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How to Clean a Couch

Care for the center of your living room oasis for years of unsullied lounging.


  • Step 1: Vacuum Remove the cushions and vacuum everything thoroughly with the upholstery attachment to remove loose dust, dirt, hair, and food particles. Once weekly is recommended.
  • Step 2: Dust Dust non-upholstered parts of the couch, including frames and legs, with a soft cloth.
  • Step 3: Remove stains Read the label on the couch to get fabric descriptions and cleaning instructions. Pre-treat stains with mild dish soap and a damp cloth. Then apply upholstery stain remover.
  • TIP: Always test cleansers on a small, hidden area of the couch. Allow it to dry and look for any marks before continuing.
  • Step 4: Clean leather Clean a leather couch by polishing it with cream leather cleaner and a soft cloth.
  • Step 5: Deep clean Test a hidden spot. Then deep clean the couch with fabric-specific shampoo and a rug shampooer. Clean the entire couch to avoid spots.
  • Step 6: Steam clean Rent a steam cleaner if your couch says, "dry clean only." Test on a hidden area before you clean.
  • FACT: Freud's famous psychoanalysis couch is on display at the Sigmund Freud Museum in London.

You Will Need

  • A vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • A soft dust cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Upholstery stain remover
  • Cream leather cleaner
  • A rug shampoo machine
  • A steam cleaner

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