How to Clean Upholstery Furniture

Tips for Cleaning Upholstery Furniture.

Cleaning your Upholstery Furniture

I know firsthand how difficult it is to clean the fabric on furniture fabric.

That piece of furniture means something to you. Maybe it is brand spankin’ new, or not so new but was an investment at the time you purchased it, or perhaps it is an antique that you are holding on to because it has sentimental value.

It’s terrible to think that one silly fabric stain can destroy a valuable piece of furniture.

Spills and stains happen no matter what you do, but luckily it is possible to remove most of the grime from furniture safely and without damaging it.

Hope is not lost though! If you remember these rules when dealing with wet stains, your furniture will thank you later.

Here are my best tips to help you with the cleaning and stain removal process.


If your upholstery is not water resistant, stains can soak deep into the cushioning making it even harder to clean. Also, the lighter the fabric is, the harder the stain will be to get out.

  1. Soak up as much as the liquid as possible.
  2. Never scrub! Unless you want a huge mess, blot or dab at it to soak up the liquid.
  3. Get to stains and spills as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits, the harder it will be to remove.
  4. Only use a small amount of cleaning solution and then add more as needed.
  5. Saturating the fabric with cleaning solution can ruin it. Excess liquid will embed the stain further into the fabric, or worse, cause mold and mildew to grow.

Removing Debris and Pet Hair

A hand vacuum, a regular vacuum with a crevice attachment or a lint roller will easily pick up any debris and or pet hair on your furniture.

Removing Ink Stains

Spray with hairspray and then take a napkin or paper towel and dab at the stain until the stain is removed.

Keep applying hairspray and dabbing until the stain is lifted.

Removing Blood Stains

Blood stains can be removed in a similar fashion to ink stains.

Next, take a steam cleaner filled with cold water and little bit of shampoo or dish washing liquid and begin sucking up the stain.

Using cold water is key when it comes to removing blood. Warm or hot water will cook the blood and make it just about impossible to remove completely. If a steam cleaner with cold water isn’t available, a wet cloth will suffice.

Removing Wine/Beverage Stains

Pour club soda on the stain and begin dabbing it with a cloth or paper towel. Follow up by steam cleaning the stain with cold water and a small amount of shampoo or dishwashing liquid.

Heavy Duty Stains

Pour medicinal strength hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain (hydrogen peroxide is color safe so there is no reason to worry about a bleaching effect) and then begin blotting it.

Maintaining your Upholstery Furniture

Furniture needs to be maintained on a regular schedule even when there is no stain calling your name. This may seem like a hassle, but the good news is that it is a job that does not require a lot of time.

Here are some common sense tips for keeping your furniture fabric in tip-top-shape, year round:

  • Invest in water repellent or stain guard spray to protect your upholstery from future staining. Look for one that is marketed for upholstery as these won’t stain your fabric.
  • Dust and vacuum your furniture frequently to prevent buildup.
  • Keep your furniture out of direct sunlight to prevent the fabric from fading.
  • If you will be out of town for an extended amount of time, put a dust cloth over your furniture to prevent dust from infiltrating the fabric fibers while you are away.

If you remember all of my tips, the life of your upholstered furniture will be prolonged. Happy cleaning!