How to Clean and Disinfect Your Sofa During Quarantine

Caution: Before using any cleaning detergents or solutions, check the manufacturer’s instructions for care, which can usually be found on the sofa’s tags. Failing to use any cleaning materials could mean permanently damaged upholstery.

Check the cleaning codes for your sofa.

Cleaning CodeMeaning
W“Water-based cleaner.” Only use a water-based cleaner to clean the upholstery. A water-based cleaner is a type of solution that uses water as the main component.
S/W“Solvents and water-based cleaners.” It is safe to use both solvents and water-based cleaners.
S“Solvents.” Only use a solvent to clean the upholstery. A solvent is a type of solution that uses a cleaning chemical as the main component.

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa with a Steamer

What you’ll need:

An upholstery steam cleaner. Make sure before using that the manufacturer’s recommendations state it is safe for a fabric couch. Note, too, that just because your sofa is water-safe doesn’t make it heat-safe. As with other types of cleaners, always test spot an area before going full-steam (pun-intended)!

What to do:

  • Read the manual. There’s a reason why a steam cleaner comes with instructions. Read them carefully before beginning.
  • Vacuum first. Vacuuming your sofa – or anything, for that matter – before cleaning makes it a whole lot easier to clean it. Dirt, dust and other loose particles won’t get in the way and will give your steam cleaner a clean canvas to work from.
  • Keep the air circulated. Turn on a fan and open all the windows in the room for a strong cross breeze. This will help to keep the air circulation strong, preventing moisture buildup and residue.
  • Spot test an area first. This step is so important, it bears repeating. Pick a small hidden spot to test the cleaner, such as the back or the inside of the sofa’s skirt (if it has one, and if the inside material is made of the same fabric as the outside of the sofa).
  • Let the sofa air dry. Don’t sit on the sofa while it’s still wet. Keep the windows open to help dry out the room. Be aware that it may take leaving the sofa untouched overnight for it to fully dry.
  • Vacuum last. Vacuuming again, once you’ve steamed the upholstery, will help ensure that any dirt that was loosened by the cleaner gets removed. Just remember to wait until the sofa is completely dry before vacuuming!

How to Disinfect a Sofa

We need disinfectant spray. In a spray bottle, mix a diluted essential oil known for its antibacterial properties (tea tree is a good one) with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Lightly spray your sofa, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then run a vacuum over the sofa’s surface!

How to Keep Clean your Sofa: Vacuum and Brush Weekly

It is the first step in the process and should also be part of routine sofa cleaning, at least once a week. “A fabric sofa is usually the perfect magnet to attract dust, dirt, pet hair and other germs and debris. They accumulate between the cushions and on the surface can lead to hygiene problems. In addition to causing allergies and bad odors that disturb the rest of the people deteriorate the aesthetics of the upholstery.

For vacuuming, the ideal is to use an upholstery head and use a gentle cycle . The movement of the machine must be cross-linked, not forgetting folds or grooves. Next, it’s time to remove any lint or hair with a soft or special fabric brush and it will recover its original luster.

Wash the covers

To prevent the fabric from shrinking or losing its original color, pay attention to the drying process. 

Leave it for a few hours in warm water with a neutral soap, and then place it in the washing machine in a cycle of delicate garments.  It shouldn’t subjected to temperature above 40º C, and not to be exposed to direct sunlight. It is better to let them dry in the open air and in the shade.

Hygiene without disassembling: Alcohol or lemon

The rubbing alcohol can be placed in a spray bottle to spray the cloth. Next, a soft-bristled brush is passed and finally a clean cloth. The dirt stays on the cloth and the alcohol evaporates quickly leaving a sanitized surface and pleasant

Experts recommend spraying a solution with half a cup of water, a glass of alcohol, half a glass of lemon juice and a tablespoon of liquid or dishwasher detergent. After spraying the entire surface with it, you can gradually remove the dirt with a damp cloth.


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