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How to Deep Clean Your Sofa - Fabric, Suede, Leather

Your sofa will thank you for it.

Grey couch with yellow pillow
Grey sofa with yellow pillow.

Cleaning your sofa is not as simple as wiping those crumbs off the seat cushion. Yes, we know, you like to snack. Who doesn't? But there is a difference between wiping those that stain off the surface, and really deep cleaning that material. So just how clean is your sofa?

Before cleaning make sure you check the manufacturer's recommendations and are reading the tags attached to your sofa; they can usually be found on the edge of the cushions. The tags will display cleaning codes that can inform you on important facts about the material.

Cleaning Codes:

  • W: Clean using water.

  • S: Do not use water. Clean using a solvent-based cleaner.

  • WS: Clean using water or a solvent-based cleaner.

  • X: Clean using a vacuum.

Whether it's fabric, suede, or leather, here's how to deep clean your sofa.

Fabric Sofa

Side view of a grey fabric couch
Grey fabric sofa.

It's cozy, it's soft, but it can also be a pain to clean. Spills happen and sometimes they can leave a stain on your beautiful fabric sofa.

Important Tips:

  • Clean stains immediately. The longer you wait, the hard it will be to remove.

  • Before cleaning, test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the material first.

  • Remember to remove and clean the cushions one by one.

How to Deep Clean:

  1. Go over the sofa with a dry stiff brush to loosen stains and bring dirt to the surface.

  2. Vacuum your couch with a handheld vacuum.

  3. If you have stained areas, use a light-color microfibre cloth (that won't bleed into your sofa), and dampen it with your cleaning solution.

  4. Gently blot the stain area with the cloth. Do not rub or scrub as this could damage the fibres.

  5. Dampen a fresh microfibre cloth with some water, and blot the area to remove any remaining soap

  6. With a fresh dry microfibre cloth, blot the same area one last time.

  7. Fan or air dry the surface until it dries completely.

Suede Sofa

Two blue suede chairs
Blue suede chairs.

Ah suede, it's soft and fuzzy and gives your home that elevated look. It also holds a lot of trapped dirt and crumbs. Suede is that delicate fabric you're scared to mess up.

Important Tip:

  • Spray your sofa weekly with a suede-friendly stain repellent to protect your sofa from any accidental spills.

  • Remember to remove and clean the cushions one by one.

How to Deep Clean:

  1. Gently go over the sofa with a suede brush to remove any dust or dirt.

  2. Vacuum your sofa with a handheld vacuum to remove any trapped dust, hair or dirt. If you have pets this step is very important.

  3. If you have wet stained areas, dampen a microfriber cloth with a suede cleaner or white vinegar, and gently rub the stained area in circular motions. When dry, polish the surface with the suede brush.

  4. If you have dry stained areas, use a suede eraser or brown gum eraser to remove the stain. Dry stains are more stubborn to get out. If the eraser doesn't work use a small piece of sandpaper to lightly rub it, be careful you do not damage the suede. When done, polish the surface with the suede brush.

Leather Sofa

Brown leather couch
Brown leather sofa.

They say that leather can last a lifetime, and with the right upkeep it can. Experts say that leather sofas are the easiest to maintain and that it's recommended to clean light-colored leather every 6 months, and dark-colored leather once a year.

Important Tip:

  • Sunlight can fade leather so keep your leather sofa away from windows.

  • Polish your sofa with a furniture polish once a month to keep it looking fresh.

  • Do not apply harsh chemicals like alcohol, or leather shoe polish onto the leather sofa.

How to Deep Clean:

  1. Vacuum the sofa to get rid of any crumbs or dirty. If the cushions cannot be removed, remember to vacuum the undersides and any of the crevices. (Recliners tend to collect dirt in the crevice where the bottom reclines)

  2. If you have any stained areas, dampen a microfibre cloth with a warm water mixed with dish soap, and gently rub the stained area in circular motions. Do not rub back and forth as this could ruin the leather surface.

  3. If you have a grease stain, use a dry microfibre cloth and a bit of baking soda to absorb it.

  4. When done, use a dry microfibre cloth to dry the sofa. This is the most important step, as water can weaken the leather if it is left to dry on its own for too long.

  5. To deep clean and breakdown the dirt, spray a leather cleaner onto a microfibre cloth and lightly swipe the all the leather surfaces. Wipe away any excess cleaner from the couch before the next step.

  6. Apply a small amount of your favorite conditioner to a clean cloth. The healthy oils in the conditioner will make your sofa stay fresh and moisturized.

  7. When done, allow the leather to dry for at least an hour.

Under the Sofa

Lady and dog sitting on couch with bObi Pet robot vacuum sweeping the floor underneath
Woman and her dog relaxing while bObi Pet cleans the floor.

If you've got pets or little ones you know that the area around the sofa can get pretty messy. From the pet hair to the snacks, things will start to collect around and even under the sofa.

Remember to not only clean the sofa but the floor underneath it as well. A robot vacuum can swiftly sweep and mop under the furniture while you can sit back and relax. Let the bot do the cleaning for you. If you're unsure which bot is right for you try our quiz.


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