I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand seeing a dirty couch! My couch always seems to attract the worst possible messes from salty chip crumbs and buttery popcorn stuck in the crevices after movie nights, pet hair matted among the cushions, to spilled drinks during a nerve-racking hockey game… I could go on and on. So what is the best way to clean stains and messes from your couch? I’m about to let you in on my secret method!
How to shampoo A couch
First thing’s first, make sure you bring out your handy vacuum to suck up any crumbs, fur, or debris from the cushions. You certainly don’t want to be scrubbing that gunk into the fabric. After you have removed all particles and debris from the surface make sure to get in between all the cracks and crevices. This is where all those chip crumbs and other things like to hide out. You may need to remove all of the cushions to be sure you get everywhere. After all, there’s no sense in cleaning the sofa unless you’re going to go all out!
If you come across any spots where there are crumbs or particles that have really matted their way into the fabric, have no fear. There’s a simple way to work these out. Simply take a dry bristle brush and scrub lightly at the fabric. This will help to loosen and lift those matted crumbs. Take your vacuum and suck away any loosened debris.
If you have pets like I do, sometimes you may find that your vacuum simply isn’t powerful enough to lift all of that pet fur from the fabric of your sofa. It has a funny way of weaving itself into the fabric doesn’t it? I find the best way to get any stray fur is to use a sticky lint roller. The adhesive surface of the roller sticks to any hair or stubborn particles and lifts them away as you roll.
Next, if there are any hard surfaces, such as wooden, metal, or plastic hand rests for instance, wipe them down with an appropriate cleaning product. I find that the best multi-purpose, mild cleaning agent for any hard surface is a couple of drops of liquid dish soap in warm water. Simply combine this mixture in a small bucket and wipe down with a microfiber cleaning cloth. I personally prefer this cleaning cloth for most of my cleaning around the house over other rags because it’s super gentle and won’t scratch any surfaces.
With all the crumbs and debris cleaned from the surface of your couch, we’re now ready to shampoo! The first thing you’re going to want to check before we get the shampoo cleaning agent out is check what type of fabric your couch upholstery is fashioned from. Sometimes it will tell you the type of fabric and the safest cleaning agents to use on it or which cleaning agents to stay away from.
Look for the tag on your couch that will tell you the specifics. If I look underneath my couch I can easily see it hanging there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need to flip your couch up to read the information. I don’t want you hurting yourself trying to lift it on your own and I certainly wouldn’t want to hear that you got stuck underneath of your couch trying to find a label.
Once you have located the tag, look for one of these letters. They will instruct you as to what cleaning agent works best in cleaning the fabric of your couch:
- “O” = organic, and wash with cold water
- “X” = vacuum and bristle-brush
- “W” = water-based solution and a steam vacuum
- “WS” = water-based solution and a steam vacuum, or dry-cleaning solution
- “S” = dry-cleaning solution
Whenever possible I try to use the “O” organic method because it is the simplest method and you can DIY a solution at home by using simple ingredients. This means no harsh chemicals that you have to air out for days afterwards. Try this simple method at home:
DIY Organic Couch Shampoo:
- ¼ Cup white vinegar
- ¾ Cup warm water
- ½ Tablespoon liquid dish soap
You’ll also need:
- Spray bottle – These 8 oz spray bottles are super budget friendly and are the perfect size for the job.
- Bristle scrub brush – This ergonomic scrub brush by OXO is the perfect size and is comfortable to use in many cleaning applications.
- Cleaning cloth – Microfiber cleaning cloths like this are the best cloths to use in virtually all cleaning applications. They will not damage or aggravate any surface and they can absorb up to 8x their weight.
Directions: Mix the ingredients here in a spray bottle by shaking the mixture thoroughly for at least 30 seconds. Spray the solution onto a small inconspicuous area of the couch fabric just to be sure that it does not have a negative effect on the fabric. It shouldn’t as this is a fairly mild solution, but just to be sure, you’ll want to do this before spraying onto a highly visible section of the couch. Once you are certain that this solution is effective, spray it onto the stained surface. Next, take your scrubby brush and gently work in circular motions to work the solution into the fabric. You want to gently scrub as opposed to vigorously scrubbing because you don’t want to aggravate or ruin the fabric. Repeat with the spray and scrub again until you see the stain disappear. Take your cleaning cloth and soak in clean warm water. Wring out the cloth and apply with pressure to the couch area you have just scrubbed. This will help to lift out any soap trapped in the fabric. Rinse the cloth and repeat until you have removed the soap. Leave the couch to air dry. You may want to open some windows and let the breeze through if it’s a nice day or place a fan in front of the couch to help dry the area faster.
If you’re worried about smells, use a fabric freshener on the couch once it has been cleaned. Febreze Fabric Freshener is a trusted odor eliminator by many. But again, if you’re looking for a simple homemade DIY solution, try this:
DIY Fabric Freshener:
- ¼ Cup baking soda
- 3-5 drops essential oil of your choice – sweet orange essential oil is always pleasantly clean smelling!
You’ll also need:
- Spray bottle
Directions: Pour the baking soda and the 3-5 drops of essential oil into the bottle and fill with water. Shake gently and you’re ready to go. Lightly mist the solution over the couch and in any other areas of your home that could use some freshening up. Be sure not to spray too much though so that the fabric becomes wet. Not only is this a budget friendly way to freshen up your home, it’s also non-toxic!
These DIY methods are my favorite because they are safe for your home and family and they’re super kind to your wallet too! I hope this information has served you well and helps you in your future cleaning practices! Take care and until next time, happy cleaning friends.