You did it! You finally bought that beautiful sofa that you’ve had your eye on for months. You weighed the pros and cons of the different types of materials. You measured twice, and you bought a top quality, high-end couch for your Calgary living room.
But then, disaster strikes.
Your [insert family member] spills their [insert messy substance here] all over your brand new sofa! You shriek. You rush for a damp cloth. You assure them it’s OK, and it was just an accident. However, dabbing at the spaghetti, red wine, or chocolate you silently curse the offender, resisting the urge to tell them exactly how much you just spent on that sofa. Your heart stops. It looks like the stain won't come out! You decide there and then that you are buying 1960/1970s-style plastic sofa covers so this won’t happen again.
Don’t panic. We are here to tell you how to clean your couch properly and bring it back to its pre-spill state. And whatever you do, don’t buy plastic couch covers. They should stay firmly in the past along with shiny shirts and ultra-wide bell bottom pants!
How to clean a sofa will depend largely on the material, whether it is leather or fabric, and if it’s a routine clean, a deep couch clean, or spot cleaning because of a spill or stain. For example, when it comes to leather, various types of leather react differently to spills and will have different cleaning needs:
It’s important to clean your couch as part of your routine house cleaning, even when you’ve taken preventive measures to avoid big stains. Surface spills aren’t the only way a sofa gets dirty - reach your hand into the side of the couch to grab the TV remote and you will probably brush your hand against an unknown sticky or crumbly substance!
Daily use means your couch will get dirty so it’s important to remember to vacuum in the crevices of the sofa every few weeks. Use the fabric attachment or a soft brush head to vacuum up crumbs, dust, or other dry messes. After you vacuum, flip, rotate, and fluff your removable cushions.
Don’t be afraid of a light coloured sofa. When you know how to clean a fabric couch you can fully enjoy it knowing there are easy ways to clean upholstery.
Oxygenie, a Calgary company that specializes in carpet and upholstery cleaning also recommends giving armrests and headrests a good clean due to our natural body oils that can build up on the material.
Here are more tips for regular sofa maintenance:
Leather in particular is a natural material, and using harsh cleaners on its surface can inflict more harm than good, potentially affecting the colouring, texture, and durability of the material.
Routine cleaning of leather furniture is simple—usually a quick wipe with a damp cloth does the trick, and even cleaning a fabric sofa is not as difficult as one might think, often needing only a gentle scrub down with soap and water. If you plan on using stronger cleaners, always do a test on a portion of the couch that is normally not visible in case of negative reactions to the couch material.
Fabric sofas are also often made with removable cushion covers for easy cleaning, and are often treated with a stain-resistant finish to help the fabric stand the test of time. Materials like linen, cotton and wool mixed with some synthetics will maintain their colour if they are regularly vacuumed and well taken care of.
Dust and dirt can be abrasive to materials. Just like an exfoliant will scrub away dead cells of your skin, dust and dirt will rub the fibers of your couch, and can lead to premature wearing.
“Regularly beating, cleaning and turning the cushions of a high-use sofa can help remove the dirt and dust from the sofa which can damage the fibers”. - Kenie M, Oxygenie
It’s important to fluff your sofa cushions to get rid of any built up dirt and dust that can rub couch fibers causing early wearing. This Joli Sofa enjoys a good fluffing as part of general couch maintenance.
Despite your best efforts, someone spilled something on your beloved couch. It happens. It’s called life. While cleaning a leather couch is relatively easy, there are still important steps to take, and knowing how to clean a fabric sofa comes in really handy. Check your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for any special care requirements. While some couches can be cleaned safely with water, others require special cleaning solutions. Typically, you’ll find one of four letters on the cleaning tag of your sofa.
Here’s what each means:
W — You can clean this material using water.
S — No water. You’ll need to purchase a special solvent-based cleaner.
WS — You can use water or a solvent-based cleaner on this sofa.
X — Vacuum only.
Whatever material you are dealing with, the number one rule is to attend to the spill immediately. The longer you wait, the deeper the stain will go.
Follow these steps and your stain should disappear as quickly as it appeared:
The beautiful fabric on the Prague Sofa may have you banishing red wine from your living room. However, with quick action and the right cleaning process, it can stay pristine for years to come, and will even survive the odd spill.
To conclude, while you may wish to keep your couch in the same condition as you bought it, realistically, it’s not going to happen. Not unless you a) never use it or b) purchase the aforementioned 1970s plastic couch covers. Both these options get a resounding NO from us.
Ultimately, your couch at some point will experience an unfortunate spill or stain. Now that you know how to avoid lasting damage to your sofa including tips for regular maintenance along with tricks for cleaning those deep stains and spills - sit back, relax, and enjoy your couch with peace of mind.