric spray and then put your feet up with a nice cuppa coffee, just don’t spill it again…
And if you have a SNUG?
SNUG’s Velvet, Chenille and Woven fabrics are spill resistant, so cleaning is just that bit easier (and much less frequent).
You can definitely steam SNUG, in fact, we actively recommend it. But it's more for bruising or scratches than stains, as those can easily be blotted away.
So, if you’re looking for a new living room partner, don’t get a sofa, get snuuug.
Want to know more? Check out our care guide here.