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How to Clean a Sofa: A Guide from the Modern Furniture Experts at SFD

By December 30, 2020March 29th, 2024Furniture

Family enjoying a modern sofa and leather accent chairs

Every homeowner knows that the most exciting room to furnish is the living room. After all, the living room is the heart of the home, where family gathers and memories are made. The centerpiece of any living room is the sofa. Chances are that you thoughtfully selected the sofa for your home, choosing one to match your space’s aesthetic & stand out at the same time.

Finding the right modern sofa for your living room is simple enough — maintaining its integrity can be another story. Between kids, pets, and even adults, the average sofa sees small blemishes and minor damage on a regular basis. Normal wear & tear is unavoidable, but you don’t have to live with stains & smudges.

Maintaining your fabric or leather sofa is simpler than you think! Our modern furniture experts have developed a guide to help you with the entire process. Keep reading to learn how to clean your sofa.

How to Clean a Leather & Fabric Sofa


Before You Begin

sofa vs couch modern living room furniture San Francisco DesignSofas are like snowflakes: no two styles are exactly alike. As such, the correct way to clean one varies from sofa to sofa. Before you get right into beautifying your own sofa, there are a few things to do first.

Review tips from the manufacturer. This isn’t just a recommendation. Failing to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions may void the product warranty, or worse — it may ruin your sofa altogether.

Take a look at the furniture tags. No Manufacturer Instructions? No problem! Nearly every sofa has tags on the cushions that detail cleaning instructions, have answers to questions about the fabric, or tips for treating the leather. If you have a fabric sofa, the tags should indicate whether the material is water soluble or not.

Note: Make sure to follow the instructions and recommendations on your furniture tags when you go to freshen it up. Don’t risk ruining your furnishings.


How to Clean a Leather Sofa

Karl Modern Brown Italian Leather Sofa With Storage Compartment

Leather sofas are some of the most popular around, often due to their relatively easy cleanup and maintenance. Keep in mind that leather is supposed to look lived in. If you take proper care of your couch, it will only get better with age. With that being said, here’s how to preserve your leather sofa.

Use soap and water to treat small stains. Many mild stains can be cleaned simply with dish soap and warm water on a dishrag. Spot test the leather in a small section of the furniture that is not visible before you tackle the stain, like the underside of the frame. Note: If you notice any faded colors or water rings, stop and call a professional before you proceed.

Allow leather to fully dry. Use a clean cloth to dry the stained area quicker and leave it overnight for best results.

Moisturize the sofa. After your furniture has the chance to dry thoroughly, apply a leather cream or conditioner to restore it to its former glory.



How to Clean a Fabric Sofa

Teal fabric modern sectional from Italy

Fabric sofas are chic & comfortable, perfect for any space. However, they can also be prone to stains that stick. But with the right upkeep, you can help your sofa stay good as new. Here’s how you can clean your sofa.

Note: These instructions are for sofas that can be cleaned with water or a solvent-based solution.

Vacuum first. Ensure that you don’t rub dirt into the fibers of the sofa by vacuuming the cushions and pillows before you start.

Use a cleaning solution. Create one with distilled water and dish soap or use a high-quality premade cleaning solution. As with leather furniture, be sure to test your cleaner on a non-visible part of the sofa. Once you’ve determined that the solution is safe to use, carefully blot it onto the stained area of your sofa without scrubbing.

Rinse the soap. Grab a new cloth and pat distilled water only onto the stain to remove any solution or soap residue.

Allow your sofa to dry. Pat the area dry with a clean rag and let it dry overnight for best results.


Maintenance & General Tips

  • Moisturize your leather furniture regularly, but keep in mind that less is more!
  • Regardless of the fabric, always spot test your treatment before you begin. If it alters the appearance of your sofa, stop there and reach out to an expert.
  • Keep pets off fabric and leather furniture. It may seem like a good idea to have your furry friends on your new sofa, but many pets have the tendency to turn new furniture into very luxurious, very pricy scratching posts.
  • When in doubt, call a professional. Don’t risk voiding the manufacturer’s warranty or damaging your beautiful sofa. Hire a professional cleaning company to tackle any big stains and keep your furniture looking fresh and new.


Modern Sofas from San Francisco Design

how to clean a modern sofa by San Francisco DesignGet the most from your fabric or leather sofa by learning from the experts at San Francisco Design. Not only do we have the finest assortment of contemporary & modern sofas in the United States, we have a team of furniture experts who can help you choose a sofa that’s simple to maintain. Shop our selection or contact us today to learn more about our easy-to-clean modern furniture!