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How to clean upholstery fabric

How to clean upholstery fabric

Upholstery fabric is a must-have in many households, but it can sometimes be difficult to clean and maintain. However, it’s important to regularly clean your fabric for upholstery, to ensure your furniture looks fresh at all times and lasts longer.

Commonly used on sofas, chairs and other pieces of furniture, upholstery fabrics require regular maintenance and an occasional deep clean to keep them looking their best.

The good news is that cleaning upholstery doesn’t have to be hard! In this guide, we’re sharing our top tips for cleaning upholstery fabrics. We’ll also share how to clean sofa fabric, including how to clean a leather sofa and a velvet sofa – two of the most loved choices of sofa fabric out there. Let’s begin.

Top tips for cleaning upholstery fabric

Vacuum regularly

The first step to cleaning upholstery fabric is using your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to remove any dirt, dust or pet hair from the fabric surface. Be sure to get into all the crevices to remove any hidden or deep-seated dirt that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Remove bad smells

Sometimes, bad odours can build up on your upholstery fabric, especially if it’s been a while since the last clean. To remove any bad odours, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the fabric and let it sit for 20 minutes. Bicarbonate of soda is an extremely efficient way to remove bad odours in almost all applications, as it absorbs them and doesn’t just mask them like other products. After 20 minutes, use your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to hoover up the product.

Spot clean stains immediately

If you experience any unfortunate spillages, you should clean the area as soon as possible to ensure the stain does not have a chance to set into the fabric. To clean the stain, use a damp cloth and water, taking care not to use too much force. You can also use a specific upholstery fabric cleaner. Pro tip: before using a cleaner, test the product on a small, hidden area of the upholstery fabric to make sure it does not damage or discolour the fabric.

Did you know that most of our upholstery fabrics are treated with a stain resistant finish? Spills will still need to be cleaned, ideally as soon as possible, but a stain resistant finish will help protect the fabric and give you the time you need to clean them before they set.

How to clean a leather sofa

Leather sofas add a touch of style and luxury to any home, but they require special care and attention. While you can vacuum your leather sofa regularly, you also need to clean it from time to time in order to keep it looking its best. The best way to clean a leather sofa is to follow the above mentioned steps.

Refrain from using any harsh chemicals such as bleach as they will discolour the leather fabric. You should instead use a specific leather cleaner, which may have been provided when you purchased the sofa. The same method applies to a faux leather sofa.

How to clean a velvet sofa

Keeping your velvet sofa fabric clean and well-maintained will keep it looking good as new for years to come. Velvet is one of the most classy styles of sofa fabric, but its delicate nature means it must be cleaned gently.

To clean a velvet sofa, you should first use a cloth to soak up any spillages. Next, use another clean, damp cloth to spot clean the stain. Pro tip: refrain from getting your velvet sofa too wet, as its dense nature allows it to hold higher amounts of liquids than other materials. You can use a hairdryer to gently dry the material after cleaning – just be sure to take care when doing this.


You should now have a better understanding of how to clean upholstery fabric, including how to clean popular fabric choices like faux leather and velvet. As you can see from the above points, cleaning upholstery fabric doesn’t have to be hard! Simply follow the steps mentioned above and be sure to take extra care when cleaning so no damage is caused.

Alongside upholstery fabrics, we also sell a range of other fabrics that have multiple application uses. For example, you can check out our soft furnishings fabrics here. These fabrics are popular with customers and include suede, velvet, chenille and more.

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