A beige two-seater sofa with coloured cushions.

How to Clean Upholstery Stains

Lots of family life centres around our sofas and chairs, so they can easily become stained and dusty over time. Even if there is not a specific upholstery stain that needs treating, sofas should be cleaned regularly so that they remain fresh-smelling and are cosy places to relax. Read on to find out how to clean upholstery stains, and how to wash your sofa.

Cleaning upholstery stains in the washing machine

Some sofa upholstery is designed to be machine washed, which makes regular cleaning a breeze – just follow these simple steps.

  1. First and foremost, check the manufacturer’s care label for washing instructions. If it recommends that the upholstery should be dry cleaned, don’t attempt to wash it, as this could potentially cause damage to the fabric.
  2. Vacuum any excess dirt or debris on the surface of the sofa.
  3. Remove the sofa upholstery according to the manufacturer’s instructions and place it in the washing machine.
  4. Set the washing machine to a delicate, cool wash, and use a suitable detergent, as recommended by the manufacturer. Use a detergent that is tough on stains, even in a quick wash, like Persil Small & Mighty.
  5. Dry the upholstery according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hanging the upholstery up to air-dry naturally will reduce the risk of possible shrinking or damage to the fabric.
  6. Put the upholstery back in its former position, making sure all zips, Velcro, and buttons are fastened.

If you're not familiar with the wash care symbols on the labels of your upholstery, don't worry – there's a guide to them all here. Always consult a professional or the manufacturer if you are not sure whether your sofa upholstery is machine washable or not. 

Everyday maintenance and cleaning of furniture and upholstery

A little everyday cleaning and good maintenance of your upholstery will keep it in great condition, so you won’t need to wash it as regularly. Here are a few tips to help you keep your chairs and sofas looking inviting.

  • Vacuum chairs, sofas and other upholstery during your weekly cleaning routine – this will help to prevent a build-up of dust or grime that could cause damage over time. Don’t forget the crumbs in the creases and corners!
  • Remove upholstery stains as soon as they occur. It’s much easier to clean wet stains before they have had time to dry into the fabric. A solution of Persil Small & Mighty and warm water makes an excellent sofa stain remover! Always read the instructions on the product label before use, and test the solution on a small inconspicuous area of the fabric beforehand.
  • Wash throws and cushion covers on a regular basis.

Cleaning upholstery stains and keeping your sofa fresh is easy with these simple steps!

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