How To Deep Clean Your Fabric Chairs And Sofas

If you’re looking to freshen up your fabric chairs and sofas, you’ve come to the right place. Fabric upholstery collects dust, dirt, oils, and debris over time, making it look dingy and feel rough to the touch.

With the right cleaning methods and products, you can have your fabric furniture looking like new again.

Here’s a quick answer if you’re short on time: Vacuum the fabric first to lift surface dirt and dust. Then, spot clean any stains with a fabric cleaner and small brush. For a deeper clean, use an upholstery attachment on your vacuum and go over the entire surface.

Steam clean for a super thorough cleaning that lifts embedded grime from the fibers.

Prepare the Cleaning Area

Move furniture out from walls

Before you begin deep cleaning your fabric chairs and sofas, it is important to create enough space to work comfortably. Start by moving the furniture away from the walls to ensure easy access to all sides of the chairs. This will allow you to clean thoroughly and reach any hidden dirt or stains.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to do this task. 😊 Enlist the help of a friend or family member to make the process faster and smoother.

Cover floor beneath chair

Next, protect your floor from any potential mess or spillage during the cleaning process. Place a large plastic or cloth sheet underneath the chair to catch any cleaning solution or dirt that may fall. This will not only make your cleaning job easier but also prevent any damage to your floor. 👍

Remember, taking these preparatory steps will help you achieve the best results when deep cleaning your fabric chairs and sofas. It ensures that you have enough space to work and protects your floor from any potential damage.

Now that you have prepared the cleaning area, it’s time to move on to the actual cleaning process. Exciting, isn’t it? 😄

Vacuum Thoroughly

One of the first steps in deep cleaning your fabric chairs and sofas is to vacuum them thoroughly. This helps to remove any loose dirt, dust, and debris that may be sitting on the surface. Vacuuming also helps to prepare the fabric for further cleaning by loosening any embedded particles.

Use a narrow upholstery tool

When vacuuming your fabric chairs and sofas, it’s important to use a narrow upholstery tool that is specifically designed for this purpose. These tools have a smaller width and are equipped with bristles or brushes that help to agitate the fabric and remove dirt more effectively.

The narrow size of the tool also allows you to access hard-to-reach areas, such as the crevices between cushions.

Go over the entire surface

Take your time to vacuum the entire surface of your fabric chairs and sofas. Start from the top and work your way down, making sure to cover every nook and cranny. Pay special attention to areas that are more prone to collecting dirt and debris, such as the armrests and seat cushions.

Repeat the process a few times to ensure thorough cleaning.

Pro Tip: If you have pets, consider using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to help remove pet dander and allergens from your fabric furniture.

For more detailed information on vacuuming fabric chairs and sofas, you can visit Cleanipedia, a trusted source for cleaning tips and advice.

Spot Clean Stains

Accidents happen, and stains on your fabric chairs and sofas are inevitable. To keep your furniture looking clean and fresh, it’s important to spot clean stains as soon as they occur. Here are some steps you can follow:

Brush away any clumps or solids

Before you start treating the stain, use a soft-bristled brush or a clean cloth to gently brush away any clumps or solids that may be on the surface of the fabric. This will help prevent the stain from spreading or embedding deeper into the fibers.

Spray fabric cleaner directly on stain

Next, choose a fabric cleaner that is safe for your specific type of fabric and follow the instructions on the label. Spray the cleaner directly onto the stain, making sure to cover it completely. Allow the cleaner to penetrate the stain for a few minutes to help break it up.

Blot stain with clean cloth

Take a clean, white cloth and gently blot the stain. Avoid rubbing aggressively, as this can push the stain further into the fabric or cause it to spread. Instead, use a blotting motion to lift the stain out of the fabric. Repeat this process until the stain starts to fade.

Avoid rubbing aggressively

It’s important to remember to avoid rubbing aggressively when trying to remove a stain from your fabric chairs or sofas. Rubbing too hard can damage the fabric or cause the stain to spread. Instead, take your time and be gentle, allowing the fabric cleaner to do its job.

For tougher stains or if you’re unsure about the appropriate cleaning method for your specific fabric, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional upholstery cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to handle even the most stubborn stains, ensuring that your fabric chairs and sofas are left looking great.

Steam Clean

One effective method to deep clean your fabric chairs and sofas is by using a steam cleaner. Steam cleaning not only removes dirt and stains but also kills bacteria and allergens that may be lurking in the fabric. Here are some steps to follow when steam cleaning your furniture:

Rent or purchase a handheld steam cleaner

To begin, you’ll need a handheld steam cleaner. These devices are widely available for rent at home improvement stores or can be purchased for long-term use. It’s important to choose a steam cleaner that is suitable for upholstery cleaning and has the necessary attachments.

Work in sections moving continuously

When using a steam cleaner, divide your furniture into manageable sections. Start with the cushions and then move on to the backrest and armrests. Begin at the top of each section and work your way down, moving the steam cleaner continuously to ensure an even clean.

This will prevent any streaks or discoloration from occurring.

Go over stubborn stains repeatedly

If you encounter stubborn stains while steam cleaning, don’t be discouraged. It may take a few passes with the steam cleaner to completely remove them. Apply extra steam and gently scrub the stained area with a soft brush or sponge. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the fabric.

Let dry fully before using

After steam cleaning, it is crucial to allow your fabric chairs and sofas to dry fully before using them again. This will prevent any moisture from being trapped in the fabric, which could lead to mold or mildew growth. Open windows or turn on fans to speed up the drying process.

Remember, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a steam cleaner to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the cleaning process. By steam cleaning your fabric chairs and sofas, you can restore their freshness and extend their lifespan.

Deodorize and Freshen

One of the key steps in deep cleaning your fabric chairs and sofas is to deodorize and freshen them. Over time, these pieces of furniture can absorb odors from various sources such as food spills, pet dander, or even everyday use.

To ensure that your chairs and sofas smell fresh and clean, follow these simple steps.

Sprinkle baking soda and let sit overnight

Baking soda is a versatile and effective natural deodorizer. It helps to neutralize odors and absorb any lingering smells in your fabric chairs and sofas. To begin, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the surface of the furniture, focusing on areas that are prone to odors or stains.

Did you know? Baking soda can also help to remove stains from fabric. If you notice any stains on your chairs or sofas, create a paste with baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrub with a soft brush.

Vacuum baking soda the next day

After allowing the baking soda to sit overnight, it’s time to remove it. Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to thoroughly vacuum the fabric, ensuring that all the baking soda is removed.

This step will not only eliminate any odors but also leave your chairs and sofas looking fresh and clean.

Spray fabric freshener for a lasting clean smell

To give your fabric chairs and sofas a lasting clean smell, consider using a fabric freshener. Choose a product specifically designed for upholstery and follow the instructions on the label. Simply spray the freshener evenly over the fabric, taking care not to saturate it.

The freshener will leave behind a pleasant scent, making your furniture more inviting and enjoyable.

Pro tip: If you prefer a more natural option, you can create your own fabric freshener by mixing water, white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. This DIY freshener will not only leave your furniture smelling great but also help to eliminate any lingering odors.

Remember, regular deep cleaning and deodorizing are essential to maintain the freshness and longevity of your fabric chairs and sofas. By following these steps, you can ensure that your furniture not only looks great but also smells great, creating a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere in your home.

Protect the Fabric

When it comes to preserving the beauty and longevity of your fabric chairs and sofas, taking proactive measures to protect the fabric is crucial. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Use furniture covers when not in use

One of the simplest ways to safeguard your fabric furniture is by using furniture covers when they are not in use. These covers act as a barrier against dust, pet hair, and other potential contaminants that can accumulate over time.

Additionally, furniture covers can help prevent fading caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Rotate sitting position frequently

Another effective way to protect the fabric is by regularly rotating the sitting positions on your chairs and sofas. This helps distribute the weight evenly and prevents excessive wear and tear on specific areas.

By doing so, you can extend the lifespan of your furniture and maintain its overall appearance.

Act quickly on new stains

Accidents happen, and stains on fabric furniture are inevitable. However, the key is to act quickly when a spill or stain occurs. The longer a stain sits on the fabric, the more difficult it becomes to remove.

Blotting the stain gently with a clean cloth or paper towel can help prevent it from setting in. It is also advisable to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional advice for specific stain removal techniques.

By following these simple yet effective tips, you can protect the fabric of your chairs and sofas, ensuring they remain in great condition for years to come.


With some basic cleaning supplies and these step-by-step instructions, you can get your fabric chairs, sofas, and ottomans looking and feeling fresh again. Just be patient and go section by section to lift out all the embedded dirt and oils from over time.

Maintain the cleanliness by using furniture covers and treating stains promptly. Your upholstery will thank you! If the fabric still seems beyond saving, it may be time to consider replacement.

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