Home remedies for couch cleaning

Updated February 21, 2017

Nearly everyone eventually gets a stain on the couch, regardless of how careful they are with furniture. People today opt to hire a professional or rent machinery and use traditional store-bought cleaners when it comes time to clean the couch. However, most couches are cleaned just as well with natural homemade cleaners. These homemade products include the added benefit of not containing any toxic or irritating chemicals, which proves particularly important for people with small children or family members with allergies or sensitive skin.

Routine Care

Vacuum the couch weekly to remove dust, dirt, crumbs and pet hair. Remove couch cushions and vacuum in all crevices as much as you can to reduce build-up and to keep the couch looking cleaner longer. The end result is less frequent upholstery cleaning projects. Try a mitt to remove difficult pet hair from the fabric. Remove cushion covers if possible to wash, but do so no more than once a month to avoid making the fabric fade. Only dry covers on low heat to avoid shrinking the fabric.


Blot stains immediately with a dry cloth. Blot them up as opposed to rubbing, which can spread the stain more. Use mild soap and water to gently remove any stain still remaining. Some stains may require more work. In this case, mix dish soap with water in a 1:4 ratio and beat with an electric mixer to a frothy state. Apply this to stained areas, and scrub with a brush. Carefully remove foam with a spatula, and wipe away remaining traces with a clean, damp cloth.

Spray Cleaner

Combine water with white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz stained areas of the couch with this simple mixture, rub with a clean cloth and allow to dry thoroughly. Vinegar's mild nature will not harm upholstery or other fabrics. It works especially well on urine and smoke odours. Add an equal amount of vinegar and baking soda to further improve the cleaning power of your mixture.


Sprinkle baking soda over the fabric, and leave it for 15 minutes before vacuuming off, which works wonders on musty or otherwise bad-smelling couches as the baking soda absorbs odours. Another natural way to ensure a pleasant smell is to include several drops of essential oil in whatever liquid fabric cleaner you use on the couch. Favourite fragrance options include lavender, vanilla and rose.


Leather requires special care and attention to maintain its look. Though some people may choose to hire a professional to clean a leather couch, it isn't necessary in most cases. By combining a few typical home ingredients, you can easily recreate the leather cleaning products found on the market. Simply mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup linseed oil, and rub on to the couch with a clean cloth. Allow it to sit overnight, and buff off.


Check the manufacturer's tag before using any cleaning chemical on your couch. Also read through the warranty to determine if the use of any specific cleaning methods or chemicals will void it, which is most common in the case of couches made with less traditional materials, such as leather or microfiber. For example, microfiber may shrink if it gets excessively wet. Also, never use bleach to remove stains from the couch. Bleach removes colour and causes fabric to deteriorate.

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