Confession: I've become quite the expert on how to clean a couch, because I let my family eat in our living room.
Strawberries, snacks. Pizza, crackers. We do have regular meals at the dinner table, but I've never been hung up on where they have snacks. Life is too short!
And my couch takes the brunt of it.
How to Clean a Couch
I wound up figuring out how to clean a couch by trial and error. We've gone through a few couches, but our La-Z-Boy is holding up really well with proper care.
Ditch the debris
The important thing that many people don't do is thoroughly vacuum the couch to remove any debris before you try to spot clean (otherwise, you're just rubbing dirt deeper into the fibers). Make good use of those hose attachments that come with your vacuum cleaner.
Pick a good vacuum
You don't need anything particularly fancy or expensive. In fact, the biggest part of choosing a vacuum is getting something simple so you'll actually use it. We picked up a super-light Eureka for less than $100 at Walmart. It's super-powerful to deep clean our carpets and upholstery, and has a toggle switch to easily tackle hard floors and smooth surfaces so you don't need multiple machines. It also has a handy brush/extension switch to swap the power from the main vacuum to the hose (a procedure that used to mystify me about our old, outdated, overly-complicated vacuum).
Use your nozzles
By now you've probably figured out that the hose extension is great for getting between cushions and underneath your couch, and the skinny nozzle helps reach the nooks and crannies. I was beyond excited to see this included with mine: an upholstery brush that essentially acts as a mini vacuum when attached to the hose extension. Finally something that actually sweeps up dirt and dust in small spaces, as opposed to just funneling all that power into a tube. If you're looking for how to clean a couch really well, the type of attachment you use is key.
Blot it up
Finally, when your couch is free of any excess debris, use baby wipes to gently rub the surface and blot up any stains. I've tried numerous “furniture wipes” and sprays before this and succeeded in doing nothing but getting water stains all over my precious upholstery. Baby wipes are mild, incredible cleaners (I've never had any issues, but you should spot test an out-of-sight area of your couch to make sure the baby wipe doesn't leave any unsightly marks on your couch when it dries).
You can set up a simple box fan to thoroughly dry your couch when done and then go about your day!
Do you have any tips of your own or questions about how to clean a couch?