How To Clean A Used Upholstery?

Cleaning a used upholstery piece can be a rewarding project that not only restores its appearance but also helps maintain its longevity. This guide will take you through the step-by-step process of effective upholstery cleaning methods to properly clean the upholstered furniture you’ve recently purchased, whether it’s a used sofa, chair, or other item. Let’s start now with how to clean a used upholstery!

Essential Tools And Products For Reviving Your Upholstery

To rejuvenate your used upholstery and bring it back to its former glory, you’ll need the following items. The cleaning process may vary depending on the condition, so having these products on hand is essential:

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Steam Cleaner
  • Baking Soda
  • Spray Bottle
  • Mild Dish Soap
  • White Vinegar
  • Soft Bristle Brush
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Bug Treatment Spray
  • Spot Stain Treatment for Furniture

With these tools and products at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the cleaning and restoration of your used upholstery.

A Step-By-Step Guide: How To Clean A Used Upholstery 

It’s important to block off a few hours before starting the process of restoring your worn-out upholstery. Rest assured, it won’t involve any scrubbing, but rather a systematic approach to cleaning, stain removal, and allowing the upholstery to air dry before it’s ready for your enjoyment. 

Step 1: Check the Upholstery Tag Before Start Your Cleaning:

Start by looking for any attached labels on your used upholstery. These labels may include helpful cleaning advice or recommendations. Don’t worry if you can’t find a label; you can still move forward with assurance. The most specific codes include:

W: Water-based cleaning is safe.

S: Use only solvent-based cleaning.

SW or WS: Both water-based and solvent-based cleaners are safe.

X: Vacuum only; no cleaning agents.

Step 2: Identify Your Upholstery Material 

Take a moment to identify the type of upholstery you’ve acquired. The cleaning solutions we recommend are generally gentle and suitable for synthetic upholstery, including leather sofas. However, it’s crucial to be aware of any specific warnings on store-bought cleaners, especially when dealing with different fabric types.

Step 3: Start with Thorough Vacuuming 

Start the cleaning process with a comprehensive vacuuming session. Initially, vacuum the Upholstery’s visible surfaces, and then remove all the cushions to vacuum beneath them and the rear side of each cushion. Utilize vacuum attachments to reach into crevices and ensure a thorough clean.

Step 4: Cleaning Cushions

Check to see if the cushions on your upholstery have removable covers. If they do, you could take off the covers and wash them in the washer using a light detergent. To avoid having trouble getting the covers back onto your upholstery, do not use a dryer; instead, let them air dry. Move on to the following step if your upholstery has detachable cushion coverings.

Step 5: Surface Cleaning and Disinfection

For spot removal, either make your natural upholstery cleaning or buy one from the market. Before moving on, always try a patch test on a tiny area of the fabric. Next, clean any parts of your upholstery that are not covered in upholstery with a disinfectant. Make sure the wipes or spray you choose don’t include bleach because it can damage the wood or other non-fabric components of your sofa. Test a small area first if unsure. At this point, there is no need to sterilise the cloth; the cleaning procedure will take care of that.

Step 6: Bug Treatment if Required

Before bringing used upholstery into your house, it’s a good idea to think about treating it with bug spray. Old furniture can serve as a hiding place for unseen insects and pests. Spray all of the cracks and crevices with an adaptable bug spray that is made to ward off and get rid of pests including bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and mites. For 24 hours, let the upholstery sit in a well-ventilated outdoor space.

Step 7: Odour Removal 

To effectively remove odours, generously, you can clean the residue properly. Mostly, odours disappear after deep cleaning and disinfection. Check to see if the upholstery smells clean and fresh. You might need to turn to use a spray for additional treatment if any odours stay.

Step 8: Tackling Stains

Before attempting stain removal, it’s crucial to identify the type of fabric your upholstery is made of. Some upholstery is delicate and should not get wet, while others, like leather or synthetic materials, may require special care. Consult the tag for specific guidelines. For most fabric upholstery, the following cleaning mixture should work effectively:

Vinegar and Soap Solution: Combine one cup of warm water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and a tablespoon of Castile soap (or mild dish detergent if Castile soap is unavailable). Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle or a bowl.

Apply the solution to stained areas using a spray or brush. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to work the solution into the stain, then blot the area with a clean, damp cloth. Be cautious not to oversaturate the fabric.

Step 9: Deep Cleaning with a Portable Steam Cleaner

For a thorough cleaning of your upholstery, a portable steam cleaner is an essential tool. It also performs well as a natural carpet and upholstery cleaning. Here’s a helpful hint: Before beginning the steam cleaning procedure, vacuum the area first and treat it with baking soda. Starting with steam cleaning directly might not result in a flawlessly clean upholstery in the end.

Tips for Keeping Your Upholstery Clean and Fresh

Regular Vacuuming: Vacuum your upholstery twice a month. Remove cushions and vacuum under, around, and inside the upholstery.

Act Quickly on Stains: Keep a mix of water and vinegar handy to spray on stains as soon as they happen.

Monthly Steam Cleaning: Use a steam cleaner once a month to prevent odours and minimize stains.

Avoid Excessive Moisture: Avoid saturating the entire upholstery as it’s challenging to work with and can take days to dry.


Used upholstery can get a new lease on life and maintain its beauty for years to come with a little cleaning. Keep in mind that you must stick to the cleaning codes and guidelines of how to clean a used upholstery and take your time to ensure gentle and thorough cleaning. Your upholstery will remain spotless and welcoming for your family and guests with the necessary care.

CBD Couch Cleaning Brisbane (21)

CBD Couch Cleaning Brisbane CBD Couch Cleaning Brisbane has been working to give proper comfort to people with professional couch cleaning services. I also write for couch cleaning companies.