The common sofa is often the heart of any house, a multipurpose tool being useful for eating dinner, watching T.V. or even for those weekend snoozes. With all of its nooks and crannies they often seem to be cleaner than they actually are, hiding dirt under their surfaces, or cushions in this case. As a commonly overlooked piece of furniture that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, our cleaners have prepared their advice on how to clean a sofa properly.
How to Clean a Sofa
- The Pre-Clean
Before getting into the nitty gritty work of how to clean a sofa do a few simple tasks to start the process moving along. Give all of the cushions a good hoover along with the base underneath them. If you haven’t lost the attachment, as I know I have, use the long nose looking bit to get inside all the crevices. If you have any stubborn stains use a stiff brush on them to loosen the dirt particles, rub vigorously but not so hard as to damage the fabric.
- Work on the non-fabric areas
Start cleaning your sofa by working on exposed areas of wood, metal or plastic first. Give wooden areas a good polish and light varnish, if you have the time. Make sure if you have any bits of stainless steel etc to not use any hard materials with which to scratch them. With any plastic or wood surface make sure you dry them accordingly, some plastics can absorb a surprising amount of liquid potentially making it brittle.
- Determine the fabric being used
Often you can tell at a glance but if you can’t you may be lucky enough to find a tag that tells you. If you’re super lucky you may even find a tag that tells you exactly how to clean it or a code with a few letters on it:
- W” means to use a water-based detergent with a steam vacuum.
- “WS” means you can use either a water-based detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent.
- “S” means to use only a dry-cleaning detergent.
- “O” means the material is organic, and should be washed using cold water.
- “X” means to either vacuum and bristle-brush alone, or to use a professional service for shampooing.
- How to clean a sofa with a water based detergent and steam vacuum
As with anything you wish to use on fabric find a test spot and test the materials you are going to use. Mix your detergent as is recommended and use a light cloth for scrub the materials by hand, especially the arm rests. If you’re willing to take a risk you may even want to just put the covers in a washing machine but don’t stick any other materials in with them as they’ll likely run. After you have given the covers a good wash go over them with a steam vacuum if you have one. Try not to over shampoo areas as you may notice a difference in colouring.
- Dry Cleaning a Sofa
Purchase some dry cleaning solvent, this should be available in your local supermarket but if not it is widely available online. Whatever you do make sure to open all windows and get some good ventilation going when using dry cleaning products, they often stink and aren’t great for your lungs. Use a clean and dry cloth to clean a sofa, in a similar way in which you would wax a car put the solution on the cloth first and remember that a little goes a long way!
- Cleaning a Leather Sofa
With leather sofas pick a high quality leather cleaning product, you will certainly be able to grab these from your local supermarket (they may even be in the car section as many cars have leather upholstery). Follow the instructions as recommended, it is usually quite straight forward but does vary depending on the product. Leather sofas often take a fair bit more maintenance to stop them drying out so keep up to date with your cleaning every quarter or so.
When working with any material always do a test area, rubbing a small amount of the solution into an inconspicuous area to make sure colours do not run or further stains to appear.
Hopefully our cleaners have given you some top tips on how to clean a sofa and keep it clean well into the future. As always be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest tips and tricks!