how to clean a couch

How to Clean a Couch: Trust Us, It’s Time

When was the last time you cleaned your couch. No, wait. When was the last time you actually even thought about the cleanliness of your couch? You know, that piece of furniture you sit on, likely sleep on, probably eat on, maybe even “Netflix and chill” on…

If you’ve never really thought about cleaning your couch, or even how to clean a couch before, this might just change your mind!

Why Bother?

Fun fact: as you’re sitting on your couch you’re shedding. Not your dog – you! Everything from dead skin cells to dust to insects to lotions and oils. Ummmm, yuck! Sorry if we just made you gag a little.

And that’s just you. That doesn’t even cover what your pets are leaving behind if they snuggle up beside you. Or the crumbs from last Sunday’s Netflix binge…

Here are just a few of the most common contaminants found on the average household couch:

  • Allergens and dust mites
  • Mold and mildew
  • Oil and grease
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Harmful chemicals and food particles

If you’re like the average person, your couch is a breeding ground for grossness. And it isn’t just the gross factor – your couch could be making you sick! If you’re sensitive to the allergens or irritants hiding out in those cushions, you may find your allergies flaring up whenever you’re lounging (and well after).

The average family spends even more time on the couch than they do in their beds. You wash your sheets on a regular basis, right? So doesn’t it make sense to do the same for the couch?

Ok, you get it. It’s time to give it a clean, but do you know how to clean a couch? Don’t sweat it (especially not on the sofa), we’ll tell you.

how to clean a couch

How to Clean a Couch

Start with a really good vacuuming. Get in all the nooks and crannies. If you can, take off the cushions and make sure you’re pushing down on the springs to get down along the sides of the couch. It’s not a bad idea to do this whenever you vacuum the house – just make it part of your normal cleaning routine.

If you can, take the cushions and pillows out of their fabric covers and throw those in the washing machine. This is also a good idea for regular cleanings – even if not as often as vacuuming. 

Once this is done, get scrubbing. Really use some elbow grease here. A handheld garment steamer or bursts from your steam iron will also kill any dust mites lurking near the surface, so that’s never a bad idea. For a couch that you can safely clean with water, treat any stains with a good carpet and upholstery cleaner. You can also use a little mild dish soap mixed with warm water.

To give your couch a deep clean, use a portable cleaner. These machines are good for those dingy arms and headrests. They use fabric cleaner to get deep into the fabric, cleaning stains and getting rid of those nasties taking cover in the cushions. 

Now, we should note that there’s a difference between this type of clean and a deep, professional cleaning. That’s a whole other ball game. Unfortunately, a lot of the deep-seated bacteria and allergens just can’t be eliminated without a pro’s help. Still, if you haven’t cleaned your couch before, a little regular TLC is way better than nothing!!

RELATED: Want to do some natural cleaning around the house? Here are a few recipes for effective natural cleaners!

How often should your clean your couch?

Experts suggest doing a professional cleaning once or twice a year. If there are animals or children in the home, consider doing it every 3-4 months.

Always test any cleaner on a hidden part of the fabric for safety first.

Important note: Before you start cleaning your couch, make sure you check the tag and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t, you may just end up ruining the couch and having to toss it anyway, and that defeats the purpose of this entire episode (and costs a lot more!). Check for these 4 common instructions:

  • W — Clean twith water.
  • S — No water. Use a special solvent-based cleaner.
  • WS — Use water or a solvent-based cleaner.
  • X — Vacuum only.

Now, we apologize for grossing you out, but go get cleaning. You’re welcome!