A Guide to Couch Cleaning and Maintenance

A person lounging on a gray couch reading a magazine Credit: CC0/Pixabay/Pexels

It's often a grating experience to see the lovely couch that you bought brand new get soda and beverages spilled all over it. In the absence of regular and thorough cleaning, the surface of your couch will quickly degrade, especially if it is made of soft material such as velvet or silk. If there's a polyurethane or other tough synthetic covering on your couch's exterior, however, it takes a lot more than a simple spill to deface it. Toughened leather couches also stand up well to spills, dirt, and other mistreatment from pets or kids. Regardless of how durable the material on your couch is, a good, regular cleaning will extend its beauty and lifespan so that you won't have to buy a new one for a long time.

Vacuum Cleaning Dirt and Debris

If your couch has crumbs and debris such as pet hair or frayed fluff all over it, you can easily address it with a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner will suck all the floating debris right up and leave your couch looking almost as good as new. To do a proper vacuuming job, first shake down the top and surfaces of the couch. This lets solid particles and dirt fall down to the ground. Since most couches have irregular vacuuming surfaces, you will want to detach the upholstery pipe so that you can pass it all along the body of the couch. This way, you can clean the couch safely and thoroughly.

The Best Detergent for Grime

Occasionally, you will want to clean the couch more deeply and take away grime that can set into the fabric. Food stains and other organic dirt can spoil the color of your couch and cause moths to infest. To avert this, clean the couch with a strong detergent regularly, at least once or twice a month.

You can shop for couch cleaning detergent at a retail store like the Home Depot or Walmart. Upholstery cleaning fluid such as Febreze, Weiman or Hoover will help you completely eliminate stains and odor from your couch.

Cleaning Milk and Coffee Spills

To clean liquid spills such as milk and coffee, you should act as fast as possible after a spill has occurred. You should first dry up the liquid with a clean, dry, cloth or paper towels. If the liquid has seeped into the material of the couch, take a dish and mix water with strong detergent. Lather the water and detergent, then use a cleaning cloth to apply the mix to the stain. Scrub the stained area with your cleaning cloth until the stain begins to fade. Make sure to rinse the detergent completely and wash it out of the fabric using a supply of clean water. Let the couch dry.

Getting Rid of Semi-Permanent Stains

Despite your best attempts, some couch stains just won't go away. This can happen if some oil-rich food such as soups or salad dressing seep into the couch fabric. After multiple cleanings, the stain remains as a constant blight. The dirt might be gone, but the discoloration that occurs on the surface of the couch can be very annoying.

The best approach to these kinds of stains is to call in a dry cleaning expert or buy some dry cleaning fluid yourself to attempt the job at home. For best results, calling an upholstery professional or dry cleaning expert is recommended.

Tips to Keep Your Couch Looking New

With proper and regular cleaning, your couch can look as good as new for a long time to come. Getting there, however, takes a good deal of effort. The most important long-term tip is to follow the cleaning codes on your couch. You can check the fabric tag for the proper cleaning guidance. Depending on the tag, you will have different options for couch cleaning:

'S' Dry clean only, and don't use water-based detergents.

'X' Professional upholstery cleaning only.

'W' You should clean the couch with a water-based detergent.

'WS' Dry clean or use a water-based detergent.

Beyond cleaning correctly, you should also install slipcovers on your couch. This protects the surface material from tear and wear, making the couch last longer.