How to Clean Furniture Upholstery in 5 Minutes or Less

What is Furniture Upholstery?

Furniture Upholstery is the array of fabrics, cushions, linen, spreads, cushion covers, foams, cushions, sofa and seat covers etc. They also include springs, furniture frames and supporting accessories like screws, fasteners and other supporting accessories used in the parts of furniture and fixtures.

Furniture Upholstery is mainly used for enhancing the beauty and functionality of the furniture.  For example you can transform an ordinary wooden chair into one of the most comfortable sing seaters by adding cushions and foam to the seat and resting parts. To make it more attractive you can cover the foam with a sheet of leather, cotton, or synthetic fabric and attach it with the chair frame. Now you have a single seater sofa made at home.  Similarly, you can create many other types of Furniture Upholstery right at your home.

Furniture Upholstery Cleaning

Furniture Upholstery Cleaning Methods
Furniture Upholstery Cleaning Methods


The standardized procedure for Furniture Upholstery cleaning can be categorized into many steps. In each step you clean a specific part and make it hygienic and free from toxic elements. At the end of the procedures the furniture is restored to its near original condition. For this you need to use cleaning materials, tools and supporting machinery for making it safe and wholesome. Here you can get some useful hits and suggestions to be followed in each stage.

Furniture Upholstery cleaning is required because of the dirt and soil deposits on them which happens over time. Most of the stress and wear on the fabrics happen due to the abrasive action of the metallic parts of the furniture. It can cause corrosive marks to be left on the Furniture Upholstery fabrics which needs to be cleaned regularly. Deposition of germs and bacteria is another reason for the Furniture Upholstery to become dirty.

Pre Cleaning Plan for Furniture Upholstery

Furniture Upholstery Cleaning a Sofa
Furniture Upholstery | Cleaning a Sofa


  • Identify the type of material to be cleaned. You can prepare a list of materials like leather, nylon, cotton, wood, plastic etc. They are primarily the parts of Furniture on which they are added as decorative and protective layers.
  • Based on the Furniture Upholstery parts to be cleaned you can select the cleaning products. You may include shampoos, cleaning liquids, grease removers, stain removers, scratch eliminators, brighteners, and softeners etc.
  • The nature of cleaning determines the selection of tools and machinery needed for Furniture Upholstery cleaning. Some of the most commonly used ones are vacuums, steam blowers, spray bottles etc.
  • Once you have gathered all the required products, materials, tools and machinery you can start with the action plan. Write down the required action for each furniture

Furniture Upholstery Cleaning Steps

Furniture / Location

Probable reasons for dirt

Recommended Cleaning material and tool

Recommended Procedure

Sofa and seats in the lawns and patioDust, soil, dirt and other residues resulting from frequent exposure to the external environment. This can also result in dull spots on the external surfacesSanitizing liquids, cleaning shampoo and cleaning liquids. sprayer, cleaning liquid polish, Vacuum cleaner, steam blower and hand brushCover cleaning with sanitizing liquid

Vacuum cleaning of furniture

Dirt and stain removal

·        Start by cleaning the fabric. For this, you may need to take out the covers on the sofa and seaters and sanitize them.

·        Vacuum the sofa and seater. This will remove the dry dust and particles deposited.

·        If you find hard stains and soil marks you need to use the steam blower. Make sure that the steam temperature doesn’t exceed 60-90 degrees to avoid damages to the leather and synthetic materials.

·        Use the soft bristled hand brush to scrub the surfaces for removing stains.

·        Let the liquids soak the surface for about 10 minutes before wiping with cotton towel.

·        Once the washed fabric dry up you can cover the sofa and seater with them.

Dining chairs and table Furniture UpholsteryFrequent exposure to heat and humidity, stains from foods and beverage spills, scratches from utensils etc.Cleaning liquid, stain remover, spot removing liquids, hand brush and vacuum cleanerStain removal

Vacuum clean

Steam bath

Scrubbing and brushing

·        You can preferably start by rinsing the stains and spots with cleaning liquid. Allow the liquid to soften the stains and brush them out. Most of the light stains can be removed this way. But you need to avoid using the excess of liquid on dining chair cushions. They can be cleaned with the help of steam blowing and brushing.

·        Dark spots on the chairs and table need to be removed with concentrated spot removers. Gently spray the liquid on the spots and scrub away the spots.

·        Dry the spots with hot air blowing or simply wipe with a dry towel after you have managed to remove the stains, soil marks, and spots.

Drawing Room Furniture Upholstery cleaningExposure to dirt and dust from foot traffic of visitors. spillover over of foods and beveragesVacuum cleaner, cleaning liquid, steam blower, and cotton towelVacuum the dust and dirt

Stain and spot removal with steam

Wipe with cotton towel

·        Start with vacuuming the furniture and fixtures.

·        Remove the linen covers and put away for washing and sanitizing. If you have large quantity you can preferably sue the washing machine.

·        Use the sprayer bottle to sprinkle the cleaning liquid on furniture surfaces. Let the liquid soak the surface stains. Wipe with the cotton towel to clean. Some of the stubborn stains and spots may not budge in this manner. Then you need to sue the steam blower to soften those spots and then wipe them away with the cotton towel.


Living Room Furniture Upholstery cleaningExposure to dirt and dust from foot traffic of visitors. spillover over of foods and beveragesDetergent powder, Cleaning liquid, vacuum cleaner, steam blower and cotton towelWash the linen and furniture cover with detergent

Vacuum the dust and dirt on the furniture

Stain and spot removal with steam

Wipe with cotton towel

·        Take out the carpet on the floors and vacuum them before you start with the cleaning of drawing room furniture upholstery.

·        Segregate the linen into cotton, synthetic, leather, silk and others. Leather fabric covers can be cleaned by immersing them in detergent concentrates for about 20 minutes and washing.

·        Cloth fabrics made of cotton and synthetic can be sanitized with washing machine cleaning. Silk and other softer materials can be hand washed and dried.

·        Vacuum cleans the furniture.

·        Use the steam blower to take out stains and spots on the furniture.

·        Wipe with clean and dry cotton towel.

Kitchen Furniture Upholstery cleaningExposure to heat and humidity from cooking, foot traffic dust, food, and beverages spills etc.Sanitizing liquid, detergent powder, oil and stain remover, hand brush, fabric cleaning liquid, brightening liquids, vacuum cleaner, and steam blower, cleaning towels, pads and dirt extractorsWash and dry furniture fabric

Vacuum clean

Stain and clean oil spots

Rinse and brush hard stains

Steam blow

Wipe with cleaning towels

·        Kitchen upholstery cleaning is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks unless you clean it once in a week or sooner. The need for using multiple cleaning agents like liquids, powder and concentrated solvents depends on the nature and intensity of the dirt and stains accumulated.

·        Take out all the fabric upholstery and put them away for washing and drying.

·        Vacuum the furniture.

·        Use the sprayer to sprinkle cleaning liquids. Soak the stains and spots before using the hand brush to remove them.

·        Hard to reach contours, corners, and interiors of furniture can be cleaned with the steam blower. Make sure that you use the dry air blow after steaming. This has to be done for all parts of Furniture Upholstery, especially the metal parts which may be susceptible to rust when left in wet conditions.

Bathroom Furniture Upholstery cleaningExposure to heat from water heaters, dirt and accumulationSanitizing liquid, stain remover, hand brush, fabric cleaning liquid, brightening liquids, vacuum cleaner, and steam blower, cleaning towels, pads and dirt extractorsWash and dry furniture fabric

Vacuum clean

Stain and clean oil spots

Rinse and brush hard stains

Steam blow

Wipe with cleaning towels

·        Take out all the fabric materials and put them away for washing and sanitation.

·        Vacuum clean the furniture completely.

·        Steam-blow the harder stains and soil marks. Use the hard bristled brushes on steel and ceramic /stone/ granite parts of the furniture.

·        Wipe with clean and dry cotton towel.



Furniture Upholstery Cleaning Guide
Furniture Upholstery Cleaning Guide.

The frequency of Furniture Upholstery cleaning determines how clean and hygienic your home environment will remain. Avoid harsh chemicals for cleaning. Instead, you can opt for organic products made to protect and preserve the green environment. In some instances however you may need to go for chemicals, such as cleaning hard stains from bathrooms and kitchen furniture upholstery. Make sure that you have followed the diluting instruction for cleaning liquids. Wear protective clothing like aprons, eye protection goggles, face masks and hand gloves to ensure maximum personal safety during cleaning. Keep children and elders away from the cleaning zone while work is in progress.


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