The Best Way To Clean A Fabric Sofa – According To Experts

The sofa is one of the most essential pieces of furniture in your home, and as something that’s used regularly, this means you will also need to clean it regularly. After all, a clean sofa is a comfortable sofa. Fabric sofas in particular tend to trap dirt and odours more within the fibers, so doing thorough cleaning is essential to keep them looking great and fresh when it’s time to relax after a long day.

Cleaning Fabric Sofa

However, cleaning your fabric sofa can be a tricky task, which is why it is better to seek experts’ advice and recommendations before pursuing an attempt. To help you save time, we have compiled the details of fabric sofa cleaning techniques from several experts like How To Clean Stuff. Net, The Spruce, PROHousekeepers, and more in this article.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss in this article:

  • How often should you clean your fabric sofa
  • The different ways to clean a fabric sofa, including:
    • Vacuuming or light brushing
    • Water-based cleaning
    • Solvent-based cleaning

How Often Should You Clean a Fabric Sofa

The Founder of BenchMade Modern, Edgar Blazona recommends doing deep cleaning on your fabric sofa every 6 months. He also says that you should vacuum your sofas once a week to prevent the settling of dirt, dust, or crumbs in the tiny gaps between the parts of your sofas.

Did you know that a study confirmed that your sofas are dirtier than your toilet seats?

As shocking as it may sound, this makes a lot of sense when you consider how frequently we use our sofas daily. Not to mention the spillages, dust, grime, and even the shedding of your pets that kill the radiance of your sofa. This is why regular cleaning of fabric sofas keeps them looking healthy, fresh, and inviting as ever.

The Different Ways of Cleaning a Fabric Sofa

Keeping your sofas clean protects your family from bacteria and virus infections and keeps your sofas looking new and radiant.

Melissa Maker, the Founder of Clean My Space says that you have to look for the care tag that’s attached to your sofa before you start the cleaning process.

Generally, your sofa’s care tag will display these codes:


W The upholstery can be cleaned using water-based cleaning products.
S Only dry clean the fabric or use a water-free solvent.
W/S Clean with water-based and solvent-based products.
X Only clean the fabric by vacuuming or seek the service of a professional fabric cleaner. Be careful with your fabric if this code is displayed – any cleaning product can stain or shrink the upholstery.


If you cannot find a care tag attached to your sofa, you can always contact your dealer to find the best method to clean your fabric sofa. Identifying the suitable approach to cleaning your sofa is crucial to avoid damaging your sofa’s material and ensuring lasting quality.

Got the information that you need? Let’s get into the details of the cleaning techniques.

Vacuuming and light brushing

Man Professionally Cleaning Fabric Sofa

This technique can be applied as frequently as once a week to avoid dust and other dirt particles settling on your sofa. These tiny particles will gradually form a layer on your fabric sofa that can dull its colour and promote bacterial infection.

Here is how you should vacuum or lightly brush your upholstery:

  1. Remove the cover of your fabric sofa (if possible) and brush the cover or surface of your sofas with a dusting brush. You can also use a dry cloth to wipe the covers gently. Here’s a tip! Make sure the colour of the cloth matches the colour of your sofa to prevent colour staining.
  2. Once you’re done with dusting, it’s time to get the vacuum cleaner out. Vacuum your sofa thoroughly – this means vacuuming the following parts of your sofa:
    • Seats
    • Arms
    • The gaps in between detachable cushions
    • The fabric that’s attached to the side and the back of your sofa

Solvent-Based Cleaning

This technique involves water-free cleaning solvents or dry cleaning products. You can follow these steps to clean your sofa upholstery using the solvent-based cleaning method:

  1. Carry out steps 1 and 2 of vacuuming and light brushing.
  2. Before applying large volumes of cleaners to your upholstery, do a patch test on a hidden area of your sofa to ensure the fabric does not react adversely to the cleaner.
  3. If the patch test shows positive results, start cleaning your fabric sofa using the water-free cleaner with a cloth. Remember to use a cloth that matches the colour of your upholstery.
  4. To avoid reapplying the stain or the dirt to a new area, switch to different parts of the cloth each time you clean another area of your sofa.
  5. Allow the sofa to dry completely once you’re done with step 4. Then, lightly brush over the cleaned areas to restore the fabric’s texture.

Water-Based Cleaning

This method requires you to follow steps 1 to 5 of solvent-based cleaning but it uses a water-based cleaner instead.

If your sofa upholstery can withstand high temperatures (check on the care tag or consult your sofa dealer), you can even opt for steam-cleaning your fabric sofa.

Are you looking for a superb fabric sofa in Malaysia? Check out Chesters Collection now!

Fabric sofas are an excellent option for those looking for a soft, comfortable, and stylish sofa. At Chesters Collection, we bring you the best of world-renowned fabric sofas that truly befit “the world of comfort”. While quality, design, and comfort are our priorities, excellent services remain our core commitment to integrity.

We believe each piece of furniture you choose reflects your lifestyle and personality. With the right furniture, every inch of your space will be transformed into a world of comfort that belongs only to you. Visit Chesters Collection today online or speak to our representatives at +603 2283 8322 for more information.