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How to clean upholstery

Upholstery in your car or home can quickly become dirty. When your upholstery is looking dingy or feeling unclean, you may want to find out exactly how to make the item look newer again. There are many different ways to consider when thinking about how best to clean your upholstered items.


One of the best and simplest things to do to make your sofa cleaner is to vacuum. Using your vacuum for rug cleaning or cleaning carpets is second nature, but vacuums also come with attachments which allow you to clean couches and upholstery as well. You can even clean your drapes with vacuum attachments in most cases. If your vacuum reaches out to the car or if you have a shop vac, then car upholstery can be cleaned using a vacuum too.

Run the vacuum

Simply run the vacuum carefully over the upholstery, going with the grain of the fabric if you can, once you have put on the upholstery attachment. The vacuum should pick up dust, dirt and grime and help your upholstery to look like new. Do not forget to lift up the cushions in order to get out any dirt which is underneath.

Steam clean

Steam cleaning is another good residential cleaning option which helps to make your upholstery fresh and new. Small steam cleaners can be purchased or rented and you can run the steam cleaner over the upholstery or sofa to get out dirt. Steam cleaning can also kill pests like bugs.

Soaps and detergents

You can use special soaps and detergents designed for upholstery cleaning in order to make your upholstery look even better or to get out stubborn stains.

Choosing soaps

Consider organic carpet cleaners or upholstery cleaners whenever possible if you opt to use detergents because you want to try to preserve indoor air quality.

Use detergent

The exact way in which the detergents will work will vary depending on the product you buy. Usually, you can just wet a towel or cloth and then apply the detergent, rubbing it into any stains.


After applying detergent, you want to get it all off. Wipe with a wet cloth and then wait for the upholstery to dry.

Hire professionals

In some cases, the best thing to do is to just hire a professional cleaning service. They can come in and take care of rugs and upholstery quickly, often doing a better job than you'd be able to on your own.

Consider carpet cleaning

While having your upholstery cleaned, it is often a good idea to consider carpet cleaning as well since many of the same companies will do both tasks for you.


Be careful to keep crumbs and dirt off of your upholstery in order to keep it clean.

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