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How To Clean A Fabric Sofa

Updated: 2022-09-20

2715-72FCA-Julian-SP21.jpg Updated: 2022-04-22

Cleaning and maintaining your fabric sofa doesn't have to be difficult. With a little attention to a few important tips, you can clean and maintain your sofa stress-free. This guide includes how to clean a fabric sofa, the basics of fabric codes, how to prevent your sofa from sinking in and pet-proofing your furniture.

Vacuuming and brushing your sofa

There’s also dust, dirt, and abrasion to consider, all of which can cause the fabric to wear faster. Vacuuming your upholstered furniture regularly with an upholstery attachment removes dust that can cause abrasion. Make sure to never use a brush attachment as it may damage the fabric.


Occasionally, some fabrics may show signs of pilling. Although pilling can be unattractive, it does not affect the integrity of the fabric. Lint from clothing and throws can get caught in the pills, making the pills more visible. To remove the pills, we recommend using the Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover.

Fabric Furniture Cleaning Codes

Found a stain? Attend to it immediately. Bassett Live Chat is at your service to answer any questions you have. On any Bassett Furniture upholstery products, you will find the care label – usually under a seat cushion – where a cleaning code is listed. This will tell you what to use for spot-cleaning.

Fabric care codes.*

“S” Solvent

Spot clean using a mild water-free solvent or dry-cleaning product. Only water-free, pure cleaning agents may be used.

“W” Water

Spot clean using foam only from a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or non-solvent upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam with a soft brush in a circular motion. Vacuum or brush when dry.

“SW” Solvent or Water

Spot clean with a mild solvent or upholstery shampoo or the foam from a mild detergent. When using a solvent or dry-cleaning product, follow instructions carefully and clean only in a well-ventilated room.


Spot clean with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or mild dry-cleaning solvent. Be sure to pre-test a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not saturate. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic bristle brush. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning is not a recommended cleaning method.

“X”: Vacuum or Brush Lightly Only

Water-based foam cleaners or solvent-based cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking. Using a soft cloth, blot up as much of the stain as possible – do not rub. Dab a tiny amount of cleaner to the stain using your fingertips and rub gently. Blot again with a soft white cloth working in a circular motion from the outside in.

3135-62L-7232-5B-Sanford-FA21.jpgOther sofa maintenance considerations:

  • Never remove cushion covers for separate cleaning (even though they may have zippers).
  • Caring for your beautifully upholstered furniture is pretty easy to do. To keep it looking at its best, annual professional cleaning is recommended.

How to get dog and cat smell out of your sofa

Many of us want the best of both worlds. We want our furniture to be clean and tidy while having Fido or Rex by our side as we watch our favorite sport or reality TV show. However, this doesn’t always seem possible. That being said, there are several ways to have your cake and eat it, too. Not every idea here will be for you or your lifestyle.

Tips For Pet-Proofing Your Sofa

One or more of these remedies will surely work to help you pet-proof your new furniture:

  • Go with leather or microfiber. Leather is easy to clean and durable. Pet hair doesn’t stick to a leather sofa and can be easily removed with the wipe of cloth across its surface. Similarly, stains don’t hold. For dogs, leather is perfect. However, cats may be tempted to scratch its surface.
  • If you’re averse to having your cat de-clawed, then consider an upholstered microfiber fabric. For some unknown reason, cats don’t seem at all interested in scratching it. And like leather, it is more easily cleaned than most fabrics.
  • Purchase a comfortable bed for your Pet. There are some great, comfortable pet beds on the market today. Some are even orthopedically recommended. While some are a bit pricey for pet furniture, there are plenty affordable and comfortable options for man’s best friend. And, if Fido loves his doggy bed, he won’t be as inclined to hop up on your California king at night.
  • Buy a sofa with removable cushions. Not an ideal remedy, selecting from models with removable cushions can make it easy to wash any mishaps away by unzipping the fabric covers and simply leaning them. However, that severely limits the furniture styles and models you can choose from.
  • Keep a lint roller nearby. My least favorite tip but one that works well nonetheless, a lint roller will effectively pick up all that loose hair and keep your new furniture nice and clean.

How To Fix Sagging Couch Cushions

Start with flipping and fluffing. Sounds easy, right? It is. Simply take each cushion that’s removable and flip it, fluff it, and rotate it to a different place if there are other same-sized back or seat cushions on the piece (a sofa, for example). This helps to ensure all cushions wear evenly, so your furniture lasts longer. Don't forget to flip and fluff your accent pillows!

We recommend flip & fluffing your cushions every 3 months, but there are some factors that may have you doing it more frequently.

  • Do you have kids and animals playing, crawling, and jumping on your furniture?
  • Are your cushions a blend down or feather fill?

If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, up the frequency of your flip & fluff reminder.

As much as we all love to see sunshine streaming into a room, it can fade fabrics and break down fibers. Avoid placing upholstered furniture in direct sunlight, or in front of windows without coverings. Or solve that problem by exploring the Bassett Furniture Custom Window Program with a Design Consultant available in stores.

Ask about our Bassett Furniture Protection Plans.

Order your free in-home catalog or shop one of our stores near you. Bassett Design Consultants are waiting to inspire you, schedule an appointment today.

*Note for Guardsman Plan Holders: Only blot stains before calling Guardsman. Do not attempt to clean until given specific cleaning instructions. Many stains and damage issues are time-sensitive. For this reason, you must notify Guardsman within 30 days of a stain or damage occurrence.

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