Apartment

How to Clean Your Couch (See Spot Run!)

January 10, 2013 | DIY Home Improvement, Handy How-Tos

If you’re anything like us—and we hope you are—your couch gets a lot of use. That probably means it also gets dirtier than you’d like, and quickly too! But don’t worry; learning how to clean your couch isn’t hard.  

The first order of business is to stay on top of possible problems. Don’t let dirt and grime build up and work their way in. If you spill something, take care of it right away. For most couches, you can blot stains with a paper towel to remove excess gunk. Next, gently rub the stain with a half/half mix of warm water and white vinegar. Finish by blotting with water and let it dry.

As far as how to clean a couch from top to bottom, that’s also no sweat. If your couch has wood or metal showing, wipe those areas down to keep them sparkling. For most couch types, a simple vacuuming also works wonders. Use a carpet attachment to go over your whole sofa, including both sides of the cushions. Make sure you’re not using an attachment that will scratch up your finish, however. If you’ve got a pet, use a lint roller to pull up all the dog or cat hair first. That stuff can cling like nobody’s business.

If your couch has removable fabric cushion covers, you can zip these off and give them a wash. Be sure that they’re machine washable, however! It should say right on the tag found under the main seat cushions. Don’t risk it if you’re unsure or you can ruin your couch for good.

For sofas without removable cushion covers, you may reach a point when it’s time to bring out the big guns. That’s right! You can steam clean a couch just like a carpet (assuming it’s not a microfiber couch).

First, vacuum and dust and treat stains. Then, test out the steam cleaner on a piece of the couch that doesn’t often see the light of day. Follow the instructions on your steam cleaner but use soap specifically intended for your type of couch fabric. Check your couch’s tag for information. When you’re finished, your sofa will be wet for a while. Make sure to let it dry before you use it or you could ruin your work and end up soggy bottomed.

If you want to know how to clean a couch covered in microfiber, the trick is to use rubbing alcohol. Don’t use water. Spray alcohol on the dirty parts and rub gently with a clean sponge. Then rub stiff-looking areas with a clean, soft, white scrub brush. To be sure this method will work for you sofa, try it out on a small hidden section first.

That’s it! No matter how messy you’ve been with your nachos, you should be able to salvage your favorite seating.

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