Refresh Your Fabric Couch With This DIY Cleaning Method

Sarah Lipoff

After a long day, your cozy couch is the perfect place to unwind, which sometimes involves stinky feet, a greasy late-night snack, or a glass of red wine. Those spills, wipes, and smells build up over time and before you even realize it your couch is begging for a deep cleaning. This method will even get rid of things you can't see, like sloughed-off skin cells (ew!). If you have a natural-fabric couch (like cotton, linen, or wool) here's how to make it look like new again.

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Identify the Fabric

Couches come in lots of shapes and materials, with some even having removable and washable cushions. If you are lucky enough to have a cotton-blend or linen couch, you can easily clean it with natural ingredients. Before getting started, give your couch a good once-over to figure out what it's made from. Most have a tag that identifies it as:

  • W: OK to use water for cleaning.
  • S: Only use a solvent-based cleaner on fabric.
  • SW: Either water or a solvent cleaner is safe to use.
  • X: Only use a vacuum for cleaning.

Prep Your Couch

Get your couch ready for grooming by using a clean and dry white hand towel or washcloth to brush the entire piece of furniture, breaking up any dried-on spots and removing any bits that have made homes of nooks and crannies. You can also use a stiff brush for this step. Avoid using any colored towels or sponges, as the dye may alter the color of your couch.

Deep-Clean

Sprinkle the entire couch with a good heap of baking soda. Baking soda helps release lurking smells and break up stains in the fabric. If you're feeling your sofa really needs a serious clean, mix together this dry natural carpet cleaner, and then use for covering the fabric. Allow the baking soda to sit on the couch for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour before vacuuming using a brush attachment.

Stains, Begone

Now take a closer look at the couch to find any lingering stains. Mix together this easy cleaning solution, and do a small fabric spot test in an unseen location to check if there's any discoloration. Dip the washcloth in the cleaning solution, and gently dab and rub stains - or simply use for wiping down the entire couch. You'll be amazed with the results!

Just Like New

Allow the couch to dry, and touch up as needed. It may appear darker in color until it's completely dry. This cleaning method is safe to use on fabrics and can be done anytime your sofa needs a cleaning - like right before you have friends over!

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