6 Tips and Tricks to Cleaning your Upholstery Safely

by | Jun 29, 2022 | Upholstery Cleaning

tips to cleaning your upholstery safely

The most popular seating in the home is upholstered furniture. We snuggle up to watch a movie, eat snacks, and take naps on our comfy couches. It’s no surprise that stains, pet fur, and food accumulates on our upholstery. But how do you clean your upholstery? 

Golden Line Green Care presents 6 Tips for getting your couch, armchair, and ottoman looking great! 

1. Become Acquainted with Your Upholstery 

Upholstered furniture typically includes a tag either under its cushions or on the bottom of the sofa itself. On this tag, you will find the manufacturing details. 


The tag will have one of four categories: 

W: You can wash your upholstery with water 

S: Stick to water-free, dry-cleaning products, and steam cleaners

WS/SW: Both water-based and solvent dry-cleaning products are fine to use (though you may want to spot test your first method in an inconspicuous area to be safe). 

X: Skip the DIY method and contact a professional upholstery cleaner

Be careful, if not cleaned properly, a stain can spread or be created where there was none. Professional upholstery cleaners in Toronto and the GTA will know all the tips and tricks when it comes to varying stain types and are able to remove more debris and dirt.   

2. Start with the Vacuum 

It’s important to remove all the loose dry bits before moving on to soap and water.  If your vacuum has a nozzle attachment for furniture or harder-to-reach areas, make sure to use it thoroughly on your upholstery. Remove the cushions to reach under those areas where crumbs are sure to get stuck. Don’t forget to vacuum across the backrest, and around the base of the sofa. 

Finish off with a lint roller or a fur brush in case you have some fur friends at home. 

3. Look Out For Simple Stains 

Cleaning stains correctly comes down to two things: what caused the stain and the type of fabric on your furniture. General dirt and food stains can be cleaned well with water-based  DIY solutions. Always check your upholstery tags for specific instructions.

simple stains

You can create a water-based DIY solution with the following things/ingredients: 

  • Empty spray bottle
  • White Vinegar
  • Dish Soap
  • Gentle Microfiber cloth or sponge 

Combine one part vinegar, three parts warm water, and a teaspoon of dish soap into your bottle. Spray an area out of sight to test the fabric to ensure the mixture doesn’t fade the color. 

Spritz the mixture on the stain and work from the outside of the stain, cleaning gently in small circles. Then use a new towel with clean, warm water to rinse the soap, Let the spot air dry before assessing for another round. 

When it comes to leather couches and chairs, mix one-part olive oil and two parts white vinegar and follow the same method as above. 

Check out Top Five Carpet Stains and How to Remove Them

4. Rent a Steam Cleaner 

If stains, smells, and general wear are bringing down the overall look of your sofa, it may be time to rent or buy a furniture steamer. To rent a steamer can be around $50-$100 a day and purchasing one can be around $300.00. 

If you decide to do the steam cleaner route, make sure you double-check the upholstery requirements and vacuum any debris before steaming. Always start with a pillow and loose cushions and set them aside to dry. Then move on the rest of the couch, moving with the grain of your fabric in clear, straight lines. 

5. Pretreat Tough Stains 

Pretreating hard stains is a good idea for your upholstery. If you have a sudden stain – such as a splash of grape juice or salad dressing – begin by soaking up as much of the liquid as possible with a dry rag to avoid rubbing the ingredients further into the upholstery. 

Here are a few housekeeping tricks for those pesky stains from coffee, grease, and even blood. 

  • Add a layer of salt to grease, oil, or red wine. Blot with soap and water before performing a deeper clean. 
  • Dab areas affected by blood or red wine with hydrogen peroxide and clean with soap and water solution. Be sure to check this method on hidden spots before applying it to the stain. 
  • Use the vinegar, water, and dish soap method for marker stains, even for permanent markers. 

6. Watch Out for Persistent Odours 

If you have some fur friends at home that love to curl up on the cushions, it is important to keep up with the odours. In between deep cleans, dust a thin layer of baking soda over your sofa or chair and allow it to absorb odours over several hours. Thoroughly vacuum up the baking soda and repeat once a week or as necessary. 

Final Thoughts

Include your upholstery in your spring cleaning checklist. Remember if you’d rather have a professional clean your upholstery, Golden Line Green Care is here to give your furniture a fresh look and feel,

Ready to Get Started?

Our professional team is ready to start whenever you are. Just click the button below to begin!