How To Clean a Fabric Sofa

Updated 1/27/23

Julian Sofa in Neutral Tone with Accent Chairs and Occasional Tables

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.

There’s also dust, dirt, and abrasion to consider, all of which can cause the fabric to wear faster.

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.

Important cleaning tip: Don’t remove cushion covers for separate cleaning, even though they may have zippers.

Tips For Pet-Proofing 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. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your upholstered furniture safe and enjoy the company of your fur babies simultaneously.

We recommend these tips to pet-proof your furniture:

• Go with leather or microfiber upholstery. Leather is easy to clean and durable. Pet hair doesn’t stick to a leather sofa, so it’s easy to clean with a simple wipe of cloth across its surface. Also, stains don’t hold in leather furniture, so leather upholstery is perfect for dogs. However, cats may still scratch leather surfaces.

• If your cat has its claws, then consider an upholstered microfiber fabric. For some reason, cats don’t seem 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 luxurious pet beds on the market today. Some even have orthopedic foam and other advanced comfort features. While some are a bit pricey for pet furniture, there are plenty of affordable and cozy options for your best friend. And if your dog loves their bed, it won’t be as inclined to hop up on your California king at night!

• Buy a sofa with removable cushions. Selecting from models with removable cushions can make it easy to wash mishaps away by unzipping the fabric covers and cleaning them. However, this limits the furniture styles and models available to you.

• Keep a lint roller nearby. Lint-rolling is not the most elegant pet-proofing tip, but it works well. A lint roller will effectively pick up all that loose hair without damaging the upholstery and keep your new furniture nice and clean.

How to Fix Sagging Sofa Cushions

Start with flipping and fluffing. Sounds easy, right? It is! Take each removable cushion, 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). Flipping and fluffing help ensure all cushions wear evenly, so your furniture lasts longer. Don’t forget to flip and fluff your accent pillows, too!

We recommend you flip and fluff your cushions every three months, but you may want to do it more frequently if:

• You have kids and animals playing, crawling, and jumping on your furniture.

• Your cushions contain a blend down or feather fill.

If either of these applies to you, we recommend you increase the frequency of your flipping and fluffing.

How to Keep Your Upholstery From Fading

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 the problem for good by exploring the Bassett Furniture Custom Window Program with a Design Consultant.

Ask About Bassett Furniture Protection Plans

Order your free in-home catalog or shop at 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.

Thank you for enjoying our archived content. We invite you to join us for the most up-to-date and trend-right insight into the design industry and our Bassett products.