DIY: How To Clean Upholstered Furniture


You finally found that perfect white sofa for your living room, but you’re hesitant to get it because you know that between kids, a husband, and pets, that pristine white will be a stained mess by the end of day one. It’s not like you can throw the cushions into the washer.

What many people don’t know is that you can keep your upholstered furniture spotless with just a few items you most likely already have around the house.


What You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum

  • Water (2 cups)

  • Dish Soap (3 tablespoons)

  • Vinegar (3 tablespoons)

  • Large Bowl

  • Whisk

  • Clean Cloth

  • Soft Bristled Cleaning Brush

  • Floor Fan


Step One: Vacuum

You’d be surprised by how much cleaner your sofa and chairs will look after a deep vacuuming. Make sure that you vacuum underneath your cushions and in the corners, too, even though you don’t technically see the nooks and crannies. Vacuuming will pull up dirt, hair and dust, giving your furniture an instant makeover. It also prevents new dust and dirt from sinking deep into the cushions, so vacuuming on a pretty regular basis (twice a month) will keep your furniture from ever getting too dirty.

Step Two: Mix The Cleaning Solution

Take a large bowl (a much larger bowl than you think you’ll need) and pour in the water, dish soap, and vinegar. If you have white or lightly colored furniture, you’ll want to try and use clear or yellow/orange dish soap and white vinegar. Whisk the ingredients together rapidly for about 20 seconds. You want the mixture to bubble up almost like you were making meringue. Whisk everything together until there are more bubbles than liquid.

Step Three: Cover The Cushions

Once you’ve mixed everything, take a clean, absorbent cloth, scoop out just the bubbles, and spread them across a section of the furniture you’re cleaning. This isn’t a spot treatment. In order for you to get a nice, even clean with no splotches, you’ll have to spread the mixture across the entire cushion, even if there’s only a small section that really needs cleaning.  

The bubbles will capture those dirt, dust, and stain particles and lift them up out of the fabric. If there are any hardcore stains (for example, spilled wine from last week’s episode of Game of Thrones), you can use that soft bristled cleaning brush to lightly scrub.

Step Four: Wipe Everything Down

Get your cloth damp with warm water. It’s really important that you use as little water as possible while still giving the cloth moisture. You don’t want any water spots, so the goal is to use the bare minimum.

Lightly wipe up the bubbles. Depending on how dirty your furniture was before you started, the cloth will start to get pretty nasty. Wash the cloth out every few strokes- just make sure to thoroughly wring out any excess water. Once you’re done, it’ll be like you’re looking at brand new furniture!

Step Five: Dry Everything ASAP

To prevent water spots, drying everything as quickly as possible is imperative. Take a fan and turn it to the highest setting on the section of furniture you just completed while you move on to the next section. Once everything is wiped down and dried from the fan, you’ll be the proud owner of some brand new furniture!

Have questions about what type of furniture materials will work best for your lifestyle? Come talk to one of our sales representatives or an in-home designer about your options!