3 Upholstery Types and How To Clean Them




The couch is the epitome of all things good in life—especially after a long day when all you dream of is relaxing on your couch with some tea and a good book. But, as invincible as your couch may seem after a tiring day, they can get damaged and soiled if you don’t take care of them. This is where upholstery cleaning comes to the fore.


When done right, upholstery cleaning helps keep your couch clean and ensure it lasts longer. One way to do it is by using the right cleaning methods based on the upholstery type because one size doesn’t fit all here. For instance, while an upholstery steam cleaner is commonly used for cleaning couches, it won’t be suitable for every couch type. Fret not; we have just what you need—a cleaning guide for each of the three major upholstery types: fabric, leather, and leatherette. Click here to check out the best upholstery cleaning machines.


1. Fabric upholstery

Steps to clean fabric upholstery include:

  • – Firstly, vacuum the upholstery to remove any debris before cleaning the surface. Make sure to cover every nook and cranny to get an immaculate clean. Follow the attachment instructions for the best results.
  • – Perform a spot test to see if there is any discolouration after you spray the cleaning solution. If after 5 minutes the colour remains unchanged, you can continue with the rest of the couch.
  • – Gently spray the cleaning solution and rub the upholstery (and any stains on it) with a dry microfiber cloth in a circular motion to wipe away the solution. Make sure you don’t use printed towels because there could be transference.
  • – Remove the stains first before you clean the upholstery. You can do this by spraying alcohol on the stained areas and then wiping the stains away.


2. Leather upholstery

Steps to clean leather upholstery include:

  • – As with the fabric upholstery, start with vacuuming the surface to remove any debris or dirt that could mess up your cleaning process.
  • – Next, wet a microfiber cloth with leather cleaner and gently rub all over the couch to get an even clean. If you don’t have a leather cleaner, you can use white vinegar as a substitute. Simply dampen a dry cloth with vinegar and rub it across the couch like you would with the leather cleaner.
  • – Any kind of moisture is a breeding ground for mildew on leather couches. So, try to minimize your use of solvents or leather cleaner. Instead, regularly vacuum the upholstery to keep it clean.
  • – You can remove stains easily by spraying the cleaning solution on the area and blotting the stains after leaving it for 10-15 minutes.


3. Leatherette upholstery

Steps to clean leatherette upholstery include:

  • – Leatherette upholstery is the easiest to clean. You can clean them using a multipurpose cleaner. If that’s not available, go for dish soap.
  • – Add a drop of dish liquid in a bowl of water and mix.
  • – Dampen a cloth with soapy water and gently rub it all over the couch.
  • – Take another dry cloth and dampen it with plain water. Use this to wipe away all the soapy mixture from the couch.
  • – Let it dry.
  • – If you have stains, use a nail polish remover on the stained area and scrub gently. Avoid rubbing too hard to ensure the colour remains intact.



Upholstery must be deep cleaned at least once a month and normally cleaned once a week. Regular maintenance like this, along with using the right technique for individual couch types, can ensure that your client’s couch lasts longer. It is, thus, important to read the care instructions of the furniture before you start.


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