Nobody wants to invest in beautiful furniture only to find it a nightmare to maintain. It's essential to note that the simplicity of the cleaning process doesn't negate the need for consistency. As with any quality material, regular cleaning is crucial to preserving the integrity and appeal of fabric. Also, it's worth mentioning that every cleaning method won't be suitable for all types of stains or spills. Some might need spot cleaning, while others could require a more in-depth approach.

Sure, it’s tempting to just grab some fabric cleaner and go at it, but there are certain things that you should avoid when cleaning upholstery. Let’s dive into some tips as to why some common cleaning methods don’t work and what you should do instead to avoid making these upholstery cleaning mistakes.

Tips: Determine the Type of Fabric

Find the tag on the couch and read the instructions for how to clean that type of upholstery.

Here are the codes found on some labels:

  • WS: Use a mild detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent.
  • S: Use a dry cleaner detergent only.
  • X: Use a vacuum only. No water.
  • W: You can use water to clean it.

Tips:  Don’t Do Rules of Upholstery Cleaning

Don't use hot water on your fabric couch. Hot water can cause the fabric to shrink or fade, and it can also set stains.

Don't use bleach or other harsh chemicals on your couch. These can damage the fabric and cause discolouration. 

Don't use abrasive cleaning tools or scrub brushes on your couch. These can damage the fabric and leave unsightly marks.

Don't soak your couch in water or any cleaning solution. This can cause the fabric to become waterlogged and may lead to mold and mildew growth.

Don't use too much cleaning solution on your couch. Too much liquid can make the fabric soggy and can also cause stains to spread.

Don’t vacuum harshly or on highest setting. To properly vacuum upholstered furniture, always use the lowest suction setting possible and make sure never to pull on loose strings while vacuuming; they could easily get sucked into the vacuum cleaner, damaging your furniture.

Don’t not use a tester area that is not visible to see how the cleaning solution works on your upholstery.

Try Some Steam - If your furniture can be cleaned with water, hitting the stain with a bit of steam loosens it up and makes the stain more responsive to treatment.

Always use a low-heat setting, and test in an inconspicuous spot to make sure that the fabric doesn't have an unexpectedly negative reaction to the heat. Do not use steam heat on upholstery that is made of or contains silk.

Fabric & Upholstery - General Upholstery Care

  • Because dust and dirt cause fabric to wear faster, we recommend vacuuming regularly with an upholstery attachment.
  • Flip, rotate and fluff removable cushions regularly to ensure even wear and increase longevity.
  • Feather and down cushions have excellent recovery, but much like down comforters or pillows, need to be fluffed frequently to restore their loft. Some feather loss is normal. Vacuuming with an upholstery attachment between the fabric casings and cushions will help prevent feathers from poking through the fabric.
  • Tight (attached) cushions will stretch and wrinkle with use. You can easily restore their appearance by smoothing the surface and tucking excess upholstery into the sides of the seat or back.
  • To minimize fading, avoid placing your upholstered furniture in direct sunlight. Dark fabrics and natural fibers like cotton are most susceptible to fading.
  • An annual professional cleaning will keep your upholstered furniture looking its best.

How to Spot Clean Upholstery Fabric

  • Do not dry clean or machine wash cushion casings as it may damage the fabric, backing or stitching. For large or persistent stains, contact an in-home professional upholstery cleaning company.
  • If your furniture can be cleaned with water, mix a little dish soap with cool water and, using a wrung out sponge, blot the stain with the soap mixture. Take care not to rub at the stain — at this point it’s unlikely that the stain will set in deeper, but rubbing can weaken and pill your fabric. Next, rinse the sponge and use just water to blot out some of the soap mixture. Press dry with a cloth or paper towels. If your furniture cannot be cleaned with water, try using vinegar or vodka on a cloth to blot the stains. The smell of both the vinegar or the vodka will disappear when the area is dry.
  • Treat stains immediately for the best results. Blot up as much of the spill as possible with a clean, dry, white cloth. Don't rub.
  • Apply a small amount of cleaner to the stain and gently agitate it with your fingertips. Avoid over saturation which can damage the fabric backing or cushions.
  • Blot the stain with a clean, dry, white cloth, working from the outer edge to the centre of the stain.
  • Continue to apply cleaner sparingly and blot until the stain no longer transfers onto the cloth. This may take several attempts. When you've removed as much of the stain as possible, blot any remaining cleaner from the fabric.
  • If your spot cleaner recommends a water rinse, apply a small amount of distilled water to the stained area and blot to remove. Tap water may stain or discolour the fabric due to its mineral content.

    How to Clean Velvet Furniture In 5 Steps

    Decorating with velvet furniture gives your space a bold style statement, but it can turn into an eyesore if you don’t know how to clean velvet. The plush upholstery has a commanding presence—there’s no ignoring its soft sheen, rich colour and innate elegance.

    To take back velvet’s panache without having to resort to a professional cleaning, you only need a few tricks, especially when it comes to DIY spot cleaning.  The cleaning procedure is more important than any specific cleaning product.


    • Soft bristle brush
    • Vacuum with a soft bristle brush attachment
    • Distilled white vinegar
    • Water
    • Microfibre cloth(s)
    • A spray bottle will be helpful to distribute the cleaning solution evenly on the fabric
    1. Use a soft-bristle brush or velvet upholstery brush to gently brush the velvet furniture's surface.
    2. Vacuum the velvet upholstery using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Move the nozzle gently in the direction of the nap (the raised fibres) to lift dirt and dust.
    3. If you have spills, you need to get rid of the liquid ASAP with an absorbent cloth, or a paper towel, by blotting until the moisture is removed. Gentle rubbing with a damp cloth (if water permitted) will help clean most spots. Adding a drop of mild detergent or mild shampoo might help clean plant-based or animal fibres like cotton or linen. Polyester, nylon and wool will resist absorbing moisture but will retain oil-based stains like coffee.  Blot any stained areas gently, starting from the outside and working your way in. Continue blotting until the stain begins to lift.
    4. Spot cleaning [sparingly] with a home dry-cleaning solvent can help. Spot cleaning as soon as stains occur will help prevent them from setting into the linen fibres, so make sure to do this as soon as possible after a spill or accident. In a small bowl, mix equal parts distilled water and white vinegar.
    5. Dampen a clean microfibre cloth with the cleaning solution.
    6. Use a clean, damp cloth to blot the stain again to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
    7. Blot with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture.
    8. Pour the cleaning solution into a spray bottle and lightly mist the entire surface of the velvet furniture, avoiding over saturation.
    9. Gently brush the fabric with the soft-bristle brush in the direction of the nap to lift dirt and restore the velvet's texture.
    10. Allow the furniture to air dry naturally.
    11. Once the velvet upholstery is dry, you can vacuum again, then brush the textile into shape. Just make sure the brush bristles aren’t too stiff. Any soft bristled brush can be used to maintain a velvet fabric’s nap, remove lint or pet hair, or refresh surface texture after cleaning.

    Step 1: Vacuum the velvet upholstery

    To tackle those pesky dust particles regular dusting and vacuuming are key to velvet upholstery maintenance use a soft brush to loosen surface dirt and brush it away.

    Upholstery should be vacuumed frequently to keep the fabric in good shape and prevent dust and crumbs from settling into the body of the furniture. In the case of an old stain, it’s surprising how much a simple vacuuming can help the fade the stain. It should always be the first step in dealing with this kind of damage, you don’t really know what you’re dealing with, or how bad the stain truly is until all of the loose particles have been sucked away by the vacuum.

    Step 2: Tackle spills with absorbent cloths

    Blot the area immediately with a clean, dry absorbent cloth. 

    Step 3: Test cleaning products

    If a dried stain on the velvet upholstery is staring at you, mix soap and water to create a sudsy solution. Use a soft cloth to blot the stain with the suds, then let the fabric dry completely. Alternatively, a solution of baking soda and lemon juice can tackle a stain-affected area. Carefully apply the mixture to the stain (especially one that may smell), then use a soft cloth to gently rub out the stain. Dab with clean water and allow to air dry. Always test the cleaning product on a hidden spot first, to ensure it doesn’t ruin the material.

    Step 4: Restore the velvet fabric

    Once the velvet is dry, use a soft, dry brush in the direction of the pile to restore its direction and loft. This will give the velvet that brand-new, never-been-touched look. To further preserve the velvet fabric, especially in a bright, richly pigmented colour, like navy or chartreuse, keep it away from direct sunlight, which can cause the fabric to fade.  Consider window coverings substantial enough to protect your piece but lovely enough to catch the eye.

    How to clean Boucle Fabric

    Bouclé fabric, with its distinctive looped yarns and textured appearance, brings a touch of sophistication and luxury to any space. Derived from the French word for "curled," bouclé is renowned for its unique, cozy texture and visual depth, making it a beloved choice for upholstery, pillows, throws, and other home decor accents. Boucle is equally as practical as it is gorgeous, and is highly durable thanks to its hard-wearing qualities and low-maintenance upkeep. But one thing you need to remember when dealing with boucle is to be gentle.

    While boucle fabric is relatively easy to clean, the specific cleaning instructions may vary depending on the precise blend of materials used in your specific piece. Therefore, it's always wise to refer to the manufacturer's instructions before proceeding with any cleaning method. 

    This boucle fabric cleaning process may have you stressing out right now, but not for long. Below, we’ll guide you through how to clean boucle fabric so you can feel confident restoring your furniture back to its original state. Let’s dive in!


    • Soft Bristle Brush: A soft bristle brush is ideal for removing loose dirt and debris from the fabric surface without causing harm.
    • Vacuum Cleaner with Upholstery Attachment: This tool will aid in the deeper extraction of dust particles from the fabric. The upholstery attachment is gentler on the delicate loops of boucle.
    • Mild Fabric Detergent: To clean stains, a mild fabric detergent is recommended. Always test the detergent on a small, hidden part of the fabric first to ensure it won't cause discolouration.
    • Clean, Dry Towels: These are for blotting and drying the fabric after cleaning.
    • Spray Bottle: A spray bottle will be helpful to distribute the cleaning solution evenly on the fabric.
    • Lint Brush: To lift any dirt after brushing

    Cleaning boucle requires a delicate touch to ensure the unique texture and appearance remains intact for as long as you own it. When cleaning the fabric do so in a way that lifts the curls and loops of the material to retain its plush softness. Avoid harsh brushing or scrubbing.

    Pulling out the lint roller is best done after vacuuming and even brushing as that will lift any dirt that the lint roller can then pick up if the vacuum cleaner hasn’t already done so. A lint roller can also be a useful tool as this will help remove any dust left on the surface, keeping the colour from dulling over time

    For times when you may need to do some spot cleaning on your upholstery - keep some white lint-free cloths to hand. White is best as it allows you to see any residue of spills you are trying to remove from the boucle fabric.

    Always use a blotting motion instead of rubbing to prevent distortion of the texture. Blot from the outer edges of the stain toward the centre to avoid spreading it further.

    Then allow the upholstery to air dry without applying any heat.


    The process for how to clean boucle furniture itself is actually fairly straightforward. We suggest you break it down into four distinct steps for the most effective, efficient approach:

    1. Remove Loose Dirt: Start the cleaning process by gently brushing the surface of your boucle fabric with a soft bristle brush. This helps to dislodge any loose dirt or debris on the surface.
    2. Vacuum: Next, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and debris that's deeper in the fabric. Vacuum in the direction of the fabric grain to avoid snagging or pulling the loops.
    3. Spot Cleaning: In case of stains, create a mild cleaning solution by diluting a small amount of fabric detergent in water. Spray this solution lightly onto the stain and gently dab with a clean towel. Remember, boucle fabric should never be rubbed harshly as it can disrupt the loops and texture of the fabric.
    4. Dry: Once the stain is lifted, blot the area with a dry towel to absorb as much of the moisture as possible. Allow the furniture to air dry completely. Never use a heated dryer or hair dryer as it can shrink the fabric. 


    Different boucle furniture pieces may require unique considerations. For example, a boucle bed may need more frequent vacuuming than a chair, as it's used daily and likely accumulates more dust and debris. 

    How to clean Linen Fabric

    Linen is a durable fabric. Surprisingly, while this fabric has a delicate look, it holds up beautifully to daily wear and tear.

    1. Vacuum. It keeps dust particles out of the fabric, making it appear brighter.
    2. Soak up the stain with a white cloth by blotting (don’t rub - if water permitted)
    3. Spot clean with distilled water and a white cloth.
    4. Use a mild soap, distilled water and a white cloth.

    Steam Cleaning Linen - Yes or No? The high heat and moisture of steam could damage or shrink the fabric. It can also result in an inconsistent puckering affect which is difficult to reverse.

     If you want to steam clean a linen upholstery, we recommend you call in a professional upholstery cleaner with experience in handling linen fabrics. They are likely to use the lowest setting and keep the attachment constantly moving. 

    How do you spot clean linen?

    Try a baking soda paste! As with many natural cleaning options, a little baking soda and vinegar can go a long way.
    First, blot the stain to remove remaining moisture. Then add a little sprinkle of baking soda, moistening with a damp sponge. A little vinegar can help activate the stain removal, as well.


    For general upkeep and handling small stains on a linen sofa, spot cleaning is best. Spot cleaning as soon as stains occur will help prevent them from setting into the linen fibres, so make sure to do this as soon as possible after a spill or accident.

    1. Start by vacuuming up any loose dirt or debris on the upholstery, making sure to use the correct attachments for corners and gaps in the seat.
    2. Prepare a cleaning solution of warm water and a small amount of mild, enzyme-based upholstery cleaner or soap.
    3. Use a clean white cloth to blot lifted stains. Never vigorously rub stains if you want to avoid damaging or pillaging the linen fabric. Simply dab gently moving from the outer edge in toward the middle of the stain. 
    4. Rinse the area well with clean water to remove all soap residue.
    5. Allow the spot to air dry fully before using the furniture. 

    Some Suggested DIY Cleaning Solutions (depending on fabric and fabric label instructions);

    1. Gentle dish soap, like Dawn or Castile
    2. Mix about 2 cups of distilled water with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
    3. For synthetic upholstery, use ¾ cup of warm water + 1 tablespoon of gentle dish soap, like Dawn or you can mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 warm water and 1 tablespoon of dish soap or Castile soap. Put in a spray bottle. Mist the soiled area. Scrub with a soft cloth until the stain lifts.

    Rinse and Repeat

    If your stain has survived this entire cleaning process, you are dealing with one stubborn stain. As exhausting—and possibly irritating—as the process can be, doing it all over again can give you the result you’re looking for.