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The living room tends to be the centre of family life. Consequently food, children, and pets all conspire to leave stains on your pristine furniture. A Common question we get is ‘what can I clean my sofa with?’ Here we have created a guide to make the process straight forward.

How to clean them all depends on the fabric and type of stains. A good starting point is to check the label to see if it’s machine washable.

how to clean your sofa

Before embarking on hand cleaning it is best to do a “spot test”. This is where you apply your cleaning solution to a small out-of-sight part of the stain to ensure that the fabric is not damaged by the process.


Polyester is by far the most common fabric used in upholstery and is easy to clean. It includes materials such as Faux Suede, Jubilee, Turin, Holland, Max, Lisbon, Regus, Rhodeo, Conway, and Carlton.

  • Normal stains – gently apply warm, soapy water or a small amount of rubbing alcohol with a soft brush or sponge
  • Stubborn stains – rub liquid laundry detergent on to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.


Polyurethane fabrics include upholstery such as Faux Leather. Like most plastics it is very easy to clean.

  • Normal stains – gently apply warm, soapy water with a soft brush or sponge
  • Stubborn stains – rub liquid laundry detergent on to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with warm water afterwards.


Viscose is usually mixed with polyester, such as in Opus, but is more delicate.

  • Gently hand wash in cool water with detergent. Do not wring, rub, or squeeze the fabric.


Wool is resistant to stains, but some extra care is needed.

  • Normal stains – soak in cold water for an hour and then brush gently
  • Stubborn stains – purchase some wool shampoo and follow the product’s instructions


Many linens are comprised of cotton. Rubbing a stain will grind it into the fibres so your best bet is to use a chemical cleaner.

  • Light stains – sprinkle baking soda and few drops of vinegar and blot the stain with a paper towel
  • Dark stains – apply lemon juice and let it sit until the fabric’s colour lightens, then rinse with water.

Let the fabric dry without using heat as that will cause the stain to bake into the fibres. If in doubt, purchase a linen-targeted cleaning solution and follow the instructions.

Can’t shift it or just don’t have the time?

Don’t despair. The good thing about having a modular sofa is that spare parts are never in short supply. Order a replacement cover and simply swap out the stained fabric.