How to Clean a Fabric Sofa Without Removable Covers

As much as we love the look and general feel of fabric sofas, when it comes to cleaning them they can become a major hassle and nightmare if you don’t know the correct ways to do it. We’ve all been there when it comes to failing at cleaning something and the worst thing is when everything goes wrong.

When you spend good money on a fabric sofa, you want to look after it and since spills are bound to happen from time to time, you need to be prepared for any to happen. Nobody wants to live in around their furniture hoping not to spill the odd food piece or even a drink or two, that’s exactly why we’ve put together this guide on the best products to clean your sofa with, and how exactly to do it.

Even if your fabric sofa doesn’t look dirty, every now and again you should clean it so that it keeps it’s brand-new, youthful look. There is nothing better than a beautiful looking couch that is both comfortable and clean!

Cleaning a fabric sofa

Step-by-Step Guide

When things are more simply put it makes tasks so much easier and also means they get done with a lot more efficiency. The important thing to note is that we’re providing a step-by-step guide to help you clean your fabric sofa the way we know best, there are so many other ways you can clean your sofa too, but we just think this is the best and most structured way.

1. Know what fabric you’re dealing with

This may seem like an obvious step and possibly it should not be in the guide at all, however, it is essential that you know what fabric your sofa is made from so that you get the correct products to clean with. Fabrics can be polyester, nylon, acrylic and other microfiber fabrics.

Using a cleaning product which is for a fabric that is different from the one that your sofa is can be damaging and end up costing a lot of money. You should always also check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions as this will normally tell you which products are best to use. Whilst there are many home remedies you can try, this is a difficult and risky process, so it is always better to get premade cleaning products.

If you’re unsure of the original material or want to be extra safe you can try a multi-fabric cleaner such as the HG Stain Spray.

2. Vacuum and take apart the sofa

This is definitely the first official step to the guide and is very important. Using a good hoover and hoovering your sofa will allow all the crumbs and other loose bits to be sucked up by the hoover and not get in the way when you’re properly cleaning the sofa. Depending on how your sofa is built, you may be able to take it apart to an extent.

Take apart your sofa as much as you can and ensure you have hoovered everywhere, this will allow for a thorough clean that will leave your sofa looking brand new! Taking apart the sofa will also help when you come to cleaning it using the specialised products, you will be able to quickly navigate where the problem areas are and get cleaning quickly.

3. Wipe down the wipeable areas

The fabric cleaner which you have bought will most likely not clean surfaces such as wood or metal, this step ensures that your whole sofa is extra squeaky clean for your future guests by getting you to wipe down all of the wipeable areas of the sofa. This could be the legs (which are often wooden or metal), the armchair ends, or even the back of the sofa.

You are free to use practically any wipes you think will work on your sofa, however, keep in mind that any wipes with bleach or any other harmful substance may discolour your wipeable areas. This is why we would advise you to use wipes that don’t have any substances on them that could cause damage to your sofa.

4. Use your cleaning product to clean the sofa

All different cleaning products work differently, if you’ve bought a certain brand then you may have to look at the instructions on how to allow the cleaning product to do its job correctly. However, most of the time the product comes in a spray bottle, you must spray on a fair amount of product onto the problem area then use a clean cloth to wipe it down.

The clean cloth should be slightly damp and not too wet, it should also never have been used as you don’t want any more damage brought to your sofa. Spray around 2 or 3 times onto the problem area (depending on how big it is), let sit for around 5 to 10 minutes and then use the cloth to rub in the product. Although you won’t see immediate results (as the sofa will now be damp from the product you’ve used to clean it), once it has dried it will be back to new.

If you’re worried about the product staining your sofa then you can damp the cloth a little after you’ve used it to rub the product in, and then use it softly on the drying product.

Three cleaning products to try:

In case you’re stuck for the best products to use on your different fabrics then we have them listed below along with the links to buy them from Amazon.

  • Rug Doctor Oxy Power Fabric Cleaner – this is ideal if you’re looking for a multi-purpose cleaner as you can not only use it on your fabric sofa but your mattresses and car interiors too. The reviews are very good for this product and you get 1 litre of product which is sure to last a while.
  • Vanish Oxi Action Powerspray Carpet and Upholstery Stain Remover – this is the best product to use if you don’t want to clean your whole sofa but would rather target certain areas such as a spillage on the sofa at the front. It can also clean carpets which is ideal if you have little ones in your house as they often do spill drinks and other things on the floor and sofa very often.
  • STA-Kill Deodoriser – for those stains that smell and that simply cleaning the sofa won’t hide, this product is a concentrate you can apply to the sofa after it’s quick clean, it doesn’t necessarily clean the sofa but it helps to reduce any unwanted spillage smells. This is ideal for spillages or accidents such as vomit, urine or pet odours.

5. Let it dry

After you have successfully cleaned the sofa to how you see fit, you will need to let it dry thoroughly. Therefore, it is best to clean a sofa when you’re going to bed, going on holiday or doing something in which you won’t need to sit on your sofa for at least 10 hours. For the best results do this before going on holiday for a week or two, and then you won’t need to worry about any of the children accidentally sitting on it (or even yourself!).

After you have allowed it to dry, you can also spray some sofa deodorant onto the patches that you have cleaned after it’s dry so that it has a nice smell. Some deodorants are fruity, whilst some have a more warm and homely smell.

Removing stains from fabric sofas

This isn’t a stage within the guide as we thought it could be a completely different helpful tip all on its own. Removing stains from your fabric sofa doesn’t necessarily mean you have to clean the whole sofa. There are many cheap yet effective ways on how to remove stains easily, which include; rinsing a sponge and putting a little bit of soap mixture onto the stain, then gently dabbing it. If you find that you need something stronger or your sofa cannot be washed with water, then you can use vinegar or vodka (depending on the colour of your sofa!).

After you’ve finished dabbing then you can take some paper towels or kitchen roll and press it dry. You should still bear in mind the fabric that your sofa is, as sometimes you may need a specialist stain remover such as the Turtle Wax Power Out Stain Remover. Just ensure that you assess the damage done to your sofa before you make any rash decisions; if you don’t use the correct method or products it could make the sofa a lot worse than it was before!

We’re hoping that this guide has helped you in your venture to having the cleanest sofa on your whole street. It’s not as scary and daunting as you might think and is why you should do it more often to make the most of having a new sofa. Next time someone spills something on your sofa, you won’t get too upset because you’ll know exactly what to do straight away!