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How to clean a linen sofa

Updated February 21, 2017

Linen is a durable fabric made from the flax plant. The fibres are strong and are easily dyed,, making them a versatile material. Couches made with linen have an elegant appearance and will continue looking this way if they are properly maintained. Care needs to be taken to make sure the linen isn't ruined during cleaning.

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  1. Vacuum the sofa using the upholstery nozzle that came with your vacuum. Be sure to remove the cushions and vacuum them. Push down on sofa seat and push the vacuum's nozzle into the crevices at the bottom of the armrests and the back of the couch. Vacuum the back of the couch and the sides. Regular vacuuming will keep dirt and dust from getting ground into the fabric, making it easier to clean.

  2. Spot clean the sofa using a cleaner that was designed for linen. Test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the couch to make sure it is colour safe. Do this by spraying a bit of the cleaner in one spot and dabbing it with a piece of paper towel. None of the colour should come off. Use the spot cleaner according to the product's directions.

  3. Wash the cushions covers only when necessary. Linen cushions usually unzip from the couch and can be laundered. Some of them are preshrunk but many of them aren't. If you shrink your cushion covers they will not fit back on the couch. Read the label for washing instructions. When in doubt, wash the cushion covers inside out, in cold water with a mild detergent on gentle cycle. Hang them to dry.

  4. Tip

    Do not use a steam cleaner on linen sofas. The heat can cause the fabric to shrink. Put washed cushion covers back on the cushions while still slightly damp to avoid wrinkles and shrinkage.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Spot cleaner
  • Washing machine
  • Detergent

About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.

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