Guide to Taking Care of Your Sofa
Whether you prefer using your sofa as a base to curl up with a book, or somewhere to settle down for a Netflix-fest, it’s sure to be a fundamental feature of your lounge – and your life.
Regular sofa care and cleaning can seem a chore, but it will help your sofa to last longer, which means less expense to you long term.
From hoovering and dusting, to plumping and conditioning, different sofas require varying levels and types of care. Our handy guide to taking care of your sofa include:
1) How to look after a fabric sofa, including tips on cleaning, stain removal and general care.
2) How to look after your leather sofa, including tips on cleaning, stain removal and general care.
3) How to look after your sofa filling.
4) How to plump your sofa cushions.
5) When to clean your sofa
How to look after your fabric sofa
Fabric sofas are great for burrowing into after a long day, but without regular upkeep, that plump, comfy feeling can soon wear away.
Keep your fabric sofa looking newer for longer with frequent care and cleaning – it’ll take less time than you think.
How to clean a fabric sofa
1) Brush your sofa once a week. This will help to remove pressure marks and shading that come with use.
2) Hoover your sofa regularly. Vacuuming shouldn’t be reserved for crisp or biscuit crumbs. Your sofa endures a lot of use, so regular hoovering ensures it remains clean and hygienic
(Tip: Don’t use a heavy-duty hoover on your sofa. Instead, turn the setting down low and use a brush attachment. This will stop the fabric from piling.)
3) Use a fabric shaver. This will remove ‘bobbles’ from your sofa.
4) Wash the fabric. Once a year, wash the covers as per the instructions, or have your sofa professionally cleaned to keep it looking – and feeling – fresh
How to clean a fabric sofa stain
Accidents happen, so it’s important you’re aware of the best way to clean up sofa spillages to avoid stains.
For grease stains:
– Blot off excess grease with a damp piece of kitchen roll.
– Sprinkle baking soda onto the stain, ensuring it’s covered. Leave for 15-20 minutes.
– Use the brush attachment on your hoover to vacuum off the baking soda.
– Put a little dry cleaning solvent on a damp cloth to press away the remaining residue.
For ink stains:
– Blot the stain straight away with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Don’t rub it or the stain might spread.
– Put a little rubbing alcohol onto a clean, white cloth and dab the stained area (it’s worth testing a small patch on your sofa first, just to ensure it’s safe to use on the fabric).
– Repeat until no more ink is absorbed – do not rub the stain. Clean the remaining alcohol off with a damp cloth and dry the area.
For liquids stains:
The best advice will vary depending on what the stain is. Whether it’s juice or red wine, the first thing to do is blot the area with a clean cloth. Usually, you can then use a dry-cleaning solvent on the fabric to remove the stain from your sofa.
Tips to taking care of a fabric sofa
– Don’t position your sofa in direct sunlight. This can cause the fabric to fade or fray.
– Keep your room ventilated. If you have an open plan lounge, it’s a good idea to open windows when cooking, as the fumes can harm the fabric, as well as make the sofa smell.
– Be wary of Velcro. If caught on your sofa, this can cause fraying or tearing. The same goes for buckles and sharp jewellery, so watch out.
How to look after your Leather sofa
A leather sofa is often the focal feature of your lounge, but without proper care it will begin to crack or stain.
Dedicate a little time each week to looking after your leather sofa and it’ll stay looking fresh for longer.
How to clean your leather sofa
1. Hoover your leather sofa. It’s as important to hoover a leather sofa as it is a fabric one, so ensure you’re running a brush attachment across your settee regularly to pick up any loose dirt.
2. Dust your sofa. Although you might not see it, leather sofas get dusty too. Using a clean, dry cloth, wipe down the whole sofa to keep it clean and avoid dust getting into the creases.
(Tip: When dusting, avoid polish and other cleaning products unless specifically designed for leather, as these products could damage it.)
3. Use a leather sofa conditioner every few months. This will improve the appearance of your sofa. Over time, you’ll notice how much newer your sofa looks than those that haven’t been maintained
How to clean a leather sofa stain
The method you use to clean a stain from a leather sofa will depend on what was spilt. All spillages must be cleaned straight away as leather is absorbent. If a spillage is left, it will soon become a stain.
For grease stains:
– Use a dry cloth to clean as much as possible.
– Avoid water unless necessary. If it is needed, use a little and wring out the cloth so it isn’t dripping.
– If wiping the area with a wet cloth, ensure you dry the spot afterwards.
For ink stains:
– Dip a cotton pad in isopropyl alcohol
– Gently dab the area – don’t scrub it aggressively, the stain might spread or you could damage the leather
– Use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to dry your sofa
For liquid stains:
The solution here will depend on the liquid and severity of the stain. Try using a leather cleaner on the spot – but test the cleaner first to ensure it’s suitable for your sofa. Don’t scrub too hard and if the stain doesn’t come out, consider calling a professional.
Try to avoid using heavy duty cleaning products on your leather sofa. If soap is needed, opt for one that doesn’t contain chemical additives.
Tips to taking care of your leather sofa
– Keep away from direct sunlight. Leather can crack easily in the sun, so try to position your sofa in an area that is slightly shaded.
– Watch out for sharp objects. Leather sofas scratch easily, so be wary of pet claws, scissors and jewellery. If you do scratch the sofa, use a microfiber cloth to buff it out.
– Avoid sitting on sofa arms. Perching on the edge of your seat cushions or the arms of your leather sofa can cause distortion and damage.
Looking after your sofa filling
It’s no surprise that snuggling into your sofa will cause the filling to mould to your body.
Although this can be great for claiming your spot, it’s not so good for guests who keep sinking into saggy seat cushions!
Below are a few simply ways to maintain your sofa filling, keeping it plump and comfortable for longer.
For feather fillings
Ideally, these should be plumped and turned daily. Try setting yourself a reminder for when you get in from work, or just before bed, to ensure the filling remains shapely for longer.
For fibre fillings
Although these don’t need to be plumped and turned as often, it’s a good idea to do this regularly. Try getting into the habit of turning fibre-filled cushions at least once a week.
For foam Fillings
Foam fillings are the lowest maintenance, but seats should still be turned and flipped to keep them in good condition for as long as possible.
How to plump your sofa cushions
Follow these steps to plump up your sofa cushions:
1. Remove the cushions from the sofa
2. Punch them from all sides
3. Drop the cushions onto a clean floor
This will push air back into the sofa cushions, allowing them to maintain their shape. When returning the cushions to the sofa, rotate their placement to minimise wear and fading.
When to clean your sofa
Use our checklist below as a handy go-to guide to when you should clean and care for your sofa.
– Plump cushions
– Check that legs are tight
– Hoover your sofa
– Dust leather sofas
– Brush fabric sofas
– Remove ‘bobbling’ from fabric sofas
– Rotate cushions
– Turn and rotate mattress (if you own a sofa bed)
– Use protective spray on your leather sofa
Less regular care
– Use a leather conditioner on your sofa every three months
– Once a year – clean the lot! Machine wash fabrics as per instructions, or consider getting a professional cleaner in