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How To Clean Your Couch Like A Pro


how to clean your couch

How to Clean Your Couch Like the Pros

Are you wondering how to clean your couch like the pros? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

While making your couch look brand new and tackling upholstery cleaning on your own might seem difficult, it is possible.  You might especially feel this way if you have tried your hardest and not seen the best results in the past. However, it can be simple if you know what you need to look out for and use the right products. Much like carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning is pretreated and can be steam cleaned as well.  But don’t worry- we’ll go over all of that in a moment! So, if you want to figure out how to clean your couch like a pro, then keep reading.

Understand the Material of Your Couch

There are a lot of different couches out there, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials. Understanding the specifics of your couch is what makes the most difference when cleaning it. After all, different materials require different methods of cleaning. Alternatively, using the wrong products can leave spots and marks.

Whether you are working with cotton or leather, you need to identify the type of cleaner you can use without causing more harm than good. To do that, start by finding the fabric tag that is included on most couches. The following symbols denote different methods of cleaning:

  • “W” means you need to use water-based detergent.
  • “S” means you need to use a dry cleaning solvent or use a water-free detergent.
  • “WS” means you can use a dry cleaning solvent or water-based detergent.
  • “X” means you need to have it professionally cleaned by an upholstery cleaning service or a carpet cleaner near you.
  • “O” means the couch is made from natural fibers and thus needs to be washed in cold water.

While this might not make your cleaning job easy, it does stop you from making the mistake of using the wrong product. Once you know where to start, you can concentrate on the details and get started cleaning your couch like the pros.

how to clean your couch like a pro
how to clean a couch professionally

Do the Prep Work

Even though you know the type of cleaner you need, there are still some things to do before you use it. So, get your product and set it aside while you take care of everything else.

To start, you need to get rid of any excess dirt, which means using something like a bristle brush. Focus on areas like the armrests and headrests since those are areas where dirt is likely to build-up. For leather, simply brush any dirt, crumbs, or hair away. For more delicate materials, dab or blot instead of roughly scrubbing.

Once you have removed any dirt, you can choose to clean underneath the couch. The bottom is difficult to get to, so you might need some help, and this is, of course, optional. After that, it’s time to start cleaning the couch in earnest.

Using Water-based Detergent

The easiest way to do this is to use a steam cleaner. If you do not own one, they can be rented at various places and will make this much simpler. Once you have a steam cleaner, add some of the detergent and some water to the tank.

From here, it is simple. Attach the upholstery nozzle and begin to run the nozzle across the upholstery while holding the trigger to apply the solution as you do. Here are a few tips to help you make it go even better:

  • Overlap passes to ensure that there is no streaking
  • Drag the nozzle without pulling the trigger to suck up detergent
  • Use a criss-cross pattern over tough areas for a deeper clean
  • Use a maximum of two passes per area to avoid fading

Keep in mind that this can all be done without a steam cleaner, but you will still need a vacuum with an upholstery nozzle.

Dry Cleaning Solvent

Dry cleaning solvent takes a bit longer, but it is not a complicated process. You simply need to apply the solvent to a cloth and blot an area to remove dirt and stains. You have to go bit by bit and make sure you get it all out, but after you have, you simply need to use a wet cleaning cloth to remove the solvent.

Additionally, you can use a spray bottle and sponge to spray small areas and take care of them bit by bit.

Taking Care of Leather

Leather couches are the easiest of the bunch. You will need a few clothes – one to rub in the cleaner, one to go back over the area with distilled water, and another to dry it. You want to do this area by area and then go back over the entire thing with a leather protector for leather couches. It’s as simple as that!

Call A Professional Service

The bottom line is this.  Most people don’t have the time and experience to truly get the clean a professional service can offer.  However, many do-it-yourselfers don’t mind trying. Knowing yourself well enough and whether or not cleaning a couch is something you can do is key.  Hiring a professional service is definitely something you should consider doing.  Companies such as Carter’s Carpet Restoration of El Dorado Hills, California can professionally clean your upholstery and offer a truly unbeatable service.  Contact them today for a free quote on the job or any of their other services.  Take a look at this page here to learn more about some of our service areas.


Cleaning a couch isn’t a difficult task once you know what to do. Even if it is tedious, once you know what products to use, you can take care of it with a cloth or two and a vacuum in most cases. So, now you know how to clean your couch like the pros and we hope this post truly helped.

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