Couch Cleaning Tips

You Spilled Something But Is Your Couch Ruined?

Spills are just the worst - whether it's red wine, tomato sauce, or chocolate, you think your couch is destroyed. But, in most cases, all hope is not lost!

How can I protect my new sofa?

Here are the top 15 suggestions for avoiding covering your home in (more) plastic, endorsed by the team:

  1. Use Sofa Covers or Slipcovers: Slipcovers are an excellent way to safeguard your sofa. They're washable and easy to replace, providing a protective layer against spills, dirt, and pet hair.
  2. Apply Fabric Protector: Fabric protectors are sprays that can help repel stains and spills from your sofa, making it easier to clean and maintain.
  3. Regular Vacuuming: Regularly vacuum your sofa to remove dirt and dust. It prevents the accumulation of these particles, which can lead to stains and overall griminess.
  4. Use Throw Blankets: Strategically placed throw blankets not only add style to your sofa but also protect it from dirt and spills.
  5. Avoid Eating on the Sofa: Prevent potential spills and stains by avoiding eating or drinking on the sofa. Like definitely don't bring a sleeve of saltine crackers over to eat on your pull out couch or L shaped couch.
  6. Keep Pets Off the Furniture: If possible, train your pets to stay off the sofa. Pet hair, dirt from paws, and potential accidents can all cause damage.
  7. Regular Spot Cleaning: Address stains and spills immediately with spot cleaning. Use a mild cleaner suitable for the sofa's material and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. You can find a great product here like the Bissell Upholstery Cleaner or by googling "couch cleaner machine" for some heavy duty tools.
  8. Professional Cleaning: Schedule professional cleanings periodically. Professionals have specialized tools and products that can provide a deep clean without damaging your furniture.
  9. Use Armrest Covers: Armrests often see a lot of use and can become dirty quickly. Using armrest covers can help protect these areas.
  10. Keep Sharp Objects Away: Protect your sofa from cuts and scratches by keeping sharp objects, like scissors, knives, or pet claws, away from it.
  11. Rotate Cushions: Regularly rotating and flipping the cushions can help ensure even wear, preventing any one area from becoming overly dirty or worn.
  12. Use Coasters: Encourage the use of coasters for drinks to prevent condensation rings or potential spills on your sofa.
  13. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight can fade and damage certain sofa materials. Keeping your sofa out of direct sunlight can help maintain its original color and texture.
  14. Enforce No Shoes Policy: Encourage family members and guests to take off their shoes before sitting on the sofa to minimize dirt and grime.
  15. Install Anti-Scratch Guards: If you have pets, install anti-scratch guards on your sofa. They deter pets from scratching, thus protecting the sofa material.

How can I clean my new sofa?

Guy power washing a sofa

Well, first you should check out our comprehensive posts on couch care and cleaning. Here's a great place to start to find out how to how to clean fabric couch! However, here are some of the top 5 most popular cleaning methods to give you some quick ideas on how to disinfect and clean your couch, sectional, or pull out bed:

  1. The Power of Vacuuming: Say goodbye to hidden crumbs and lurking dust bunnies! Grab your trusty vacuum cleaner and start by using the upholstery attachment to thoroughly vacuum your sofa. This will help remove loose dirt and debris, ensuring a fresher and cleaner surface. Psst, check out this handy guide on proper vacuuming techniques here.
  2. Battling Stubborn Stains with Baking Soda Magic: Oh no, did a glass of red wine or a rogue dollop of ketchup find its way onto your sofa? Fear not! Baking soda is here to save the day. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water, then apply it directly to the stain. Let it work its magic for about 15 minutes, then gently blot it away with a clean cloth. Here's a step-by-step tutorial just for you.
  3. The Magical Mystery of Steam Cleaning: Get ready to unleash the power of steam! Steam cleaning is a game-changer when it comes to deep cleaning your sofa. Rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional to do the job for you. The hot steam penetrates deep into the fabric, eliminating dirt, bacteria, and those mysterious smudges. Check out this guide to steam cleaning your sofa like a pro.
  4. Nature's Miracle: Vinegar and Water: Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, then lightly mist your sofa. Gently scrub any stains or soiled areas, then let it air dry. The vinegar will help eliminate odors and break down dirt, leaving your sofa refreshed and rejuvenated. You can find more details on this natural cleaning hack right here.
  5. Conquer Pet Hair With a Lint Roller: If you have furry friends who love to snuggle on your sofa, you know the never-ending battle against pet hair. Enter the humble lint roller - your secret weapon against those pesky strands. Roll it over your sofa cushions and fabric to effortlessly pick up pet hair and keep your space looking fur-free. Check out these lint roller tips and tricks to become a pet hair superhero.

Does Scotchguard really work on couches?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by customers in the furniture industry. When Scotchguard came out, it revolutionized the way that people saw fabric protection- it set a new standard! Therefore, it has become the gold standard in fabric protection and almost synonymous with the term.

Scotchguard works by adding a layer of synthetic protection on the top of your sofa and it's administered via a spray aerosol. It can really help so often times, the answer to the question of "should I use scotchguard on my couch?" is usually a "why not!".

That being said, it usually isn't necessary and some folks don't love having extra chemicals or additives on their fabrics or textiles in their home. The truth is that most couch fabrics are now inherently very stain resistant and cleanable! Be sure to ask your retailer the question of whether or not they recommend any additional stain protection but there's a great chance you might not need it!

How can I hide blemishes on my couch?

Spaghetti and Meatballs Spilled on Sofa Cushion

Haha! Great question! They say that every time a couch is constructed, somewhere a throw blanket gets its wings... Here are some things to consider doing if you just can't (get yourself to) clean that stain from your sofa!

  1. Artfully Placed Throw Pillows – Time to unleash your inner interior designer! Use strategically placed throw pillows to divert attention away from the blemishes. Choose vibrant colors, patterns, and textures that complement your sofa and add a playful touch to your space. Plus, they make your couch super comfy for movie nights!
  2. Cover It Up with a Unique Blanket – Turn your sofa into a cozy paradise with a stylish throw blanket. Not only will it add a pop of color and texture to your living room, but it will also cleverly cover any unsightly spots. Get creative and choose a blanket that matches your personality and style – it's like giving your couch an instant wardrobe upgrade!
  3. The Magic of Slipcovers – Transform your couch into a brand new piece of furniture with the power of slipcovers. These versatile covers come in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to easily hide any blemishes and protect your precious sofa from future mishaps. Plus, they're machine washable, so cleaning up spills becomes a breeze!
  4. Dazzling Decorative Tape – Who said tape couldn't be glamorous? Invest in some decorative tape that complements your sofa's color and design. Simply apply it strategically over the blemishes, and voila! Your couch is now a work of art. It's like creating your own modern masterpiece while effortlessly hiding imperfections.
  5. Clever Arrangement of Furniture – Sometimes a simple rearrangement can do wonders. If the blemishes are located on a specific area of your couch, try shifting your furniture around to strategically hide them. Experiment with different layouts and angles until you find the perfect setup that disguises those naughty marks.

Can I order new couch cushion covers?

You can totally order new couch cushion covers. It's like giving your sofa a makeover, but way easier and cheaper! It might be the only option too if you're faced with one of the hardest things to clean from a couch.

  1. Tailor-made for You: There's a multitude of online retailers, like Etsy or Wayfair, where you can order bespoke cushion covers to fit your unique style.
  2. Contact the manufacturer or retailer: They can likely offer you new cushions covers for a relatively inexpensive price. That being said it's a fraction of the price of a new sofa.
  3. Get your DIY on: Feeling crafty? Sew your own! There are countless tutorials out there to guide you.

Do couch covers protect fabric couches?

Couch covers have got your back when it comes to protecting your sofa in style. These trendy solutions not only safeguard your fabric couch but also add a touch of flair to your living space. Here's why they're a must-have for the young and modern crowd:

  1. Protection from Stains and Spills: Accidental spills or stains can ruin the appearance of your sofa. Couch covers repel these spills, making them easy to clean up.
  2. Defense Against Wear and Tear: Couch covers absorb much of the daily wear and tear that would otherwise impact your couch, thereby extending its lifespan.
  3. Shield Against Dirt and Dust: By covering the fabric, couch covers act as a shield against dirt, dust, and allergens, keeping your sofa clean and fresh.
  4. Barrier for Pet Damage: If you have pets, a couch cover can protect your sofa from pet hair, scratches, or accidents.

The best part is, couch covers are removable and often machine washable, making it easy to maintain a clean and tidy sofa.

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Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder